The last column left Shirley with a shameful Betsy Wetsy under her tree instead of her beloved Raggedy Ann. She forgave Santa with the hope that she would be able to fulfil her desire for Raggedy when her own little daughter became reading age. On that Christmas morning, she made sure that Santa delivered the book and doll to her daughter, Erin. The little girl was pleased but since she had not yet read the book, she wondered why the book and doll was so cherished by her mother. After hearing the tale, she sadly asked her, “Were you poor when you were a child?” That was the only reason she could imagine. “No, the reason was that none of the stores in Swainsboro had a Raggedy Ann doll available for Santa.” That gave her cause to cherish the book and doll. This doll was passed down to the next generation and granddaughter, Allison, who kept her sitting in a little child’s chair that had belonged to her grandmother. That was the heritage of Raggedy Ann. However, Shirley, found a new book and doll to add to the family. Her granddaughter opened the present and gleefully explained, “Oh look, it is Mr. Raggedy Ann.” Raggedy Andy was added to the family.
Perhaps you wonder how my mother was able to buy the book for me, and so did I. There was an old building near the ice plant that once a week was turned into a second- hand store. A truck would arrive filled with items that had been stored somewhere up north and never recovered. My mother was a bargain hunter and went through the truck and often found special things to add to our home. The most valued was a packed box of children’s books. This was a treasure since I had just begun to read and loved owning books. You guessed it—in the box was Raggedy Ann which I read over and over and dreamed of having the doll to hold and cuddle. At that time there was no way to order books or toys, but there was a second -hand store. You never knew what you might find there. Write to Shirley at [email protected].