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American Girl Doll Maryellen Larkin Is A Sock-Hop Back Into the 1950s

American Girl Dolls are almost as appealing to adults as they are to children. I am almost the same age as Maryellen Larkin, who was about 10-years-old in 1954. In 1954, I was 4-years-old, and through Maryellen Larkin, I can reclaim parts of my own past.

Like Maryellen Larkin, I had a Poodle Skirt and I wore my hair in a ponytail. When I was a girl, I was a cheerleader, and our earliest cheerleading uniforms had big, round skirts. When we turned around, our skirts twirled in big circles. Our school dances were held in the gymnasium, and to protect the shiny floor, everyone would remove their shoes to dance. We called our dances sock hops. When I was a girl, we were allowed to leave the school grounds for lunch and my friends and I would walk a few blocks to our neighborhood diner. We would put coins into jukeboxes and play our favorite songs while we ate.

When I was a girl, I had outfits that look like Maryellen’s Play Outfit. We called the pants petal pushers. They were designed to be short enough that the hems of the pants would not get caught in our bicycle chains. In 1954, the petal pusher were a short step beyond Samantha’s bicycle bloomers that she wore in 1904.

Almost every night, I rolled my hair in curlers and regardless of how uncomfortable that the whole affair was, I slept in curlers all night long. Maryellen’s curlers are Spoolies. They were made of a soft vinyl. After I twisted my wet hair around spoolies, I snapped the spoolies shut, and you slept like that all night long.

American Girl Dolls are almost as appealing to adults as they are to children. I am almost the same age as Maryellen Larkin, who was about 10-years-old in 1954. In 1954, I was 4-years-old, and through Maryellen Larkin, I can reclaim parts of my own past.

Over and again, I praise the American Girl Doll Company for the way that it makes history real for children of today. I have said this many times before, but I believe that everyone should have a doll of her own. I have a Maryellen Larkin doll and for many reasons, I love her, but I know that my primary reason for loving Maryellen Larkin is that she takes me back to my own childhood. She helps me recover a piece of my past.

Like Maryellen Larkin, I had a Poodle Skirt and I wore my hair in a ponytail. When I was a girl, I was a cheerleader, and our earliest cheerleading uniforms had big, round skirts. When we turned around, our skirts twirled in big circles. Our school dances were held in the gymnasium, and to protect the shiny floor, everyone would remove their shoes to dance. We called our dances sock hops. When I was a girl, we were allowed to leave the school grounds for lunch and my friends and I would walk a few blocks to our neighborhood diner. We would put coins into jukeboxes and play our favorite songs while we ate.

When I was a girl, I had outfits that look like Maryellen’s Play Outfit. We called the pants petal pushers. They were designed to be short enough that the hems of the pants would not get caught in our bicycle chains. In 1954, the petal pusher were a short step beyond Samantha’s bicycle bloomers that she wore in 1904.

©Jacki Kellum March 26, 2017