Thursday, April 27, 2017

One Thing Leads to Another

As you may recall from my April 18th post, I purchased a Shirley Temple doll at an estate sale thinking I'd use it for a presentation about her life at an upcoming tea at Shore Pointe Assisted Living Facility, in hopes the residents will all remember her with fondness.

Turns out the tea will be May 7th - only 10 days away.  Yikes!  This month's tea is scheduled before Mother's Day. Shirley Temple Black is well suited for a pre-Mother's Day program since she's the mother of three children, and her own mother, Gertrude Amelia Krieger Temple, was the impetus behind her stardom.

Upon purchasing the doll, I promptly ordered three books from Amazon about Shirley Temple, and they all arrived on the same day.  I decided to begin with the autobiography [copyright 1988]. Since Shirley was the author, I knew I could depend on its accuracy. I started the book this past Monday while sitting in the hospital waiting room during my daughter's medical procedure.

Early on in the book Shirley revealed that the cute little "spit curl" by the side of her face [visible on the doll above] was an ingenious, spontaneous reaction of her mother's when the energetic three-year-old tumbled down the steps of the studio commissary onto red-brick pavement, hitting her head just minutes before filming was to begin.  Even though treated with ice, the bump quickly swelled, so her mother pulled one of her loose curls across the bump and plastered it down as a spit curl. 

Laying my book aside for a couple of days for other commitments, I plunged back into the book today.  I've been perched at my computer desk reading through breakfast and lunch with copious amounts of hot tea to keep me going.  Below is lunch with left-over bean soup from Tuesday's Bible study, and my book opened to page 106 of a 548 page book! Book reading will most likely preempt a few blog posts - just sayin' so you'll understand.

Shirley Temple was born in 1928, seven years after my mother was born, so she was more a prodigy of her time than mine, but I find her very fascinating.

She passed away in 2014 at age 85, but her official website is alive and well.  Every year my kids ask what they can give me for Mother's Day, so I instructed Jerry to tell them a collective gift of the Shirley Temple Collection which consists of 18 of her films from 1934-1940, selling for $69.98.  I'm sure four-year-old granddaughter, Ellie, will enjoy watching them with me, and if I'm lucky Isabella might enjoy seeing them too. 

I've also placed an E-bay bid on a Shirley Temple "breakfast set" of three dishes - a cereal bowl, glass and pitcher made of blue Depression Glass by Hazel Atlas.  If I win the bid it will be a great visual for my presentation, along with the doll.  In the book, Shirley stated her face was a useful merchandising tool, and General Mills Corp. obtained a license to stencil her image on cobalt blue pitchers, mugs, bowls, and plates to be given away as a box-top premium with Wheaties breakfast food.  A sure-fire way to get children to drink more milk and eat their Wheaties!  Now they're highly collectible!

The inside flap of the book cover said there was something magical about Shirley Temple that cheered the soul of America during the Great Depression.  She was the number one movie star of the nation for four years in a row [1935-1938].  Her adorable spirit charmed everyone in the country from President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt right on down to everyday citizens. The President stated that at a time when American spirit was lower than at any other time, it was splendid that for just .15 cents people could go to a movie and look at Shirley's cute smiling face and forget their troubles, if only temporarily.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if Hollywood produced wholesome, upright, inspiring icons like that today?  Dream on!

And that non-alcoholic Shirley Temple beverage I mentioned in my previous post... Shirley stated that when adult Shirley Temple cocktails became popular, the non-alcoholic sugary concoctions of grenadine syrup, fruit juices and soda water topped with a maraschino cherry were devised to occupy children while adults imbibed their more powerful drinks.  Shirley's mother strongly objected to both, because the cocktails linked her daughter's name to alcoholic beverages and the ill-effects associated with them, and the non-alcoholic versions contributed to children's cavities! Maybe it's not a good idea to serve the non-alcoholic version to the residents at the assisted living facility after all!  ;-)

Amazingly, my intrigue with Shirley Temple all began with a doll bearing her image purchased at an estate sale!  Now books and possibly dishes have been added, and who knows what else might join the collection.  

Signing off to go put the electric kettle on for another cup of tea, then back to my book reading.  


  1. Oh this is soooooooooo interesting! You are going to be fine - golly I have already learned all sorts of stuff and you are just getting started.

    And my vote is that you absolutely must serve Shirley Temples to drink - my word - it's just too perfect not to, seriously. I loved those as a kid. I took ballet for ten years with a good friend who was a wealthy only child. My mom and her parents did an every-other-week sharing of the half hour ride to our class. Near there was the best restaurant in our area that her folks inevitably wanted to take us to after class. (In our little ballet outfits, no less.) I will never forget my first ST drink was there. : - ) What a neat memory I'd forgotten! My FAV part of it was the attached high-priced dreamy boutique with a section of collectables every girl dreams of having - loved that place! ♥

  2. just saw these too - great price on the pitcher but I didn't look to see shipping cost - I just searched ebay for shirley temple blue glass, or you can cut and paste the safe link below:

  3. I hope you win your bid on the glass pieces! I'd serve the Shirley Temple drink and not worry at all about cavities. That's what toothbrushes are for. :-) Enjoy the books and your program preparation.


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