Guest blogger is C.J. Garriott (Gail Lee Martin’s little sister).
1930s & 1940s Memories from Gail’s Little Sis
Carol Jean McGhee, December 1947
Cj Garriott – “Playing paper dolls was a winter day activity on the Kansas prairie in the 1930s and 1940s. I cut pictures from a clothing catalog, finding first the “dolls” I liked, usually making a family (mother, father, myself and sisters) then adding a couple of playmates. Aunt, uncles, and cousins often got represented also. Usually, I could find a dog and a cat or two in a magazine to cut out and add to my imaginary world.
I would then look for outfits that would fit over my dolls. Sometimes the doll I liked had clothing that needed to be trimmed down, in order for other outfits to fit over satisfactorily. Mother showed me how to make tabs on the shoulders of clothing so they would stay on the doll.
I kept them in pages of books (which we always had a lot of), keeping them unwrinkled. Daddy would round up heavy paper envelopes that had come in the mail on which we would paste my dolls.”
“After I was married, I saved the Betsy McCall paper doll pages for nieces.”
Betsy McCall goes to the country paper doll magazine page 1954View DetailsBetsy McCall’s flower garden paper doll magazine page 1954View DetailsBetsy McCall rolls Easter eggs paper doll magazine page 1954View DetailsBetsy McCall, Print advertisement. 60’s Color IllustrationView DetailsBetsy McCall cut outs, 50s Color Illustration, print artView DetailsBetsy McCall Patterns, 50’s Print Ad. Full page Color Illustration (Betsy McCall finds a surprise) Original Vintage 1953View Details
Originally published on Hubpages in Nostalgia for Paper Dolls.
In 2011, Gail’s sister, CJ Garriott wrote this:
I’ve been having the most fun sorting a box of old photos! Found this shot of a teenaged Carol, posing in the ruins of something. I vaguely remembered going on a trip with the folks, “to the Southeast,” which in my today mindset, would be something like Alabama or Georgia. Got to thinking, with my view of the world at the age of 16 or so, the “southeast” could be Missouri or Arkansas! So, I set to googling “ruins” in Arkansas or Missouri and found Ha Ha Tonka Castle ruins in Missouri, much more likely a trip destination for us in the late 1940s.
Here is what I found, and this could very well be the “ruins” Daddy photographed me standing in, with a nice juxtaposition of my summery white polka-dotted dress amidst rocky ruins.
Lots of photos of the park on that site and also on this article
Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots. Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle built by a prominent Kansas City businessman high atop a bluff.
The Ha Ha Tonka Castle was started by Robert McClure Snyder Sr in 1905. He was killed in an auto accident in 1906 and the castle was completed by his sons Robert Jr., LeRoy, and Kenneth in the late 20s. The master architect, Adrian Van Brunt from Kansas City, designed the three-and-a-half story masterpiece. A central hallway rose to the height of the building. An enormous 80-foot-tall water tower, a stone stable, and nine greenhouses were ultimately constructed on the estate. The stone and timber originated locally.
In 1942 disaster struck – sparks from a fireplace ignited the roof and within hours the huge castle was completely gutted. The remains of the estate now stand stark and lonely at the edge of the cliff, a blackened remnant of one man’s great dream.
The State of Missouri purchased the estate in 1978 and opened it to the public as a State Park. Ha Ha Tonka is about five miles southwest of Camdenton and comprises nearly 2400 acres on the Nangua Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks
Maybe I can inspire a niece or two to accompany me on a trip to this area some crisply cool autumn!
This photo was shared on Facebook by a cousin (his mom is the middle person in the picture, Melba Harlan).
The McGhee sisters – Carol, Melba, and Gail
CJ Garriott – I have no idea who’s dogs, names; I would suppose it was our yard. Never saw this photo before! Pretty much no memories from this age.
However, after studying on the locale, this may be the lease northeast of Madison, where we lived when I went to first grade in Madison. Then we moved to the lease where I attended Seeley School until mid-6th grade when we moved to the farm. I don’t remember us having more than one dog at a time.
I do remember Gail and me going into the Madison school, she would go up the stairs to the 2nd floor, and I would go down the hall to my 1st-grade room. I would look back, Gail would wave, and I would then continue, comforted that she would be there when it was time to go home.
Bob Harlan – Our best guess judging by other photos around this one is 1938 or 39.
(Gail would have been 14 or 15, Melba would have been 18 or 19, Carol would have been 4 or 5)
My aunt, CJ Garriott is our guest blogger for today. She is Gail Lee Martin’s youngest sister. She’s sharing memories that were triggered by an internet questionnaire.
Well, what can I say? I’m older than dirt! A few I didn’t experience: Milk was not delivered to our house because we always had cows! and as for ice, we lived in company housing, and had electricity and refrigerators by the time I was in 1st grade, long before farmers and others did. I DO remember the day we got an inside bathroom (when I was in high school), and no longer had to use the outhouse. I thought we had truly arrived.
In looking back, I’ve realized how good we had it in the Depression Years. I was born in 1934, and my Daddy not only had a job (oilfield pumper), he had a job that came with a house! We always had cows, chickens, and a big garden. We bought baby chickens that we had to collect from the post office, and when they were fryer size, Mother “harvested” them, and froze them in cardboard cartons filled with water. Never had freezer burn; always tasted fresh.
My oldest sister bought block ice for their icebox. I don’t remember if Gail did that too, or if they had electricity when she married?
All this certainly brings back memories–since we lived in a rural area, we weren’t able to have newspapers delivered. This doesn’t mention listening to the radio–I hurried home from school to turn on the radio and listen to Tom Mix and The Shadow Knows. And we had (and used) a record player that you cranked! Enjoy this trip down long-ago memory lane! CJ/Carol
My aunt, CJ Garriott, was quite young when Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. She still remembers that day.
I was 7 years old when Pearl Harbor was attacked; Mother & Daddy were listening to the radio. I didn’t understand exactly what had happened, but somebody, I didn’t know who (the “Japanese”? Did they live in KS?) had done something really, really bad to Americans.
I was very scared, and went out, got my cat, went to my bedroom, and got under the bed. I was afraid they were coming to our house.
She was 10 years younger than my mom, Gail. I have several posts about Gail McGhee’s wartime experiences.
Radio from the World War II era.
I’m the keeper of the family photos now since my mother died. I need to add the stories to them before it is time to pass them along to the next generation.
Three of the people in this 1971 photo are already gone. Remaining are my sister, brother and me. We are all in our sixties now. Some forty years have passed since we were standing here for this Christmas picture. We were just in our twenties then and our parents were in their forties.
Little did we dream that Shannon would die before my parents. She is so young in this picture, the baby of the family.
My brother, so handsome and vital in this photo is now in a nursing home. He had a stroke and must use a wheelchair. Just thinking of how restricted his life has become due to health issues makes me sad.
My sister, in the blue sweater, has moved to another state. She’s made a new life there and enjoying exploring new territory. In this photo, she was still in college and so was I. I’m the one in navy blue. Yes, back then I had red hair.
Two of our sisters aren’t in this photo. I’m sure they were there for the family gathering.
Little did we know the paths that our lives would take. Maybe it is best that we don’t know.
(post originally published on Bubblews – by Virginia Allain)