Richard VanHealey

I am an artist, a doll collector, and I am always looking for rare or unusual dolls, “that catch my eye.” Back in 1995, I found one such doll. Her name was “Anne,” from “Anne Get The Teapot.”

I did not have much money at the time for such things, but I had to put her on layaway. I was looking forward to picking her up in 30 days. During that time we had a earthquake, a 7.0 in southern California.

A week after the quake I went to the store, and saw that it was badly damaged with only three walls standing. I thought I would never see Anne again.

One year and three months later I was again looking around, as usual, in an antique store in a different location. As it turned out it was run by the same people that had their store damaged in the quake. They had reclaimed what they could and had started again at this location.

The first question I asked was, “You don’t happen to have the doll Anne that I put on layaway before the quake, by any chance?”

She said that of all the things that were damaged, the layaway merchandise was the only area that was reclaimed safely, but she would have to check on Anne.

After about two weeks, they contacted me and, sure enough, they had Anne. She had been well packed in bubble wrap and survived without a scratch. (I forgot to mention that she is a porcelain doll, and is very fragile.)

So now she is safe with my other collection of dolls, but surely is very special doll indeed.