Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Doll with Wavy Red Hair

Each week Gary goes to the flea market hoping to sell a few items. When Gary returns home I ask him how he's done. Some days he says he did pretty good, other days he says it wasn't worth going. Today he made $6 but the booth cost him $12. What keeps Gary taking items to sell at the flea markets week after week are the people he meets. I can't wait for Gary to get home to tell me about the man, the woman, the child, the couple, or the family he met that day. There's a beautiful story contained in every person and I crave hearing those stories. The stories about my fellow man, about the human struggle he relays to me each day. There's a kind of companionship in knowing there are others who are the same as oneself. Other's who experience and feel the same things, who struggle the same struggles, people we feel a kinship with.

I told Gary he should write a book about all these people but Gary said he can't write. Gary's talents lie in talking to the people. Somehow Gary has the ability to get folks to feel free enough to tell their story to him. He in turn comes home and tells me the oral history of the day. I in turn wonder how I can do justice to their stories.

Across from Gary today was a family of four, a mother, a father, and two developmentally challenged girls. I might add the girls were adults. The family didn't sell anything all day long, not a thing. They were there all day sitting in the hot sun and keeping a stiff upper lip so to speak. Anyway, the guy next to them didn't sell anything all day long either, some days are like that. Usually towards the end of the month. Folks have run out of their monthly income by that time. During the day one of the girls took a liking to a doll the guy next to them had for sale. She cuddled and hugged that doll all day long. Gary said the doll was about two feet tall and had long wavy red hair. At the end of the day the guy who didn't sell anything went up to the parents and said he wanted their daughter to have the doll. The daughter was ecstatic.

When Gary came home and told me this story, I cried. I cried at the kindness and beauty of mankind. Gary said he asked the girl what she was going to name the doll. She said she didn't know yet, she'd wait till she brought the doll home. She said she'd see how the doll got along with her other dolls and then she'd know her name. The mother told Gary her daughter had lots of dolls, maybe too many.

Week after week Gary tells me about the people he meets. I wish, I only wish I could somehow help them all, but unable and failing that, I hope to be able to tell their story. I was going to call this story, A Story Waiting to be Told. But maybe that's the title to a book, Stories Waiting to be Told, and this is but one short story within that book. I have other's; Gary has others. Should I tell them here? Maybe a publisher will discover one and offer me a book deal. Ha. For now, Gary will keep going to the flea market because he likes it, and I will keep writing because I like it. Thanks for reading and for all your comments.


  1. Hello Linda:
    It must, at times, be a little depressing to spend a day at the market and not to cover the costs. But, as you suggest, you can never be certain what might happen and, like Gary, we should enjoy meeting the people and, indeed, making up stories about them.

  2. Hi Jane and Lance, thanks, yes sometimes it's depressing I think but more to me than Gary he just enjoys being there and talking with the people but when I have a task at hand and am not successful it would get me down so best he goes and comes and tells me a story and I stay here and make something in clay and then a nice dinner.

  3. It sounds like the treasures from the flea market are not all material. When one comes home a little richer of spirit it has been a good day.

  4. Hi Lori, thanks, you are right richer in spirit I couldn't have said it better.

  5. I would love to hear more of Gary's stories. We all need day brighteners and it sounds like he has a lot of them!

  6. Hi Ms. Sparrow, thanks, yes Gary has lots of stories and you are right we all need our days brightened that's for sure.

  7. Wonderful story Linda. Very sweet. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Sounds to me as though you make a great team. I'd love to know what she named her doll!

  9. That was a really nice man that gave her the doll. It is so nice to see people behaving in a way that makes us proud to be human. Makes us for a while forget the cruel headlines.
    Have you thought of digital publishing? Half the books I read are digital books that were published through Amazon. Or how about sending the stories to Chicken Soup for the Soul.
    Till then,please keep printing them here for our enjoyment.

  10. Hi Ronna, thanks, some folks are amazing that's for sure.

    Hi Elaine, thanks, maybe Gary will find out next time he goes what the dolls name is, that would be cool.

    Hi Patti, thanks, I'll check into sending them to some magazine or publishers or something don't want to get into the self publishing so as not to spread myself too thin.


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