My maternal grandmother, Helen Rowe Bergtrom, died on Sunday at the age of 96. Grandma Helen was not only a talented painter (my readers may recall that I used to have her self-portrait as my blog's image), but also a gifted seamstress: she quilted, she embroidered, and she made dolls. I'll post some of her watercolors next week. Today, though, I've put up some images of two Victorian dolls she made approximately thirty years ago for my sister and me.
A few years ago, I had the dolls restored at a local doll's hospital. This one required only minor work (loose stitching repaired and the yarn wig retucked).
The hairstyle is fairly elaborate:
The dolls even have (handsewn) corsets...
The second doll's silk skirt had to be almost entirely restored (the floral pattern is the original cloth).
Feeling done up after a week of teaching? I recommend a dose of the Nicholas Brothers. Specifically, "Jumpin' Jive," with an assist from Cab Calloway (Stormy Weather, 1943):
Tap dancers, of course, can often work well into their sixties...and later. Harold Nicholas crops up again in the challenge dance from Tap--46 years later, when he was nearing seventy. In tapping order: Arthur Duncan; Bunny Briggs; Jimmy Slyde; Steve Condos (of the Condos Brothers); Harold Nicholas; Howard "Sandman" Sims; Sammy Davis, Jr.; Gregory Hines. The kid watching them is a very young Savion Glover.
To my knowledge, this is the only musical theater song about a problem of historiography. The performers (in order of appearance) are Mako, James Dybas, Gedde Watanabe, and Mark Hsu Syers. This is about as Sondheimesque as Sondheim gets; if you need help with the lyrics, see here.