Gayle Allegra

I have always loved dolls. The dolls of my childhood are Tiny Tears, Toni, and Ginny. I never had a "real" Tiny Tears although I did receive a "look-a-like" for one Christmas. I had one Ginny my mother bought me and three Toni's my favorite Auntie Millie gave me, one at a time of course! I remember loving my dollies and my mother telling me I always gave them away to my cousins!

When I got older the dolls I had left were packed away to the attic and there they remained for several years, long after I married and moved away.

How I wish now I had taken them with me! Mother is not a collector of things and my box of dolls was more than she could handle! So out they went.

I hope someone found those poor dears!

This year, more than 50 years later, I could no longer contain my love of my childhood dolls. I now have two original Tiny Tears, three original Toni's (P90, P91, and P93), an original Ginny, an original Patsy, an original Rita, an original Mary Hoyer and several reproduction Ginny's and Toni's. I never had a wardrobe for any of my dolls, so I bought little suitcases and filled them with clothes that I knitted and crocheted.

During this entire flourish, I finally found my true love, my Toni! But best of all with her I also rediscovered the real love I had for my now deceased Auntie Millie and the real love she had for me.

I always called her my "fancy aunt" because when she would stop at our house on her way home from work I would admire her very stylish outfits. She was a widowed young with three children of her own, a son and two daughters. Still she had time for me and called me her favorite niece. She taught me to knit and crochet and with this skill I am able to make "fancy" knit and crochet adaptations of Toni's vintage fabric dresses.

I cherish my Toni doll, as she is a visual reminder of the special love between a special auntie and her favorite niece.