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Saturday, July 24, 2010

We Are Still Kids at Heart



Before the confession of childishness, which we prefer to interpret as joie de vivre, two public service announcements:

First, do not forget that Stephanie Mills will be at Dog Ears Books tomorrow, Sunday, from 2 to 4 p.m., signing her newest book, On Gandhi’s Path. This will be a good time to visit with Stephanie in general and have good conversation with her about her lifelong career as an ecology writer and bioregionalist.

Second, who left this cap behind at Thursday’s author event?



Now, some of the toys that grace our lives--.

Poet Al Bona was happy to have prints of a couple pictures I’d taken from his book launch party, but as we were looking them over together I spotted a stray item that shouldn’t have been included. “That shouldn’t be there,” I said hastily, pulling out the stray print. “What’s is it?” Al asked. “Oh, those are just David’s Barbie dolls.” A shocked look: “David has Barbie dolls?” “It’s a long story,” I told him, “for another time.” People were coming through the door for another bookstore event (Oomen and Busch), and there wasn’t time right then to tell how David had found the dolls at a garage sale and how much fun he was having posing them in dioramas on our front porch. Besides, what would I answer if Al asked, “Why?” There is no explaining all the ways the artistic impulse manifests itself. How to explain the rubber frogs and rats on the edge of our bathtub, their dialogue written on the tub in magic marker? Our eight-year-old grandson seemed awestruck by the old folks' bathroom.




For my plastic horses, however, I claim no highbrow justification, aesthetic or intellectual. I saw them (at a different yard sale, a few years back), wanted them and, miracle of miracles, could afford to buy them. As a young girl, I could almost never afford to buy these coveted items—maybe only twice—as the money for each took long weeks of scrimping, allowance and birthday money usually burning a hole in my pocket before I had enough for the purchase price. So why did I buy them as a middle-aged woman? To recapture my youth? Or to capture the youth I couldn’t afford to have when young? I just wanted them, that’s all. And anyway, they look good above the door of the Painted Horse Gallery, though when I climbed up to photograph them the other day I could see that after three years the whole shelf and all the horses could use some work with a dustcloth. I really mean it: “No kind of housekeeper at all.”




10 comments:

torchlakeviews said...

David will love Babs Young's celebration of Barbie's 50th Birthday:
http://torchlakeviews.wordpress.com/2009/03/03/babs-documents-cultural-sea-change-as-barbie-turns-50/

Who knew? Love the horses.

P. J. Grath said...

I'm going right away to check out the post you reference. We all have secrets--until they are revealed, to the astonishment of our friends!

flandrumhill said...

Oh my.... I've checked out Gerry's link and have come to the conclusion that David and Babs and I are probably kindred spirits! There was a time when I would send out quirky images of Barbie to my Toastmasters group. The ones I recall most vividly are one of Barbie in a Catwoman costume and another of her in a hot tub with Ken, in which Ken is sporting his swimming trunks on his head!

Though I don't collect Barbies, my youngest brother does collect GI Joes. They're not dolls. They're action figures.

Should your David happen to have any GI Joes showing some wear and tear among his collection of Barbies, please let him know that there is a Hair Club for Joes that he might find useful:
http://www.clubhairforgijoe.com/reflock.php In a pinch, their service might also serve for Barbies having a bad hair day.

A very entertaining post Pamela :)

P. J. Grath said...

Amy-Lynn, I will certainly tell David about the Hair Club for Joes, and I can already predict his delight over the name alone. You too have plunged Barbie into unusual situations! The idea of Ken with his bathing trunks on his head in the hot tub--David will like that image, too. (He will see it clearly in his artist's mind's eye.) As for the doll vs. action figure distinction, I remember very well when my son was young and wanted a Bionic Man for Christmas. He got it, but I never gave up trying to convince him that his mother was superior to a Bionic Woman, as I had "all my original parts." Glad you liked the post.

the faulty carpenter said...

Beautiful stuff. As grown up Barbie players ourselves, my wife Anne and I often have a relaxing moment- however it must be pointed out that Barbie MUCH prefers the romantic company of G.I. Joe to the nerdier advances of Ken. I mean really...Ken? Get some abs man.

P. J. Grath said...

Hi, Adam! I will pass along your suggestion to the Romance Director.

billiecat said...

Whatever David's artistic intent, the photo of Barbie and Ken cheerfully giving Skipper a swirlie elicited a snort from me that required a wipe for the computer screen afterwards.

P. J. Grath said...

Well, Billie, your comment gave me a good laugh, so we're even!

torchlakeviews said...

I keep coming back to check out the latest additions to the general hilarity. Hair Club for Joes, a swirly for Skipper--I have had my entire monthly ration of laughter here in the last day and a half.

P. J. Grath said...

Okay, so here's the big question: should I incorporate Barbies into my two August author events at the bookstore to generate interest and insure good crowds?