Anita Vernon

Two dolls were all I ever received my entire childhood!

My first doll I got for my fifth Christmas, "Betty Bows." Betty was an all rubber doll made by one of the rubber companies in the 1950's. Daddy had earned enough money that Christmas to get me and my four sisters dolls.

I was five when she came into my life - my first doll! I was ecstatic! I became her mother and she my child. I can remember as if it were yesterday. Her hair was molded onto her head and she took a bottle and wet her diaper. I was in seventh heaven! In my imaginary world of "pretend," she and I could never be apart for any length of time. Betty went with me everywhere I went.

I can remember waking up one morning and Betty was gone! I looked all over my bedroom for her. I ran crying to my mother and asking her if she knew where Betty was. She sat me down and told me that my little cousin, who had been admitted to the hospital with polio that morning, had wanted to take my Betty Bows with her for comfort. I was angry at first but my mother explained that she would get Betty back for me after my cousin came home.

When my cousin came home, she was a lot better but the hospital could not let Betty Bows come home to me without being sterilized. Little did I know what that meant.

When I got Betty back, she was all crumbled and fell apart! I was devastated by the loss of her so quickly. That was my first lesson in life of losing someone I loved!

I am 52 years old now but I will never forget my little rubber doll that made me so happy. The high-heeled doll I got later, (and I still have to this day) has never replaced my little, "Betty Bows," but I can say one thing; Betty Bows made a little sick child happy so she went out with "style."