In the fall, a catalog would come  in the mail; I

think it was a Spiegel catalog but it might have

been a Sears Roebuck catalog as well.

Avarice took over in the Schmidt household,

for my two younger brothers and myself, at


we skipped all the ads for clothing or appliances

and went directly to the pages containing toys–

for myself it was the dolls and for my two younger

brothers, it was the cap-guns-and-holster sets,

the wind-up trains, anything with Roy Rogers’ face

imprinted on it–and for myself anything that

Dale Evans was promoting.

My two younger brothers were nothing if not

predictable–every year they wanted a new cap-

gun-and-holster. A cowboy HAT was acceptable

clothing gear if Roy Rogers or Gene Autry was

promoting it.  The wind-up trains only lasted a

few months   so a new one was always on their

Christmas list.

For myself, three years older than Biff and six

years older than Billy, I always coveted whatever

doll was being advertised in the catalog. One

year it was a new-born baby doll that were in

great demand that year.  When I turned 12,  the

most coveted doll was a very tall bridesmaid doll.

My godmother, who gave me a wrist watch that year,

was astounded that I would still want a doll.

We wore out the pages of those Spiegel-or-Sears

catalogs, my younger brothers and I.  I can’t

remember if we ever actually got the toys on

our Christmas lists.  It didn’t matter–once

Christmas arrived and there were toys under

the tree–if my younger brothers got their

cap-guns-and-holsters and I got a doll, every

thing was right with the world.  I think those

catalogs disappeared with the arrival of

Christmas so it wasn’t as if we could do any


Sandra Lee Smith

originally posted March 2, 2015

Updated July 28, 2018




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