My family recently went on our 13th annual pilgrimage to the North Fork, and we were blessed by Mother Nature with perfect weather.
My husband and I, our three children, their spouses and our seven grandchildren, who range in age from 11 to 5, caravanned in three cars with a designated driver in each, as our trip included a visit to three wineries: Martha Clara Vineyards on Sound Avenue in Riverhead, Harbes Farm and Vineyard in Mattituck, and Pugliese Vineyards on Route 25A in Cutchogue.
This year’s trip featured a visit to the Long Island Doll Hospital in Southold. I decided it was time to bring my vintage Shirley Temple doll for a visit. In addition, my granddaughter Amanda brought her American Girl doll, whose head was detached from its body. She was anxious about leaving the doll but was assured that the repair could be done quickly.
As it turned out, my Shirley is an original from the 1930s. It was given to me by my grandmother when I was six after its owner, my aunt, died as a young adult. I can vividly recall seeing the doll sitting atop my aunt’s bed in pristine condition with a crisp, pale blue organdy dress adorned with pink bows. I let my younger sister, who really didn’t like dolls, play with Shirley. Years later, I discovered that the doll lost her clothes and her wig was not attached to her head and was in dire need of restyling.
For the past few decades, Shirley has been captive in a plastic bag in my closet. The time had come for Shirley to get a complete makeover. Owner Jan Davis assured me that she could paint Shirley’s milky eyes and restore them, as well as wash, style and reattach her disheveled lamb’s hair wig. She is also going to find a dress, shoes, panties and socks for the doll. When Shirley is ready to go home, I will put her on the bed in our guest room, reminiscent of when I would visit my grandmother’s home many years ago.
Our day wound down with dinner at BBQ Bill’s in Greenport, a visit to the antique carousel in Mitchell Park on Front Street in the Glass Carousel Pavillion and homemade ice cream at Sandpiper.
It was a perfect day, and to top it off, my granddaughter Amanda was fortunate enough to grab the brass ring for a free ride on the carousel. And, her American Girl doll was ready to be shipped two days later. Shirley’s repairs will take a bit longer, but what’s a month or two, considering I’ve had the doll for more than 50 years!