Things Writers Find When They Are Looking for Stories

I learned genealogical psychometry from my mother in-law. She could hold things and tell a story, not necessarily a psychic story and I’m not even sure they were the true stories, but she was a collector of family stories and there were quite a few of them. Her house was crammed with antiques and...

The College Guild

I have been volunteering for about year as a facilitator for an organization called The College Guild. Their website explains “The College Guild provides non-traditional correspondence courses to prisoners across America.” The courses are free, non-credit courses and available to any prisoner no matter their circumstances. Every three weeks or so, I receive an...

Taking Dad’s License

Last year, when my mother was hospitalized, it became clear that my father’s “forgetfulness” was no longer simple forgetfulness.  He was suffering from dementia and he needed help. Also, he was blind in one eye and he was still driving. My family made it clear to my father that he could no longer drive...

Advice to a fry cook on Venice Beach

I recently read a Facebook post from a former student and current friend (yes, you Matt.) After assessing his life, he wrote, “I joke less about running away to the west coast and becoming a beach side fry cook.” (I added the Venice Beach, Matt. If you were to be a fry cook anywhere,...

The Summer of ’69

I was eight years old in the Summer of 1969 and lived about thirty miles from the famous Woodstock concert grounds. Of course, I had no idea what was going on over there. Not only was I only eight, but my parents were conservative Republicans and wouldn’t never approve of what those amoral hippies...

German Lady doll at the Drake House Museum

This lovely doll is marked Handwerck. There were two Handwerck doll companies in Germany and this lovely lady is from the older one. Heinrich Handwerck began producing dolls in 1876. This lovely chubby cheeks lady is marked with the mold number 409. She has almond-shaped, dark brown eyes, which were originally sleep eyes but...

Beautiful China Doll at the Drake House Museum.

I have a fondness for large china dolls and this one is just gorgeous. She is a large, Civil War era china doll and her hair style is referred to as a “flat top.” She has an old body. The term “original” rarely applied to early dolls with cloth bodies. Many times these dolls...

More Dolls of the Drake House Museum

I want to continue sharing with you the dolls of the Drake House Museum. All the dolls in this collection are German and this little adorable baby was made by “The King of Doll Makers” Johannes Kestner. Kestner began making dolls in 1805. He (or she) is marked JDK 211 and is 11 inches...

The Drake House Museum

Drake House Museum I had the wonderful opportunity yesterday to visit the Drake House Museum in Plainfield, New Jersey. My daughter is interning there as part of her graduate program at Rutgers University.  The Drake House Museum has a small, but significant, collection of antique dolls. You may not know that I am an...

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