Tuesday, May 1, 2018

In Loving Memory of Yvonne Peters


I became acquainted with Yvonne Peters, a fellow doll lover, after she was informed in 2009 by her local library of my first book, The Definitive Guide to Collecting Black Dolls.  Our first contact was through snail mail.  Somehow (perhaps through the book), she found my P.O. Box mailing address and wrote me the first of what would be several letters (all of which I still have).  We eventually began communicating through email, by phone, and later by text.  At the time we "met," I had already written my second book (which she purchased from me after learning about it), and I was already writing my third, The Doll Blogs:  When Dolls Speak, I Listen.  In this book, dolls from my collection were "allowed" to take the reader on an imaginative voyage by blogging their experiences of being part of my collection.

In June of 2009, after having read in my first book about my past doll dyeing attempts, Yvonne sent me a white Cabbage Patch doll to dye brown and add to my collection. 

I did dye the doll, named him Peter, and allowed him to "blog" his experience in my third book, too.  Peter's three recorded entries in The Doll Blogs are shared below:


Thursday, June 18, 2009

I arrived today from Obetz, Ohio as an unexpected gift for Debbie from Yvonne Peters, a doll collector.  Ms. Peters recently purchased a copy of Debbie’s second book and a backup copy of her first book.  Since then, she has sent correspondence to Debbie on several occasions, to which Debbie replied.  Debbie also sent Ms. Peters information on doll magazine subscriptions to help her locate dolls and stay up to date on new dolls.  As a gesture of her appreciation for the time Debbie took to answer her letters, Ms. Peters wanted to send Debbie a gift. 

After purchasing dolls from a person selling CPK dolls in her area, Ms. Peters decided to send me to Debbie with the thought that Debbie could dye me black.  She read about dyeing dolls in Debbie’s second book.   Even though she no longer dyes dolls, Debbie thought it was very nice of Ms. Peters to send me to her.  After showing me to her husband and explaining to him why I was sent to her, Mr. G. suggested, and Debbie agreed, that she should dye me to deepen my complexion and send me back to Ms. Peters.  So as soon as time permits, that is what Debbie plans to do.  In the meantime, she took a before picture of me to remind her of what I looked like before my dye bath.  Debbie named me “Peter.”


CPK Peter Peters

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today is Father’s Day.  After Debbie took her mom to the fire department to have her blood pressure checked and discovered it was normal (and that it was her blood pressure monitor that needed new batteries that caused the high readings), she went to a dollar store before returning home.  At the dollar store, she purchased a small waste basket to use for my dye bath.  After boiling water in two large boilers and allowing it to cool for a few minutes, she poured the water in the wastebasket, which had been placed on top of a piece of newspaper.  Cocoa Brown Rit dye and salt were added to the water and stirred with a metal spoon until all the powdered dye dissolved.  I was submerged in the dye bath for several minutes.  It’s times like this that I’m glad I’m a doll!  My pink body immediately began to turn a tan color.  My vinyl did too.  After several minutes in the dye bath, my color failed to deepen further.  So Debbie removed me from the water, added dark brown dye to the water and mixed it with the spoon.  I was dipped back into the water and immediately began to turn a darker shade of brown.  After achieving the desired color, Debbie removed me from the dye bath, squeezed the excess water from my cloth body, and placed me on top of a large plastic trash bag to dry out.  Debbie noticed a few imperfections on my face and head where the vinyl did not dye evenly.  She thinks this may be from a buildup of something used to clean my vinyl.  She may try to paint these areas, apply another cover-up, or just leave them as is and call them my birthmarks.  J  After I’m all dried out, the plan is to redress me and mail me back to Ms. Peters.  We hope she likes me.



CPK Peter Peters

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Debbie decided to paint me from head to toe because the dye bath did not give me an even complexion.   She used Spice Brown acrylic paint.  After the paint dried, she darkened my blue eyes with a brown Sharpie marker.  The marker was also used to darken by original blonde hair color.  She trimmed my hair, too.  Then she applied a layer of varnish to my vinyl head.  After that dried, she used spray matte gloss for my cloth body, arms, and legs.   I was allowed to dry one final time before she dressed me in my yellow and white romper, yellow socks, and white cap.  This whole process lasted a week.  I am all ready to make a trip back to Obetz, Ohio to join Ms. Peters and the other dolls in her collection.  Debbie will include a note to Ms. Peters explaining why I am being returned. 


CPK Peter Peters


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Yvonne was indeed surprised to have Peter return to her and readily incorporated him into her collection.  I recently asked about Peter, "Do you still have him?"  She said, "Yes."  Our nine-year long-distance friendship blossomed through our shared love of dolls and her love of learning and reading about vintage-to-modern black dolls.  Last week I learned that my dear friend, a God-fearing woman who constantly gave thanks to God for his grace and mercy, who was always cheerful in spite of several long-term illnesses, who never hesitated to lift me up in prayer when I requested and even when I did not, and for whom I prayed the answer (that she would be healed), is now resting peacefully, suffering no more. 

I will truly miss Yvonne but find comfort in knowing that she is now truly healed from all physical illness, pain, and suffering. 

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11 comments:

  1. So sorry for your loss! It is wonderful, though, the people we get to know because of this hobby. I can tell your lives were both enriched by becoming friends.

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    1. Thank you, Phyllis. I just read 2 of the typewritten letters (stored on my system) that I wrote Yvonne after our initial contact. I have a total of 13 letters saved. She was eager to learn as much as she could about doll collecting and I was a willing teacher. :-)

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  2. This is a beautiful story, Debbie. It is amazing how you two connected sight unseen and had a long term, long distance friendship. Truly amazing. May your friend Rest In Peace.

    Peter turned out perfect by the way.

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    1. Yes, dolls have the power to connect souls, sight unseen. Even though she was ill when we first met and I was well informed of all the battles she fought, it still seems surreal that she's gone. Losing people really puts thinks in perspective. It's a wakeup call to live life to the fullest and enjoy every waking minute.

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  3. My condolences on the loss of your friend. You've given her a lovely tribute.

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  4. My condolences to you on the loss of your friend. This is indeed a beautiful tribute to her.

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