Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Dorothy's Christmas history continues:

When I was five we moved to a farm six miles from Weippe. Christmas Eve was the time my dad went out to get the tree. It was set up and decorated after we went to bed. We knew my brother would get the pop gun he wanted the Christmas we heard someone playing with it. Santa always brought the presents and they were under the tree in the morning. That same year I got the doll I wanted. I would like to have had it be a girl doll but my brother said he wouldn't play with me if it wasn't a boy so I named it "Albert."

One Christmas we got up with the usual excitement but found no gifts under the tree. There was a note my dad read to us. Santa had had trouble with his reindeer and would have to deliver the gifts on foot. Sure enough! He came walking up through the orchard through the deep snow. Mama hurried and lit the candles on the tree and Papa met Santa at the door. He gave me my doll and an erector set to my brother and was distributing the gifts that came in the mail when Papa opened the door and shoved Santa headfirst out into the snow. His beard had caught on fire from the candles. We felt sure that wasn't a real Santa Claus but no one would ever tell us who he was. The hired man, I suspect. Mama didn't light candles on the tree anymore though we did put them on the branches.

Since we didn't live near a church we went to the schoolhouse on Christmas to a school play and program. Santa gave us a little bag of candy.

[The first photo above was taken in Canada when our grandmother, Nina Portfors, took her young children, Dorothy and Francis, to visit her mother. Aunt Muriel (Muriel Saunders German) holds the reins. There are only a few photos of Mother in childhood, and I have copies of only two or three. The Dobsons, by contrast, had a camera and experimented with photography.

The photo on the right is of Mother and her doll, Albert. At some point the family put items into storage, including her doll and a tea set, and then the storage facility burned. I think this happened as they were moving from Weippe to Orofino. The doll and dishes were not replaced and Mother felt that loss. You can see from the photo that she loved the doll. KW]


Hallie said...

That's so funny that g-ma named her doll "Albert"! Little sisters will do just anything...

Kathy said...

On her transcript, Mother had marked out the statement about Uncle Porkie's influence in naming the doll. I saw no harm in including it. L.J. wrote me about the erector set. Seems he has what is left of it. It seems odd that the erector set survived and the doll didn't. KW