Once upon a time, (and a loooong time ago) in a far away state, a little girl wished for a friend named Barbie. Barbie was a relatively new kid on the block and all of the little girl’s friends liked Barbie. As a matter of fact, they all had Barbie living at their house. The little Barbieless girl, me, however, was late inviting Barbie to her place. Not sure how I finally talked my mother into getting me the doll…maybe for my birthday. I just don’t remember. But I do know I was about 12 when I got her. The Barbie doll.
The little girls on my block had all decided they had outgrown their baby dolls and had forsaken them for the well-endowed Barbie (not knowing the correct term for her…uhhh, endowments, we named them “muffins”). Heck, they even had Ken and Barbie’s best friend, Midge, and Barbie’s little sister, Skipper. I finally caught up to the rest of the bunch with a beautiful black bubble hair doll, the newest edition of Barbie. I loved that doll. She came in a red stretchy swimsuit and stood on her toes. I always thought that was weird. No-shoes-Barbie looks like she was tiptoeing eternally!
Barbie came in a long skinny box that contained a little catalog of all the outfits you could buy, if you were loaded. I was not. I still have the little catalog. And in that little catalog was my dream outfit. The Red Blaze. Anyone out there remember The Red Blaze? It was sort of the equivalent of all the boys’ Red Ryder BeeBee gun. You looked at the picture. You dreamed of picking it up and putting on your Barbie. But sadly, no Red Blaze ever decorated my Barbie.
Because I had no money, honey, Barbie wore her red swimsuit constantly, until….all of us girls decided to go into the Barbie clothing business. We sat for hours in the middle of our living rooms cutting out dresses…mostly straight shifts from our mothers’ material scraps. We used rick-rack scraps for belts and usually hand-stitched the seams in a wonky fashion. And the hats. THE HATS!! We all became millinery designers of the Coke-top sort. Yep, the pillbox was IN and the best thing we could find that was Barbie’s size was ye olde Coke top. Remember? The metal caps that were zigzagged on the edges. All you had to do was glue a roundish piece of material to the top of the top then squish the edges in on the underside and VOILA!!! A chapeau!
There were matching purses and diaper bags…yes, Barbie became a mother in our world, although you can believe me when I say, we had NO idea how Barbie reached that condition!! None whatsoever. Ken just stood in his little corner and stared at us all….4 little girls and at least 4 Barbies. He was outnumbered. What can I say?
The Red Blaze hovered in the past. Until today. While haunting a favorite antique place…which is really beginning to tick me off. Antiques?! Really?! So what does that make me?! Nevermind…the Used Stuff Lady and I were yakking away. My eyes wandered and there, hanging behind her in a special place was…THE RED BLAZE!!!! I had hit the Barbie Bonanza/Holy Grail/Mother Lode! The red velvet swing coat lined in white satin, finished with a red bow and accessorized with a red velvet pill box hat, trimmed with a red bow AND a red velvet clutch purse…are you ready? That opens. And lined in satin. White, to be exact. (at this point, I have now entered Doll Heaven) I couldn’t believe it. I asked her if that was what I thought it was. She knowingly smiled ever so smugly and said yes, it’s… THE RED BLAZE. I asked if I could hold it. Graciously, she handed it to me. I was a goner. I tried to think coherently…if I offered her my first-born, would that be enough? Ahh, but she reeled me in and said she would sell it to me for 10% off. I thought. I plotted. I calculated.
I bought it. One day my granddaughters will thank me. (And probably fight over it!!) The Doll Gods were with me today. I may be 50 years late, but by golly, The Red Blaze is mine, all mine!!! 😀
Oh, and just so you know, Nancy, Peggy and Connie…I was not true to Barbie. I snuck around and played with my baby dolls and tended to them like a good mommy should. And made Barbie watch! I was/am sooo bad.