The year: 1959.
The place: The New York Toy Show.
The Barbie Doll Debut……….
And the rest is History.

That’s the formal Barbie story…here’s the Kelly household Barbie story.

WARNING:  Long post ahead, however, it’s funny – grab a cup-o-joe, take a deep breath and read on!

Once upon a time a very young couple found themselves very busily raising 3 wonderful daughters.  As their [then] little girls began to develop the traditional fascination most little girls have with Barbie Dolls, their house began to fill up with thousands of pieces of Barbie-Doll-Ness.  From little itty bitty high heeled shoes, barrettes, clothing items, combs, brushes, and even little pet figures, to the actual Barbie Doll (and Ken Dolls) the very busy young couple would cringe and mutter under their breath whenever they had to help their little girls find a precious lost little itty bitty barrette or shoe….  Enter into this beautiful wonderland two very sweet junior high girls.  They had moved on from Barbie-Doll-Ness and very thoughtfully bestowed the Kelly Girls with a very large Barbie Dollhouse and a Barbie convertible!  Oh my goodness, how thrilling!  The young couple could hardly hold back their delight (smiling through clenched teeth) they accepted these wonderful gifts, extremely excited that now there would be 10,325 little itty Barbie Doll Pieces to keep track of!  🙂 The Kelly Girls were elated and hours and hours of imagination and entertainment ensued.

Well….that’s the reality of Barbie-Doll-Ness in the Kelly household, but, there’s more!  Here’s a brief recollection of specific Barbie Doll memories from the past….

We begin with ROBBIN NICOLE:

Robbin was fascinated every Christmas time with our nativity scene and would often be found playing with the pieces.  She was especially fond of Baby Jesus and we could never find him!  Baby Jesus would be MIA for days until finally Robbin would remember where she had put him.  One time we found her playing Barbies…Barbie and Ken were giving Baby Jesus a whirlwind ride around the Barbie kingdom in their convertible!

We move on to ELISE ROCHELLE:

Does my little precious 3 year old need therapy?  Is she disturbed?  Those were the thoughts running through my mind as I watched her gleefully grab a hold of all the Barbie Dolls and pop their heads off.  The poor wretched decapitated Barbie dolls were laying strewn across the floor.  Why?  I have no idea.  Enter MOM TO THE RESCUE!  I promptly super glued their heads back on, however, I had to jam their heads down their gracefully little necks to make sure they stuck.  Now my poor little girls had a new breed of Barbie Dolls – the neck-less Barbie.  It was okay most of the time, until other little friends brought their graceful necked Barbies over.  Their Barbies could gracefully turn their neck and look over their shoulders lovingly at Ken.  The Kelly girls’ new breed of Barbie Doll had to clumsily turn their whole bodies around since they had no neck to work with! 

And last but not least, my loving husband, ROBERT STEVE:

Ah the joy of coming in to the living room with my cousin and good friend Janette to watch Rob and Rich, her husband, tenderly dressing Barbie Dolls while watching a sporting event and talking “man-talk” – patient little girls (the Kelly girls and Taylor girls) waiting for their daddies to give back the dressed Barbie dolls so they could keep playing.  🙂

Another Barbie tale involving Rob….our neighbor’s first impression of Rob was to see Scott Hamilton and Rob “playing” Barbies out on our front lawn and driveway – and, to make it more interesting, filming the whole thing!!! Yes, that’s right…you see the Young Married Life class at church was going through a series on Marriage Vows and Rob and Scott decided to add flavor and fun by having clips of Barbie and Ken reinforcing the marriage vows.  So, Barbie greeted Ken on our lifesize porch and door, Ken was behind the wheel of a lifesize car or was filmed shaving with a lifesize razor.  It was hilarious.  Even more fun was to hear Scott and Rob’s voices as “Barbie” and “Ken”.  Greatest fun of all was seeing the puzzled looks on all the neighbors faces watching two grown men playing Barbie Dolls and filming the whole thing.  In offering an explanation, I yelled out, “Oh, no worries, this if for church!  My husband is a pastor there.”  Yeah, that explained it enough, right?

(BETHANY DIANNE, you’re off the hook in pointing out any Barbie Doll memory from you – I could dig into my mind for one, but, you’re safe – at least for this post!)


About cakboliv

Born in Cochabamba, Bolivia to wonderful missionary parents, Howard and Maxine Morarie. Grew up in Bolivia, both in a remote jungle village

8 responses »

  1. Dave says:

    I’m sorry Rob and Scott, but I was a G.I. Joe man myself. Was it just me, or did GI Joe look an awful lot like Rock Hudson back in the day? I kept waiting for Paula Prentiss from “Man’s Favorite Sport” to come snorkling up to GI Joe in his orange Adventure wet suit.
    I think GI did have a thing for Barbie though, in between looking for treasure and fighting with sharks and of course, back in the day, the Viet Cong.
    But alas, Barbie always kept running back to Ken, who was a little bit of a woosie boy because he didn’t have a scar on his cheek like GI did but he did have that pink jeep?
    My favorite thing was putting GI in a fox hole with a lit M-80 and then snapping the photo just at the exact moment that GI went flying through the air…
    I still have those photos around someplace.
    Ah, the good ole days, when GI went for Barbie and we could set off M-80’s without the cops being called.
    We could blow off our fingers and we liked it!!!!

  2. cakboliv says:

    Was Stretch Armstrong anywhere in the picture, Dave? He always freaked me out.

  3. Donna says:

    I had like, 2, Barbies and I think one was headless most of the time because I didn’t have superglue – it kept falling off. My hobby at that age was to collect those horses you could get at truck stops and souvenir places and I’d carefully make bridles and halters, and other “tack” for these horses and make the Barbies ride them. However, the scale of the Barbies was different from the scale of the horses, so it always looked like my Barbie was riding a Shetland pony that was really a Quarter horse!!

  4. Jenny Freyta says:

    HAHA!!!! I’m still laughing at this one. I love that Robbin had B and K take little Baby Jesus for a joyride, classic! I had a few neckless barbies myself. They just don’t look the same, once you’ve popped the head off, do they? So funny!!!

  5. J says:

    My mother banned Barbies from my life because I constantly started changing their outfits and then left them nonchalantly lying about – for my brothers to see.

    Barbie and I were born at the same time, tho-and I will always believe that the first Barbie I ever got (age 4) and her black evening gown are the epitome of glamour. She influences!

  6. Diane says:

    I laughed so hard tears were coming down my cheeks! I was a HUGE Barbie fan and had so many I lost count. I had every imaginable accessory there was – town house, camper (that I thought looked like the Scooby Doo Mystery Machine – so cool), grocery store, airplane (of couse I had to have this because it was from United Airlines and my Dad worked for them), car, and clothes coming out your ears! Remember my comment about ABBA where I told you about the tin foil! Yes, I oftened used items around the house to fashion clothes for my dolls to wear – boy was I addicted. At one point I thought I was going to be a hair dresser (yes, that’s what they were called back then) so I started styling and cutting my dolls hairs. Many bald Barbies lived at my house. Ken must not have minded though, I only had one of him!

  7. stephani says:


  8. Kristin says:

    hahahaha! You are certainly keeping me entertained while I sit in the Detroit airport. 🙂 One time, I believe it was Tara, who took Barbie to my Mom to put the head back on. Mom asked why the head fell off, and Tara honestly stated, “Kristin was making Barbie and Ken have sex”. OOPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bad big sister!!!

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