My friend and professor Clare Goldfarb published a beautiful piece in Lilith that involves two of my favorite topics: memory and family history. If you recall, I reviewed her novel She Blinked here. You can read “Material Culture: The Samovar” here. I love how it focuses on an object to talk about family and history. Just gorgeous.
That would make a good writing prompt: write about a family heirloom.
I’m working on the Flash Essay course I’m taking right now, but in my research for essay #2, I found this interesting newspaper article from July 9, 1920. Look below the lake commerce article for that tiny article that begins “Seven Babies.”
When I first read this report, I took it at its word: that there were seven babies that had been killed or kidnaped. They even clarified in the headline, although they tried to disguise it. I can just hear the argument.
“You can’t leave it so readers think these were real babies.”
“But it makes for better newspaper sales!”
“Put Kewpies in the headline!”
Grumble grumble. I’ll put it in, but in a way that fast readers won’t pay attention and will still think it’s 7 dead babies.
Haha. Is that all this woman can write about: dolls, cats, and birds?!
Speaking as a doll collector, I can tell you that Kewpies are very popular collector items, and I think this stash of 1920 dolls would be a hit today with the right person. You can click through the following photo to the blogger who posted about her aunt’s kewpie collection a few years ago. It’s full of cute Kewpie photos, and, yes, you can find a real baby in the mix (though not in this exact photo)!