In Which We Decide to Rehabilitate a Tiny Comrade

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In the process of walking through the Grand and Giant Aventure, (since in our case this involves completely changing two careers and them moving across the country), we’re throwing out or giving away or selling lots and lots of stuff.  Lots.  But we’re also salvaging items from the past that we want to take with us on the next stage of the journey.  And some of these things need to be rehabilitated.  Such as Teddy, whom you see above.  (There will probably be a blog post about Emily, the 1860 china head doll who needs new kid arms, but that’s a later post.)

Teddy is unlabeled, so I don’t know where he was made or by whom.  He was bought new in what must have been 1957, when, as a tiny child, I was having the last of several eye operations.  My grandparents bought him, and I remember seeing him at the end of the crib when I came out of the anesthesia, and asking him to be moved out of the crib (along with an excellent new book I’d been given), so that I didn’t throw up on him.  The anesthesia, you see.

And then he was my best friend for many years.  And then I grew up.  And he went with me, but eventually he was put in a drawer.  Where.  The moths.  Got him.

I had a total fit when I discovered this.  I knew I couldn’t fix him myself.  I just do not have enough sewing skill.  I put him in a plastic bag, and in the freezer for a while, to kill off the insects.  And then in a special drawer.  Kept thinking I should throw him out.  Never could.  Now it’s time to deal with him.

And now I want him rehabilitated, as much as possible; I  know he won’t look like he did 55 years ago.  But he needs some surgery.  I think he’ll be fine with this, given his very early experience of successful surgery.  Mine, I mean.  And I don’t expect him to have issues with the throwing up part.

Excellent!  No problem!  This can be done! There are many many teddy bear repair specialists.  Many.  One even in Pittsburgh!  Yay!  This should be simple!

No.  No, it is not.

Teddy is made out of sheepskin, and nobody wants to work on sheepskin, because it shatters with age and can’t be sewn.  (Laura points out that this is hardly his fault, and that the teddy bear doctors should not hold such prejudices against bears, just because of the circumstances of their birth.  She has a point, but as a former seamstress, I gotta agree about the problems with the ancient sheepskin.)

Should we give up?

No!  No, because if you google you can find that there is somebody out there on the planet who actually says that they specialize in sheepskin teddies. One somebody, as far as I can tell.

We’ve put a call in to the specialist — well, an email, really — and are waiting to hear back.  And if the diagnosis is favorable, we’re putting Teddy on a plane and shipping him to Wales.

Laura says it’s a shame we can’t afford to buy him his own little plane seat.  But I think that a nicely packed box will do well enough, especially given how long he lived in the drawer.  And he’s looking pretty zombie-like at the moment.   We don’t want to upset the plane personnel.

But if the faithful comrades want to go on the Aventure, it’s pretty important to get them healthy enough to make the trip.

4 Replies on “In Which We Decide to Rehabilitate a Tiny Comrade

  1. Of course Teddy must be made whole! A first-class seat for the Atlantic crossing would be best, but given his Spartan past a modestly comfortable box should be fine with him. Maybe with an excellent new book.