The littlest girl in the prompt picture looks like she might be holding a stuffed kitty?  I apparently had a little white dog when I was very young – though I didn’t remember it.  Funny thing, though - when I was twenty I was in Disneyland when I saw a little stuffed white dog very similar to the one in the picture, and I suddenly just had to have it for some reason?  When I brought it home, my Mom laughed and told me it looked almost exactly like the dog I’d loved and carried around with me when I was a little girl.  I was not yet a year old when this picture was taken, and I have another photo of me with my little doggie when I was two and a half, so obviously I carried that little pooch around for a while!




My grandmother, Harriet ‘Hattie’ Bell Smedley, age four, holding a sun umbrella in a studio portrait. c. 1883



Little girls are known for holding dollies.  This little charmer belonged to my husband’s grandfather’s family but I have no idea who she is as the photo has no identification.  What a shame.

This is my husband’s Aunt Phyllis and her older sister (my husband’s mother) Virginia with Phyllis holding a new doll, and Virginia holding a bear. c. 1913.  Virginia became very much 'into' bears - even into her adult years and especially those with moving heads and extremities.

Here they are again with Phyllis now in a stroller and Virginia sitting on a chair and having some trouble with her bear?

click to enlarge

A couple of years later, with her sister Virginia (big bow) and two cousins, Phyllis is holding a rather bedraggled-looking doll.  Not sure if it’s the same doll from the other pictures, but I’ve been told she carried it with her everywhere.  To a child it doesn’t matter how awful-looking a beloved doll or stuffed animal has become.  I had a panda bear that became so bare it almost didn’t have any fur left, but I didn’t care.  Then one day my mother washed it and it fell apart - or so I was told?  It was a hard reckoning!

My younger daughter had a doll named Mary which became a tattered mess, but she wouldn’t let go of it – except one day when her attention was caught elsewhere and she accidentally left it on a bench outside a store.  We were only a few minutes away when she realized she didn’t have Mary with her.  We hurried back to the store, but the doll was already gone.  I checked with the clerks in the store thinking someone might have found the poor thing and brought it inside, but no such luck.  Stephanie was devastated and there were a lot of tears that night.

A couple of days later I went shopping and found the same exact doll (Fisher-Price).  I considered telling Steph I’d found Mary and had had her mended, but that poor doll had become so messed up, I knew Steph wouldn’t believe that.  So I told her the new doll was Mary’s cousin, “Mary Sunshine”, who had come to keep her company until we found Mary.  Steph looked at the new doll warily, but accepted her - making it clear, however, it was only until we found Mary.  Of course we never did find Mary, and slowly Mary Sunshine took Mary’s place.  Of course by the time Stephanie had outgrown carrying Mary Sunshine around, the second Mary looked as bad as the first – both having been hugged and loved almost to pieces.

In the picture (1979), Stephanie holds the original Mary.  Coincidentally, her sister is holding a bear - albeit slightly smaller than her Grandma Virginia’s.


I love the position of poor Mary in this photo – just sort of hanging there in the crook of Steph’s arm with all that ratty hair going every which way.  At one time Mary, and Mary Sunshine as well, had pretty little red-checkered pinafore dresses with white eyelet trim that fastened with Velcro over their red-checkered bodies.  But at some point, in both cases, the dresses simply became irrelevant.




Holding flowers.  Virginia in a studio portrait. c. 1917.  That really is quite the bouquet!  I'm thinking it was most likely a studio prop, but - who knows?





Holding a hand – especially your big sister’s when you’re only a year and a half old and not quite sure what’s going on?  Easter, 1948





Holding a bouquet and an older man’s arm when you’re walking down an aisle with everyone looking at you.  My seven year old grandson was the ring bearer for his aunt’s wedding, and the little girl was the bride’s best friend’s daughter.

click to enlarge


I found this cute shot online.  I don’t know who the little girls are, but they’re holding something and it was just too precious a picture not to use.  I can’t tell what the one little gal is eating, but taking into account all the sweets on the table, it was probably pretty good!




A little girl holding a mirror.  A copy of a page in my husband’s father’s baby book, 1907.  The book was a gift given before the birth - apparently by someone who expected the new child to be a girl? 


La Nightingail

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diane b | Reply 18.01.2016 22.56

A great collection of now and then kids with their toys. An amazing story about you buying and identical dog later in life.

Nightingail 19.01.2016 16.33

I've always marveled at that. When I saw it, I just HAD to have it. It was the strangest feeling till my Mom explained. It's gone now, but my son played with it

mike brubaker | Reply 17.01.2016 19.51

Lovely girls, stylish photos, fun stories too

Nightingail 19.01.2016 16.29

Thank you, sir! Appreciate your good words. :)

boundforoz | Reply 17.01.2016 14.15

Lovely stories, particularly the one about Mary Sunshine - the things we do for our children.

Nightingail 19.01.2016 16.28

Don't we, though! :))

Alan Burnett | Reply 17.01.2016 02.34

I think you were right about the stuffed kitten - although, as Marilyn explains in her post, they are little boys not girls. A lovely collection of photos thoug

Nightingail 19.01.2016 16.27

I was lucky to have several pix to fit the prompt even if they weren't boys. It's hard to tell gender in the old photos. Of course had I read a little further..

Jo in Melbourne Aus | Reply 16.01.2016 20.27

A great selection of sweet photos, both formal and informal. You were a cutie!

Nightingail 19.01.2016 16.22

I'm blushing. :) Thanks. I had a round fat-cheeked little face, but that's charming in a baby I guess. Not so much when you're 21 & want to look older, though.

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Today | 19:21

We watched Sigrid Thornton filming in the town where I lived. They closed off the street and spent 2 days filming, for about 2 minutes of time in the movie!

Today | 19:18

My kids always tell me I take too long to take photos but I have never made then wait hanging off a rock!

Yesterday | 11:43

Ah, but you HAVE the movie recording - grainy & jerky as it may be. :) I've a reel-to-reel sound tape of our wedding & the rehearsal as well.

Yesterday | 11:40

The recording of the wedding is nice, but the rehearsal is a riot to listen to. I actually don't think it would've been quite as funny had it been a movie clip.

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