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From the monthly archives: December 2009

When fashion returned with a vengeance after World War II, women who had scaled back on their clothing during the war years now wanted what they saw in the major fashion magazines. Louis and Esther Ringler were happy to guide their customers in replenishing their closets. In the early 1950s, they put their name on the store and the old motto was revised: “Exclusive and maybe a bit Expensive.”

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Mama Muriel’s Doll Museum

On December 25, 2009 By

Dolls of all types imaginable wait in glass cases to catch your eye. Then, out of all the painted faces, you spy a certain doll, one just like a favorite you played with as a child, or one you desperately wanted but did not have, and memories long buried deep come flooding back.

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That’s the Ticket

On December 21, 2009 By

The most unusual thing was on Crockett Street. I went to mark the tires, and there weren’t any. It was sitting on cement blocks. Later I found out that the driver was renting the tires and had had them repossessed. I kind of laughed, because I was like, I know someone is watching me right now, thinking “Is she going to mark the rims?” Shoot, I thought, I’ll give this driver a break.

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The Doll Maker

On December 20, 2009 By

Dorothy Hayes’ home is a one-woman doll factory. Hayes shares her house with grandchildren, great-grandchildren and at least 250 dolls.

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There is a wire-mesh business-card holder on Brad Underwood’s desk in his office at the TAPS headquarters in Sherman. The cards in the holder face Underwood’s chair. “Most of the people who come in here already know who I am,” he said. The real purpose of the holder is to support a button attached to the back, facing the visitor. It reads, “But we’ve always done it this way,” in the middle of a circle with a slash, the international shorthand for “don’t.”

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Cabbage and kale—sounds good, but these plants are not for eating. They are ornamentals, and along with a wide variety of other bedding plants just getting started, they are the Wilson’s crop. These and the pansies. Yup, pansies. Right now they have greenhouses full of pansies just waiting to find a new winter home. “Pansies are tough,” Wilson said. “They like the cold.” Perhaps it’s time to reconsider the little flower’s image.

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The Simple Life

On December 3, 2009 By

Toddling off to bed was an important part of the simple life, as one usually got up before dawn to start a fire and haul water from the crick for the morning latte. Bed is also important for filling the otherwise endless space between dusk and dawn when nothing much is going on anyway, and you couldn’t see it if it was, what with burning brands not giving off all that much illumination.

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