A Holiday Blast from My Past

Cathy ZielskeCZ Life42 Comments

Earlier in the week, I asked my Mom to scan a few of her old holiday photos of me and my brother from when we were little. She sent me this shot, taken in Everett, Washington, on Christmas in 1968:


And this shot, showing off our holiday loot, taken on Christmas Day the following year after we'd moved briefly to Fort Meyers, Fla.


We returned to Everett the following year, but showing you where I lived for the various Christmases of my childhood isn't the point of this post. This is:



Remember when I showed  you my attic earlier this fall? And what I found in my attic, sans spectacles?


I'm thinking I may have to bring her down and re-create some Christmas morning magic. 

So glad I tossed those glasses.

p.s. Yes, I pulled the string. Sadly, Mrs. Beasley has nothing to say after all these years. Can't really blame her. I probably wouldn't say much after spending all those years in my attic either.

Cathy ZielskeA Holiday Blast from My Past

42 Comments on “A Holiday Blast from My Past”

  1. #1

    Ahhhh….this brings back memories! I remember how much I wanted a Mrs. Beasley and how thrilled I was when I got her for Christmas. I think her glasses were a big part of the appeal for me. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. πŸ™‚

  2. #2

    We had the same toys — Mrs. Beasley and the metal dollhouse. If you had the Mrs. Beasley WITH the glasses, you’d fetch a fortune on Ebay. Sadly, my Mrs. B is gone, but I do bring out Dancerina for the holidays.

  3. #3

    Love it! My sister had a Mrs. Beasley, it was the first ever TV related toy in our house. She was awesome. My baby was a Cheerful Tearful. Aren’t dolls special?

  4. #5
    Chris Cross

    I spied Mrs. Beasley in your picture before I even read the caption below it. I had her too and loved her. Mine was lost in a flooded basement shortly after the Christmas I received her. So sad! I can still see her floating upside down in the murky water. Trauma I tell yah!

  5. #6

    I couldn’t believe my eyes there for a minute. Mrs. Beasley after all these years. Brings back childhood memories. I wish my mom would of saved mine πŸ™ Loved her!!

  6. #7

    Seeing Mrs. Bea (as we called her as kids) brought a tear to my eye. Mrs. Bea lived at Grandma’s house – often in the basement (dirt floor and all) in her special milk carton box. I have no idea what happened to Mrs. Bea, Gran has been gone 11 years and just this past year the house was torn down and a new modern monster built in it’s place. Thankfully, I have many GREAT memeory treasures of all.

  7. #8

    I know you are younger than me, but I also remember when Mrs. Beasley was popular. Cherished memories for sure!

  8. #10

    I know you love Ms. Beasley….but Cathy, she honestly freaks me out in that last picture! I’ve enjoyed all the old pics….I’m ready for v-blog from you – it’s been too long!

  9. #11
    Kim Stewart

    I have a Mrs. Beasley packed away long, long ago for the little girls that I never had (don’t think my boys would like her much!!)…now I gotta dig her out and see if she has her glasses or not!!

  10. #12

    one of the many reasons i love your blog is that YOUR flashbacks are MY flashbacks – i loved my Mrs Beasley too.
    and your ‘I HAVE NEVER’ list- i actually started a scrap page with that exact heading just last month…kinda freaky and cool all at the same time.
    Smiles, CaroleMac

  11. #13
    Carol Wehner

    Sounds like Kim Stewart and I are very lucky to still have our Mrs. Beasleys! Mine has both her glasses and her apron. The best part is that she DOES TALK!

    Anyone know how to fix flattened doll hair? She seriously needs a refresher on her “do”. lol

  12. #14
    Becky O.

    And I still have the same Mrs. Beasley! Not only is she sans glasses but missing her nose and all five digits on one hand. This is thanks to my older brother and what I would like to refer to as “The Mrs. Beasley Masacre” Apparently he didn’t enjoy the thousands of times that I pulled her little string to hear her talk. He had enough of tha, cut off her nose and fingers with scissors and stuffed her under the sofa. Horror!!! If you can believe it, my parents thought it was actually me that tortured her. *Gasp* Me hurt Mrs. Beasley? It wasn’t until about 30 years later that he actually fessed up to the incident. Thanks big bro!

  13. #15
    sue Treiber

    so funny! The doll was the first thing I noticed in the picture. I knew there was some long hidden reason that you kept her all these years!

  14. #16

    Oh my! Has anyone ever said how educational your blog is, Cathy? For those of us not from the USA (but perhaps a similar vintage) , we get fascinating glimpses into American life and culture! Until this week, I’d never heard of ‘tolo’ or ‘Sadie’ or ‘Mrs. Beasley’.! Thank-you!

  15. #17

    Mrs. Beasley brings back memories of Jodie and Buffy on Family Affair – I don’t think I had the doll, but I loved the show.

  16. #18

    I loved Mrs. Beasley but not enough to want one. She freaked me out just a little! After seeing her in your blog, I think she STILL freaks me out a little!

  17. #19

    I had a Mrs. Beasley doll! No idea where she is now. Either my parents tossed her or she’s in a box deep in storage. Blast from the past, that.

  18. #21

    My BFF had Mrs. Beasley and Thumbelina and the redhead whose hair you could pull out of the top of her head when you pressed the button on her tummy. It got shorter when you turned the wheel on her back (name, please, other 60’s babes??). I only got friend of the latter, a blond in a purple velvet dress (one of them was named Velvet). I’m feeling as deprived as I did then. Oh, I did have Chatty Cathy’s little sister Chatty Baby. Like your Mrs. Beasley, she is now mute. She last spoke on my first day of Kindergarten when my sister pulled her talking cord right out of the back of her neck as she said “Say good-bye to Chatty Baby”. (She only meant for the day, not forever. Still wish I had a picture of her face when she realized what she’d done! She cried harder than I did.) The others are right: your memories are a window onto our own. Thanks again.

  19. #22

    Her name was Chrissy, I still have my Velvet doll! Orginal purple velvet dress too. I actually have a fur coat for her that Cec Corrigal made for me in PA.

  20. #23

    Have to add, that I have so many of those photos taken with a box or brownie camera. They blow up so nicely to 5×5 for scrapbooking! I still have the camera I used back in the 60’s & 70’s to take pics! No cropping necessary!

  21. #24

    Oh, Mrs, Beasley!!! I had her too, and loved her- and a Thumbelina doll, who was my very favourite. My Mom kept them both forever, but when she died a few years ago, they disappeared after my Dad sold the house.
    Love that you have yours!

  22. #25

    Mrs. Beasley!!! My younger sister had one and, sadly, I talked her into giving Mrs. Beasley a moustache – convinced it would wipe off. Damn those Sharpies.

  23. #26

    Mrs. Beasley, I always wanted one but I came along a few years too late. πŸ™ I have some much loved Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls….I might have to pull them out for Christmas sometime.

  24. #27
    Staci Miserlian

    I have my Mrs. Beasley – same story, no glasses & she only speaks gibberish when you pull her string. What did she originally say, anyway? Wasn’t one thing “That’s nice dear”?? For some reason, I remember that. Cool photos!

  25. #28

    Oh … I had a Buffy doll (and she had her Mrs. Beasley doll). Wonder if I still have them? Wonderful memories!

  26. #29
    Margy Eastman

    Holy flashback! I think my sister had Mrs. Beasley. I remember there being one in our house, but I don’t think she was mine.

    Boy, toys were simpler then. I just spent 30 minutes in the store yesterday trying to decide which version of the Transformer Bumble Bee would be quietest, yet not so difficult that my four year old will need a PhD in physics to convert.

    I complain, but it was 30 minutes well-spent:)

  27. #32

    Oh i want to now go dig out old christmas pictures. One fond memory I still have as a child, was going to bed on Christmas eve having such a hard time going to sleep,very little under the tree, waking up christmas morning to the magic of “sants’s been to our house”!
    My parents always managed to make our Christmas wonderful. i sure miss my mom and dad. gotta go look for those pictures now. Unfortunately I don’t have anything in my attic, darn.

  28. #33
    Lisa Bracale

    ok, I was born in 66 and that doll is the creepest thing I have ever seen. I loved the show and watched it all of the time.. but never wanted that doll-it is a female version of “chucky” I can just see that thing under the bed with a knife sorry I’m glad she has nothing to say–LOL

  29. #35

    Becky, your older brother and mine could have been friends because my brother took my adored Mrs. Beasley doll from me put her down on the sidewalk and popped a wheelie on her neck, popping her head completely off! It was a truly traumatic moment for my four-year-old self. Thirty-six years later, I still haven’t forgotten it and I bring it up to him often. I think our brothers should buy us a new Mrs. Beasley to make up for their horrible cruelty.

  30. #36

    We had Mrs. Beasley too – I remember my sister wearing her glasses:)
    Thanks for a sweet reminder at Christmas!

  31. #37
    Tracy King

    MRS. BEASLEY!!!!! OMG! It has been so long! I wonder if I can find one to buy on Ebay. My precious Mrs. Beasley went everywhere with me. Thanks for making me smile today!

  32. #38
    Julie Trout


    Thanks for bringing up a fun memory that I had forgotten….I, too, owned a Mrs. Beasley doll when I was younger!

    Not sure what happened to her though….maybe she is still in my parents’ basement?!?!

    Merry Christmas!

  33. #39

    I don’t know Mrs. Beasley, but I’m glad you lost the glasses. πŸ™‚ Are you sitting by a pool in that photo? That is such a strange Christmas sight to me!

  34. #40
    Joan in Kingman

    I had two Mrs. Beasley dolls growing up. My brother ripped the arms off of the first one, so I got a new one. I still have her stashed safely somewhere sans glasses like yours. My mom found a replica Mrs. Beasley doll through Franklin Mint or some place like that a few years ago and bought a new doll for my sister, daughter and me. How fun to relive those memories!

  35. #41

    I’m late to the party, catching up on my blog reading, but couldn’t resist commenting on this one. My sister & I had Mrs. Beasley paper dolls. We found them again a few years ago in a box of stuff that was brought from our grandmother’s house (in NW Minnesota, by the way). They are probably still somewhere in my mom’s basement.

    Love your blog, Cathy!

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