Saturday, May 17, 2008

My Story

In the fall of 1969 MamaT's parents were out doing their Christmas shopping. I actually don't know where they found me, but I have always imagined it was at the Teddy Bear Toy Shop at the Sherwood Gardens shopping center in Salinas, California. The center had a rustic wood porch and inside the front door of the shop was a larger than life (at least 5' tall) teddy bear. MamaT thought the place was almost magical, even better than visiting “The Sugar Plum Farm” near Gilroy. And how could a place with a name like that NOT be exciting when you're 5? Anyhow, MamaT's daddy caught sight of a Sasha doll like me in the store window display. Although I was a bit on the expensive side for a play doll at the time ($17), her Mama agreed, and they picked me out and took me home to put under the tree on Christmas Eve. I wore a plaid skirt and white sweater and am known to Sasha collectors, as a "kilt" doll (not a very romantic name, I know). I was manufactured in England by the Frido doll company and was packaged in a "crayola tube" shown in the video below. That was back in the days of the 8mm silent home movies, and MamaT has a video clip of the moment she first opened my crayola tube and pulled me out. I love seeing the smile that flashes across her face when she first sees me. MamaT's daddy labeled the film box. "Christmas 1969--the year that Sasha came". It was like I was an additional member of the family. MamaT is the youngest of 6 girls in the family, and somehow she was the only one privileged to receive a Sasha doll. That didn't prevent the whole family from falling in love with me. In some ways, I was like MamaT's little sister and the real baby of the family.

I've posted the video-clip below, but before you get your expectations up, I'll start with an apology. The film was taken as a Super-8 home movie, and it was always a family favorite for repeat viewing. A decade or so ago, MamaT's sister, AuntieN, transferred many of the old home movies to VHS video format by projecting them on a wall and videotaping the projection. From this version, MamaT used a digital camera to capture this clip by filming the television screen. Through all of this the quality of the film has gotten quite poor and dark, so we apologize for that. And possibly the quality was never that great to begin with. We also had the VHS version professionally transferred to a DVD, and I think the digital camera version is no worse than that. In the film, you can see AuntieN (who was 8 at the time) is as excited about me as MamaT and very eager to "help" her with me. The video includes a clip of another baby doll that MamaT got that year just because it's a cute scene, but the baby doll is long gone and never got to become real, while MamaT swears she would never part with me at any price.

The Sasha link I'd like to share with you today is Cecelia's page. It features a couple of kilt dolls just like me, and even shows an original sales receipt. Now you can see what my original outfit looked like. My own was long lost over the years, and I am wearing a replacement outfit which was produced in the 70s and not quite exactly like my original skirt. Here's the link:

  • And now for the video clip, click the box below...(if nothing happens with the first click, click again.)


Anonymous said...

That was magical! Thank you for this wonderful blog - I can't wait to read more!

Anonymous said...

This little clip was nothing short of charming. It was so nostolgic and heart warming. Loved it thank you. Sevenmilehill.

monique said...

Hey, what fun to stumble across this little gem! I recognize my knobby knees and grabby hands as the sister who didn't get the Sasha Doll. :-) What did I get that year? A Dawn doll?

What's this about the Teddy Bear Toy Shop? I always thought Santa brought you Sasha! Oh yeah, Teddy Bear Toy Shop was the local Santa's workshop.

I may be able to enlighten you a little, in reality. I hope this doesn't disappoint you but Sasha didn't come from Santa or Teddy Bear Toy Shop. I vaguely remember visiting the store where she was purchased some time (months? years?) after Sasha joined our family. One of our parents or older sisters was contemplating buying another Sasha doll and I can still see in my mind the shelves of the shop that housed the Sasha dolls. It was more of a specialty doll store, not near as glitzy as the magical Teddy Bear Toy Shop. I also remember walking out of the store empty handed as Sasha was a bit too pricey.

The Log Home Builder's Wife said...

A few more comments from MamaT's Sasha friends...

Oh my gosh, that clip was just beautiful! I gave the same doll to my 2 girls that same year but don't have a movie of it - that was wonderful to watch, and to see that she's still with you today. Haven't read all of your wonderful site, but am looking forward to it – it's just great! MB

I really enjoyed the blog and showed 9 1/2 y.o. Abby who was indignant to learn that Sashas cost $17 in 1969. Anyhow we both enjoyed it. Thanks, MR

I very much enjoyed Sasha's blog and the video clip. Those were very nice childhood memories. I did not learn of Sashas until I was in my late 40's :) Thanks for sharing the blog. NM

She is a sly little girl....and to find the clip where she first comes to you.!!! Lots of hard work went into getting this put on your site. I wish I knew so much about computers but you seem to have found a guru in your keep her working. TM

Hi, that is so funny, to see Sasha using the PC! Your website is clever made, well-informed and a pleasure to watch, MH

What a wonderful video! Thanks for sharing it. How exciting to get your first Sasha while you were so young! Hugs, GP

Hi, finally was able to see your wonderful video, what a sweet little girl you were, and a lucky one as well... my goodness getting Kilt for Xmas, right... And I loved the write up too... How did you get into creating that blog... oops, how did your Sasha get a hold of that blog area? Would love to know how? What a sweet story... we should all tell our stories about how we got into Sashas, wouldn't that be wonderful...Much love and thanks for sharing this wonderful blog with the rest of us. MK

It was fun to see what you and your Sasha have done on the blog, and very creative, too. Now my kids are all clammering to get on the comuter (you may have started something here!). I saved this website address so I can go back and read it again. Thanks for sharing :) JR

Elsa said...

Wow, Tara, how incredible to be able to relive that moment each time. I vaguely remember seeing my Sasha in a gift shop, and the shop keeper looking up Sashas dress, and proudly announcing 'She even has knickers on!' How undignified!

Thankyou for sharing that with us, it was magical!