One fall day in 1939, my father asked me what kind of dollhouse I wanted. I lived in the Bradenton Trailer Park in Florida, and our tight quarters didn’t allow for a lot of toys. Not knowing any better, I answered, “One like I live in, a trailer.”
Every December, I joined a group of carolers who sang around the trailer park. When it was time to leave, my father said I had to accompany him to pick up a package from my grandfather. When I arrived, people were standing around in a circle. Mr. Broyler, the manager of the park, told the people to stand aside.
The crowd separated, and there before me was my dream dollhouse, the trailer. Mr. Broyler took my hand and said, “Merry Christmas, Dorothy.”
When the residents heard my dad was making a dollhouse, they gave all they could.
A silversmith made a knife, fork, and spoon. A metalworker made me a copper bucket to keep under the tiny kitchen sink. One lady had the inlaid mirror, brush, and comb removed from her charm bracelet. And other women made rugs, curtains, and doilies out of rags.
I’m 82 now, and I can’t look at my trailer without thinking of those who made it possible.