Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chatting about Cathy

I have finally posted a picture of the Chatty Cathy doll I received last week. Isn't she a doll? She is in excellent shape, even talks a bit, although her mechanism is quite noisy so her voice is not too clear. Cathy was produced from 1960 to 1964 by Mattel inc. Then she was re-issued 1969 and again in 1998 and 1999 for collectors. Cathy was the talking doll that started the talking doll craze in the USA and Canada.

The original Cathy spoke 11 different phrases, and 7 more phrases were added to the dolls manufactured from 1963 on.

The original Cathy had blonde hair and blue eyes, brunette and auburn-haired dolls were introduced in 1962 and 1963.

Cathy was the second most popular doll of the 60's... Barbie was the first. Because Cathy was such a success, Mattel followed production of several Chatty lines - Chatty Baby(1962), Tiny Chatty Baby, Chatty Brother and Charmin'Chatty (all in 1963). There was even a Singin'Chatty released in 1965.

Chatty Cathys's made in Canada by Mattel Canada were made from the original American molds but there were notable differences in the materials. The vinyl used on the Canadian Dolls had a glossier look, the eyebrows were higher on the forehead, and a different type of eye was used. Some of the doll's phrases were also different reflecting cultural differences between Canada and the United States.

As it happens, I have my sister-in-law's Chatty Cathy at the moment. This is a Canadian made Cathy, and as you can see there is quite a noticeable difference between the dolls. This is what makes doll collecting so interesting and fun.

Well now that you know all about Chatty Cathy dolls, we will return to part 2 of Chapter 10.

George felt sick to his stomach. He had stumbled over Emilie and Anne-Marie several times in what he believed to be mere minutes. He worried that Emilie was battling sleep. He knew it was the body’s way of coping with severe cold and he also knew to give in to the demand was deadly.

He had no idea how Anne-Marie fared, tied as she was to Emilie’s chest. He’d had no time to check on the child each time he had lifted Emilie from the ground. Lost steps meant a lost rope, and loosing the guide rope didn’t bear thinking about.

He wasn’t into praying much, but he said one anyway. He reckoned that God would be pretty surprised to hear a prayer coming from him, especially since all he’d done since the fire was silently curse and blame God for the death of his mother.

He thought of her then – he thought of how much he loved her, and how he just couldn’t bring his mind to accept the notion that he would never see her again. They had shared a special bond, his Ma and he - he was her first born – he had been loved first. He wondered if she were watching them now. He was sure she had gone to heaven; so did that mean she was now an angel?

He stumbled and fell against something soft on the ground. He scrambled to his knees and saw Emilie lying curled in a ball beside him.

“Emilie, wake up!” He hollered at the top of his voice as he shook her hard. “Emilie . . .” his plea became anger. “Emilie . . .dam you, get up . . .” and then he was crying. He grabbed her roughly and shoved her to her feet. “Move . . .” he yelled in her face until her eyes opened.

The rope pulled tightly against his arm and he knew if they didn’t move soon it would be lost to them. Using all the strength he had left he hooked his free arm around her body and dragged her along beside him as he struggled to keep up with the rope. His arms screamed for rest and he thought surely his back would break from the additional weight of both woman and child but he strengthened his grasp and kept moving.

Minutes later the rope slackened and not expecting the change in pace he fell forward and his body struck a hard object. He blinked his eyes twice to clear his view and when his vision cleared he realized that what he had fallen against was a building.

He remembered that Karl’s horse had an aggravating habit of rushing towards the barn whenever she neared the yard. Had the horse led them home? He released his burden and felt along the wall of the building. Following it with the palms of his hands he walked until he found the door. He heaved the heavy door aside and suddenly his vision cleared.

“We made it!” He shrieked like someone gone local. He whistled to the horse and heard her whinnying reply. He whistled again and she walked into the barn dragging her human baggage along behind her.

Karl’s death grip on the horse lessened as he felt the air change around him. He struggled to focus his eyes in the sudden darkness then struggled further to wake his mind.

“Karl, we made it!” Was that George running up to him?

“It’s me Karl – help me get everyone inside. We made it to the barn –Karl, we did it!”

George’s words penetrated the thick fog that had settled in Karl’s brain and suddenly he was alert and in need of seeing his family. He spun on his heels then started barking orders.

“Get everyone inside. Raymond, Richard . . .thank God,” he whipped the boys of the horse and hugged them tight for a moment. “Sue, where’s Sue and Charles Jr.?”

“I got them, they’re here.”

“Emilie?” he spun around searching and then saw George almost carrying them into the barn.

“Jesus Christ! George fill that stall with hay, get everyone to burrow down in it, I’ll get these two.” He grabbed Emilie from George and fumbled to release his daughter from her restraints.


“We’re safe Emilie,” he lifted his sleeping daughter from her host and handed her to George. “Put her between the others – everyone as tight together as they can get . . .”

“Are we home, Karl?”

“Yes, lieben, we’re home.” He walked her to where George had made the bed of straw. “Lie down here, Emilie.” He placed her right in the middle of the children. “Children come close, snuggle together, you too George . . .”

“The horse . . .”

“I’ll tend to her you get down there so I can cover you all with straw and blankets.”

“What about you, Karl?”

“I’ll join you as soon as I’ve tended the horse.”

George lowered himself onto the straw bed with the rest of his family and Karl covered them with all the blankets he could find. Then he took the pitch fork and heaped straw atop of them all. When he was satisfied that they were buried under the insulating layers of blankets and straw he turned to his horse.

His hands shook like a demon possessed them as he reached for the beast that had saved them all. He wrapped his arms around her heavy neck and clung to her and for just a moment he let go. His body shook as he wept into the thick fur of the animal, and then he released her from his embrace and led her into her stall. He forked her manger full of hay, and added a pail of oats then he took the curry comb and gently brushed her down. He took the thick blanket draped over the saddle sitting on the manger and flipped it over the horses back. As he moved along her side he ran his hand along her flank, and then gently patted her rump.

He left her stall and walked to the other, wiped a weary hand across his face and then sunk to his knees. He burrowed down under the straw until he found the nest of humans lying there. His body curled naturally around the perimeter of the group, he threw his arm across the pack, heaved a deep heavy sigh, and fell asleep.

1 comment:

  1. whew!!!! Had me a bit worried there with that winter storm thing!!

    Beautiful doll