Blithe memory

My grandmother loved music
all of her life.
She wanted me to love it, too.
And so she took me to
Murphy’s Mart
(if memory is correct)
to buy a child’s chord organ.
I looked at the pretty blue instrument
and chose a doll instead.
Grandma couldn’t understand.
But you love playing my organ…
don’t you want one of your own?
At the time I didn’t have words to say
I love music but it isn’t my destiny.

The doll, called Blythe,
had eyes that changed color
when I pulled a string:
I picked her instead
of the music.

Grandma, dismayed,
bought her anyway.
It was only the beginning
of my fascination
with seeing the world
through lenses
of many colors.

Maybe it was then
that a writer
instead of a musician
was born.

Neo Blythe ‘Bohemian Peace. MissBlythe. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

I have learned, in researching my Blythe doll, that Kenner only made them for a year (1972) in the U.S. A Japanese company bought them out. An original Blythe doll is now worth a couple of thousand dollars. I don’t know what became of mine, unfortunately. My grandmother’s own glossy-wood Roxy chord organ from the 60’s, however, stands in my foyer. In the end, it’s infinitely more priceless to me.

See another good example of Blythe at

One thought on “Blithe memory

  1. Fran, your piece speaks to me; I especially like this stanza:
    “Grandma, dismayed,
    bought her anyway.
    It was only the beginning
    of my fascination
    with seeing the world
    through lenses
    of many colors.”

    I was ten in 1972, but I don’t remember the Blythe doll. I do remember the Crissy Doll that had a button you could press, and her red hair grew to different lengths. I looked up some pics of Crissy, but I didn’t want to copy them for you because of safety issues. I loved my Crissy doll. I was always combing her hair and braiding it. They kept making Crissy dolls with different colors of hair. Eventually, they made a baby Crissy, which I didn’t like. I think the reason, I was so fascinated by the Crissy doll was because she didn’t look like a baby. She looked more my age or older. Of course, her hair fascinated me too, but I remember mostly playing with her long hair. I didn’t like it short.

    The funny thing is I hadn’t remembered the Crissy doll until a friend from HS saw one at a garage sale and asked people on FB if anyone remembered Crissy. I said, yes, but only because she had a photo to jog my memory. So, I wonder if I hadn’t recently seen the Crissy doll, would I have remembered your Blythe doll?

    The more I type the name Blythe and the more I look at her, I think somewhere in my foggy brain is a memory of her. But I guess I was too busy with my Crissy doll. Hey, maybe because Crissy was so popular that’s why Blythe only lasted a year.

    Our brains and memories are so interesting.

    I’m curious did you think of your grandma first or the Blythe doll?

    Thank you for jogging my brain and your inspiration.


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