My Old Teddy Bears

Fannie's scraps and antique toys 087When I moved into this house 25 years ago I had a ton of old toys. I wall papered the front bedroom double door closet and put shelves up. I had decorated with old toys in my old house, but didn’t want to have them out here. I had a wicker stroller, a wicker doll carriage, a wooden wagon, a wooden rocking horse, lots of old toys, dolls, teddy bears and clowns. When I cleaned out the house I got rid of 90% of what was in the closet. My grandchildren never saw the closet and it’s contents. I didn’t start out collecting toys I found great bargains, a lot were gifts from school kids, and some were just because I liked them. When I was taking pictures for the last post I went looking for the bears. They were packed in 2 big boxes in the storage. I had forgotten what I had and am glad I did. Teddy Bears 1 The first one is an antique from Joe Welter’s antique shop. he told he it was his wife’s Maxine Welter. Mrs. Welter was a teacher at HS for years. We worked together and she was a blast to be around. The second big and little bears are hand-made. The third antique looking pandas are new bears made to look old. Teddy Bears 2The bear with the hat was one I gave my grandmother in her nursing home. She had it for years sitting in her living area. She said she didn’t feel alone with it there across the room. The big patch work bear was a gift from Ms. D and the thespians for making the costumes for the Musical “Lil Abner.” Everythng had patches on it. The bear walking the dog was a gift from Ms. D when I got Lucas The Tail-less Wonder Dog. The white bear was so neat and unusual, because of the knitted hat and dress. it reminded me of all the sweaters that Mama has made us through the years.Teddy bears 3  The boy and girl Christmas bears I use decorating at Christmas. I threw Miss Piggy in, because the year I got it, it was one of the hot items for Christmas. The big brown and yellow bear was a gift at Christmas in 1968 or 1969. Written on the ribbon is: “From Shara, Ann, Virginia, Eileen, and Emma,”  five of my Forrest City high school friends. When we were little I was constantly sick with sinus and allergies. The doctors told my parents to get rid of all stuffed animals out of our room, because they were dust catchers and some back then were stuffed with horse hair. I watched my parents burn all our animals in the big burn can out by the chicken house. I’ll never forget it. I guess  that’s why I still  cling to these.

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About Jim Gatling

Artist: primitive watercolors, colored pencil. Quilter: Original designs, Scrap quilts. Craftsman: Woodburning, Recycling Teacher: Retired MHS, SHCS K-12 Part Time. Collector: Antiques, Quilts, Glass, Buttons, Petit Point, Needlepoint, Hankies, Figural Perfume Bottles. Son, Father, Grandfather, Neighbor, Friend.
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5 Responses to My Old Teddy Bears

  1. Yan says:

    Hi Jim,

    I think I have the same teddy bear as the first one with the blue ribbon you bought in the antique shop. I have been wondering where it is from and how old it is. I see that you know the person it once belonged to. Do you know?

    I found mine in Milan, Italy about ten years ago in an Estate Sale and been wondering since. On and off I have searched for more information. So this bear might be American made? So surprised.

    Thanks!

    • Jim Gatling says:

      Those bears could have been made here or over sea. don’t do much research.
      Yes, I did know the woman that owned it. She taught school with me.

      • Yan says:

        Interesting.. I suppose she has passed. Do you know when it happened? How old she was? It would be cool to date the bear.

      • Jim Gatling says:

        oH, she was in her 60’s when I met her 40 years ago.
        She was born in the 20’s
        She died on Christmas day 10-15 years ago.
        She was in her 80’s. Her husband died way before that.

      • Yan says:

        Interesting.. I suppose she has passed. Do you know when it happened? How old she was? It would be cool to date the bear.

        Do u think her husband will talk to me abecause I am so interested?

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