Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Exploration #6: Archaeological Dig

Me and Elvis, 1970

Exploration #6: Archaeological Dig
Collect objects that relate to your childhood or inspire memories. Write a brief story to accompany each object.

I decided to take a different route with this Exploration challenge and use what I already have. I don't have to go out and hunt for objects that relate to my childhood because nearly everything that does, I have held onto or collect! Yes, I'm a sucker for nostalgia. I don't live in the past, I just enjoy the things associated with it. Let's start with the two biggest influences of my childhood: Elvis and Barbie.
My Elvis and Barbie collections collide

It was December 3rd, 1968 and my mother, a huge Elvis fan herself, turned on the TV to watch Elvis' Comeback Special. I instantly fell in love. I was mesmerized by his beauty, enslaved by his voice. He was the first person I ever loved unconditionally. I loved him deeply. I threw a fit over him when I was just five years old. I was spending the night at friends house and Live a Little, Love a Little was on at 1:30am and her mother wasn't going to let me watch it. I cried and cried until I threw up and she finally called my mom to come get me. My mom popped popcorn and laid out blankets and pillows in the living room and we watched Live a Little, Love a Little, yes, at 1:30am.When he died, I mourned for a solid three years...cried nearly every day. I still do. I have a hard time not crying when I watch a movie or listen to his music. He came into one of my dreams a few years ago and simply leaned over the bed kissed me and said "thank you".
Handmade note card I made but couldn't part with

Holding a Titian haired Talking Stacy Barbie doll while my friend
Tricia rides my rocking horse. 

My first Barbie, a 1968 Brunette Hair Fair

Around the same time, actually Christmas 1968 I got my first Barbie Doll.  She was a brunette Hair Fair. I still have her and nearly all my original Barbie dolls. The clothes I have had to replace over the years because I made the mistake of thinking I could wash them all in the washing machine and they basically came out as shredded material and thread! Barbie was a huge influence on me. To me, she was an independent thinker who had grand adventures! I did have a few Ken dolls, but he was only there to drive my Barbies around in the car or camper or pilot the airplane so Barbie could go on trips around the world. Yes, Barbie had fashions out the whazoo, but it wasn't so much about that for me. It was about my imagination and creating stories, worlds and adventures for Barbie...and perhaps, one day for me.
Self portrait inspired by Exploration #6

Another collection based on my childhood is that of the Bradley Dolls. Someone gave one to my mom one year in the late 1960's as a gift. I wasn't allowed to play with it or touch it. She was beautiful with big soulful eyes and a gorgeous Victorian gown. I thought to myself "when I grow up I'm going to have one of those". 
Not only did I get one, but several and now I have a growing collection of these Mod girls from the '60's.

 I collect all the board games we played back in the late 60's, 70's and 1980's.  I still have my original LIFE, Operation, Clue and PayDay board games. Both Tripoly and Pitt bring back memories of our holidays at my grandmother's house. After dinner, the adults would get a game of Tripoly or Pitt going. The games got loud and rowdy and although us kids were interested in the toys we got for Christmas, I always wanted to be watching whichever game was going on. My siblings and I continue the tradition with an annual game of Pitt.  It still gets loud and rowdy. Alcohol may be involved. :)
The "stand-up" is when it gets seriously competitive! :)

When I was 12, I was obsessed with Farrah Fawcett. I continued to be a fan of hers right up until she lost her battle with cancer last year.  I used to cut pictures of her out of magazines, sketch her (I could never get her nose just right) and yes, even feather my hair like hers.  I only have one item left from the days of Charlie's Angels:
There are so many more items that recall childhood memories such as my Mrs. Beasley and Dancerina Dolls.  And there are some which I'm still searching for such as this original metal Easy Bake Oven:

Do you, dear reader, collect anything from your childhood? Or what objects from your childhood bring back precious memories for you? 


phoebe said...

I am amazed at all that you still have from your childhood! Almost everyhing that I had as a kid was lost throughout the years.

Do you remember the Sunshine Family? I loved playing with those! And I was a big reader, had all of the Little House on the Prarie and Wizard of Oz books. I had a "growing up" Skipper that I loved. She "grew" a bustline when you moved her arm up and down, lol!

Thanks for bringing back memories Laura. And oh yeah, btw, I LOVE that you and your mom watched Elvis at 130 in the morning :)

Laura said...

Thanks Phoebe!
I also had the Sunshine Family! That's something I need to replace as I no longer have them. I never had the Growing Up Skipper but I do remember her and I've seen her at doll shows, still in the original box! I love that you read Little House on the Prairie! One of my favorite TV shows as a kid too. I read all the Nancy Drew books as well as Archie comics. Thanks for walking down Memory Lane with me! :)

Lita said...

Oh my gosh, Laura! That is some collection you have there :) I so enjoyed every moment of viewing your individual collections and reading the corresponding narratives. And can I just say I had to do a triple take of you dressed as Barbie in Barbie's house! I've seen that house and know it's not life-size :) Super-awesome and groovy job there! Love your clothes, and how you positioned yourself in standard Barbie position, lol! I too have had a thing for Barbie, but nowhere near the degree you did. And I too sported the Farrah hair way back then, lol.

Laura said...

Thanks Lita! The coat is really my coat but I had to create the shoes and headband from the pattern. I would love to see a school photo of you with your Farrah hair!

Alex said...

OMG I love your collection. I hate to admit it but I played with Barbie until Jr. High School. I only have one Barbie that I kept and it was grow up skipper. I too made the mistake of washing her clothes. She is now sporting an outfit from my daughter's Barbie collection. I always pretended to be Kelly from Charlie's Angels. Instead of her "sporty pinto" my mode of transport was my bike with its banana seat and sissy bar :)

Laura said...

LOL..it's good to know I'm not the only one who tried to wash the clothes and failed! I bet your bike would still be cool today. :)