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Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Azmons Build Daughters House That Has Everything

By Arlene Edwards, Staff Reporter

"If this was a real house, it would look horrible, but as a doll house, it's beautiful."

With this back-handed compliment, Mrs. Kenneth Azmon of 188 Dawnview Drive summed up her description of the doll house she and her husband spent the entire month of December building.

It was their special Christmas present to their daughters, Vicky, who is 9, and Donna, 7, and was presented to them on Christmas morning, "after they had oohed and aahed over Santa Claus."

The two-story house, which standas about a yard high, is equipped with electric lights and doorbell, handmade furniture, an upstairs balcony with French doors, a plexiglass picture window and a portable fireplace.

And, with the exception of a few "real diplomatic" suggestions by Mrs. Azmon, it's a product of Mrs. Azmon's imagination.

"I'd suggest things and say, 'Would this be too much trouble?' and he'd say he would think about i," explained Mrs. Azmon.  In most cases, he not only followed her advice by "went overboard" in doing so.  

Her initial suggestion - to build the house - was received with the outburst, "Oh, that's outrageous!"  

"He didn't know where to start, how to begin," said Mrs. Azmon.  "So I went to the library."

A helpful librarian located "a mess of books" on doll houses ranging from one photographed "with the permission of Queen Victoria" that gave them the idea for a hinged side that opens for play and one in "Popular Mechanics" that supplied dimensions.  

Mr. Azmon's improvisions included a thick wooden base to conceal the electrical transformer, a chimney to hid wires leading to lights on both floors and a completely removable top floor.

And, said Mrs. Azmon, "he made every stick of furniture in it."  Thin plywood, bent coat hangers and upholstery scraps were his main materials.  Everything was built to fit an 8-1/2 inch tall doll that Vicky received several Christmases ago.

Mrs. Azmon made curtains, bedspreads and rugs, helped paint and shellac and located "extras" by rummaging in the girls' toy box and by prowling through dime stores.

Her "just looking" shopping trips were so frequent, she said that, "I know they thought, 'Oh Lord, here she comes again.'"

Mrs. Azmon says her husband has spent so much time in his workshop during the past month that she began to tell friends, "My husband lives in the basement, and we live upstairs."

His carpentry work was sandwiched in between driving a truck for Western Electric and studying for a correspondence course in electronics.

Each night after the children were in bed, Mrs. Azmon "would go downstairs and help him with the painting."  She and her sister, mrs. Don G. Huff of Thomasville Road, rearranged the furniture so many times that Mr. Huff teased them about wearing it out before Christmas.

The final piece of furniture - a telephone table - was completed the day before Christmas eve.  But, said Mrs. Azmon, "It won't stop here.  This thing is going to grow."  She already sees the need for a front porch bannister.

The house, she added, "can be completely dismantled." And that's exactly what she plans to do with it in a few years to save it for her grandchildren.  "It's theirs until they outgrow it," she added, "then I'm going to claim it.

Mrs. Azmon had no idea how much materials cost of the total amount of time that went into making the house. But there's one things she's positive about, "Kenneth said he wouldn't do it again for less than $500."