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Heavens to Betsy!
What fond memories are invoked by this petite poppet!
I don't remember when I got Betsy - it seems I always had her. I was born in 1954, and I imagine she was a gift to me at 5 or 6 years old.  Today she is a bit frail, but in her youth, my Betsy was no shrinking violet. As we say down south, "she was rode hard and put up wet."  I re-wigged her as a child when her hair came unglued and I replaced it with one of my little sister's Barbie wigs so that Betsy could be a red-head like me. After spending years in a box, my Dad recently restrung her for me.
I don't have many of Betsy's original clothes. This dress,  a pair of striped underwear, and a raincoat is all that remains from Betsy's youth, although she snagged Penny Brite's shoes.  My sister recently made the little pajamas and robe. I want to make a "heritage" gown for Betsy using some of my grandmother's tatting.
When I was 9 and my sister was 7 (that's me on the left), my father and mother made this extraordinary dollhouse for our Betsies.
It was two stories and pressing a silver button opened one whole side for access.  It had a working doorbell, lights, a balcony, french doors, and furniture all made by my Dad. Mom contributed bedding, curtains, rugs, etc., along with great ideas.  As you can see above, a newspaper reporter wrote about the dollhouse - in 1963, it was pretty incredible (click on the picture to see a larger copy of the article, or click here to read the text only) The dollhouse has survived two generations now and is still in great shape for the next.  The doorbell still rings, the little lights still work, and Betsy's magic continues.  My little Betsy is too fragile to play with these days - wonder if I can talk my Dad into building a house for a 14" Betsy?

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