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Taking Care of Annabelle

Trivia Question

Who won an Oscar for his leading role in the movie Marty (1955)?

Taking Care of Annabelle

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credit: Mary Beth Weisenburger

As the first girl born after three boys, I was often plied with "girly" things. There were frilly dresses, tiny tea sets and lacy hair adornments. And there were dolls. I had a 1960s Penny Brite doll with a red-pleated dress and a checked raincoat, a crimson-haired Crissy doll complete with a trunk and 1970s wardrobe, and of course, a few Barbie dolls later on. But the dolls I loved most had been my mother's when she was a child. One was a fabric doll with yarn hair that did absolutely nothing -- no crying, wetting or fancy clothing for this one. Maybe that's why I liked her; she was uncomplicated and I could take her -- and leave her -- anywhere.

The other doll my mom let me play with, much to my delight, was a 1930s composition doll, with heavy jointed arms and legs, a head that swiveled, molded hair and green eyes that opened and closed. I dubbed her Annabelle, and I carried her, clumsily, throughout the house and even outside. We had quiet tea parties and went on raucous adventures together. Annabelle was well-loved, much like the Velveteen Rabbit, and soon showed wear and tear.

When I was grown up and out of the house and married, Mom gave Annabelle to me. I was determined to take better care of her than I did as a child. She was kept in tissue paper in a box under my bed for safekeeping. This strategy worked ... until we got a yellow Lab puppy that discovered the box and practiced her chewing technique on Annabelle's fingers and toes.

Today, Annabelle rests safely in a vintage doll carriage, far from the eyes -- and teeth -- of any destructive critters. And she remains safely ensconced in my heart.

'Til next time,

Mary Beth Weisenburger,
Good Old Days® magazine

PS. Did you have a favorite doll from childhood? Do you still have it? We want to hear about it! Send a brief response to me at, and it could appear in a future update or in Good Old Days magazine!

Mary Beth Weisenburger has been with Annie's since April 2011. She has 25 years of experience in the marketing, advertising and publishing fields. In addition to her job as editor of Good Old Days, she has been writing a family humor column for over a decade. She and her husband, two college-age kids, two dogs and various other critters live on five acres in the country, where she enjoys reading on the back porch, refinishing furniture, feeding the birds and digging in the dirt of her perennial gardens.

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Trivia Answer

Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine played Marty Piletti, an Italian-American butcher who meets Clara (played by Betsy Blair) at the Stardust Ballroom. The movie also won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director (Delbert Mann), and the Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay) award went to Paddy Chayefsky, who based the screenplay on a teleplay he wrote in 1953.

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