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Stuffed animals and grandmothers - the answers


click picture to see larger image

Congratulations! The answers to the latest photo quiz were generally correct as far as they went - and more important, those who answered shared some interesting memories related to the photo. But none of the answers went the distance. Here's what I received in the order they came in. Following these is the full answer.

Lisa Moulton stepped up first with:

The only one I know is Nana on the right. She made me my own Winnie the Pooh which I still have today. She also made us Piglet and Kanga and Roo. I have kept them all (hidden away next to this generations - Beanie Babies). I always loved these characters from the Christopher Robin series. I think Nana sold them at the church for fundraisers.

Then came this note from Catharen Kann:

Thanks for the fun quiz. I recognize Nana Stone on the far right, though in most pictures she looks much prettier! I do not know the other women. Nana used to make Winnie the Pooh character stuffed animals, and all of us grandchildren have at least one. We also used to play with the ones around her house. I think she had her sewing stuff set up in an upstairs guest room? I do remember seeing the cloth parts cut out in animal shapes, of whatever animal she was currently making. I believe the women were selling the stuffed animals at a St. John's (of Barrington) church fair or bazaar. I do not recall Nana making Humpty Dumptys...just Winnie the Pooh characters and mice! She used to make small mice, and she would even make tiny floral dresses for them edged with white lace. They would each have a tiny basket and umbrella on their arm, and a bonnet. I still have my "Miss Mouse"!
Sarah Stubbs added some information others didn't have:
Well I know my grandmothers are flanking the ends of the picture. Amanda says she recognizes a bit of Nanny in the smile of her great grandmother. I thought that the picture was much later than the fifties as Margaret and i both received some of these animals as gifts. I hope they sold a bunch of them at the church fair!

And Owings Stone, who has a better handle on family history than any of us, wrote:

What a great photo! Of course I recognize the woman on the far right -- she particularly enjoyed stirring her ice cream until it melted and then dripping it on her tongue ... but could only do that when her ice cream loving husband had to go back to Newport Creamery for more ice cream -- he did not approve.

And I recognize 7 of the stuffed creatures on the table -- who is that
last one? (I myself have an Eeyore, a Tiger and Pooh -- I rubbed noses
with Pooh until his nose would rub off, and only Nana was allowed to
sew a new one).

And of course, this must be the Bazaar at the Red Church.

The full answer is below this repeat of the image


Ahh the Pooh stuffed animals and the Red Church Christmas Bazaar - which was held in the big hall in the upstairs of the Barrington Town Hall and wa an event Bren and I enjoyed very much as children.

Yes, that is my mother on the right, Margaret Stone, who brought joy to several generations with her stuffed animals. I may be wrong, but I think she really started with the Humpty-Dumpty you can see on the right of the table. But those were easily forgotten when the Pooh chacters came to life. As Sarah noted, the woman on the left is her other grandmother, Marion Hirst, Bren's mother, who also made the Pooh animals for sale at the bazaar. So from left to right, we have Marion Hirst, Mrs. Donald C. Johnson, Mrs. Granville G. Bennett and Margaret Stone. Mrs. Bennet was the wife of Bishop Bennett who for many years was the Episcopal Bishop of Rhode Island . The Bennett's lived in Barrington at the corner of Mathewson Road and Chapin Lane. The Johnsons lived right near the Barrington Bridge at the corner of New Meadow Road. I'm not positive, but I think her husband was one of the first teachers to fail me in French - and I do remember Bren's mother tutoring me in that subject. I was hopeless when it came to all foreign languages.

One final note - the newspaper clipping is from the Providence Journal and identifies my mother as "Mrs. W. Stone Owings." I mention that because there's a temptation to assume that news clippings are correct ;-)

This just in

Dave Manley sent me the following comment having read the above:

Thanks, Greg, for sharing the photo and all the resulting comments!

Owings has an especial fondness in his heart for his Pooh, (and Tigger and the rest). The first time I came across the animals in the closet, soon after we met long ago, I knew they were childhood treasures, but still had to ask about them.

He almost got misty telling me the story about how much he loved his Pooh bear and would rub noses with it until the felt wore off. And about how his grandmother had to replace the nose several times during Owings' childhood because he loved the bear so much. I've heard the story again every time we pull them out since then!

Thanks to all who responded. I loved reading your memories.

Posted by Greg Stone at February 7, 2005 07:49 AM
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