The Search for Ouch My Toe

“You’ll always find it in the last place you look!”

paper dolls featured

You may remember reading “Second Childhood Part 2”, where I showed you some of the “vintage” paper dolls (or, more accurately, vintage paper doll clothes) that we had as kids. For so many of the clothes, I could never find the dolls that went with them.organized 2Well, one thing I failed to mention was that we had a beloved paper doll who was missing along with his clothes. That paper doll was “Ouch My Toe”.  Ouch My Toe was so named for the fact that when we punched him out of the cardboard sheet he came on, we accidentally tore off half of one of his feet. But for all that he must have been one of our favorites, because we never forgot him. Some 50 years later (read: a few weeks ago) my sister and I started wondering where he was.

textsHe became the subject of quite a few texts between us.sewing roomTo be honest, I had been searching, unsuccessfully, for OMT off and on for months, mostly on Pinterest. All we knew was that he seemed to be part of a set of paper dolls depicting “children around the world”. And that he was probably at my house. In the sewing room.sewing room 2This did not bode well for poor Ouch My Toe (heretofore referred to as OMT for simplicity), as you well know if you are in any way familiar with this blog. Actually in these pictures the sewing room is pretty organized. (A little “truth in blogging” for you, it’s usually worse!) Foster on sewing room shelfSo this month, along with my trusty assistant, I embarked on the monumental task of finding OMT once and for all! I was going to find him if I had to take everything out of every box in this room! As you can see, Foster figured this might take awhile.

The search was on. Surely OMT would be here somewhere! I don’t even know how many boxes I have marked “Save!” from my school years. The “Little Purple Suitcase”, as it has always been called, proved interesting, but as the label states, it contains mostly stuff from when I was really little. I doubted he’s be in there, but it was worth a try.not in hereHow many cats can you fit into a plastic bin full of items from your childhood?not in here 2“He’s not in here, Mom!”

Apparently I’ve saved every letter I ever received from friends, cousins, grandparents and pen pals the whole time I was growing up. Of course I had to stop and read some of them, but mostly I admired the stationery (and yes, that is sealing wax). Stationery was one of my favorite things, (kind of still is) and back then there seemed to be more stationery stores than there are now.

So, now we see when the idea of whimsical mushrooms and insects first got into my head! I can see my present “artistic style” in a lot of these cards and envelopes. Must have been subliminal suggestion!

I really like this one, because when you open the envelope you see that the turtle’s shell is actually the hill in the drawing on the actual notepaper. Ya gotta love it!

In my endless Pinterest searches for “International Paper Dolls” these kept popping up. They weren’t really paper dolls, they were note cards. I had these two, which had notes from our grandmother inside. But, alas, Ouch My Toe never showed up in my searches. He was a small, dark-haired boy clad only in a white loincloth, and I searched paper dolls of every ethnicity he might possibly have been, all to  no avail.

So let’s see what else was in the boxes of “important stuff”. There was my handout from when we had “Authors Day” in junior high. I actually think this was a field trip; these authors didn’t come to our school. I was so excited to go to this because at that time my life’s dream was to be an author. But when the speakers told about how many rejection slips they received before being published, I changed my mind right then and there. Rejection? No thanks, not for me! (I did, however, get “published” in 1972 when my 8th grade English teacher sent one of my stories in to the “Junior High Fun Journal”.) rocketIn second grade we had to do speed tests for our times tables. I was always terrible at this, (must have been where my “math anxiety” got started.) The teacher had a bulletin board where we all had rockets going to the moon, and each time you passed a test you got to move up one space toward the moon, and you apparently got a star. I remember my rocket was always one of the last ones, and when I finally did make it to the moon, you’d better believe I was NOT going to throw it away!

Finally I came across an envelope, at the bottom of a box, marked “Save”. This had to be it! But it wasn’t. It was “Happy”, who we might consider to be OMT’s  brother. He obviously had all of his toes, and OMT had been standing sideways. Alas, so close and yet so far away! Why wouldn’t I have had both of them together? Oh well, back to the search.

More 1960’s memorabilia, but still no Ouch My Toe!

Me when I fractured my ankle playing softball in P.E my junior year, and some random cats in the back yard. Foster is boredNeedless to say, if you’re a cat, it can get a little boring looking through tons of boxes marked “Save!” and “Important!”

When all else fails, look at the ceiling fan. Or, you can go incognito behind the fabric. I might mention here that throughout the physical search for Ouch My Toe, I had continued my online search, and finally found him and Happy on eBay! It turned out Happy was supposed to be Asian and OMT was supposed to be from Mexico. They were originals, slightly used, and there was only one of each. And yes, I bought both of them! They’re scheduled to arrive on June 26. But until then, I still wanted to find the real Ouch My Toe, so the search continued.the trunkFinally there was just one place left to check. The trunk in the front living room.

It’s always safest to send your trusty assistant in first.inside trunkAs I looked into the trunk the little red diary caught my eye right away. I had gotten this for my 9th birthday in 1967, and used it primarily through 1969, though it contains a couple of entries from the early 1970s. I opened it and started looking through the special papers and notes that were stuffed inside the front cover, and…found OMTYou guessed it! I found Ouch My Toe! Isn’t he adorable? Of course, as with Happy,  his clothes were nowhere to be found. But that’s a search for a different day. As my dad used to say when we had misplaced something, “You’ll always find it in the last place you look!”


8 thoughts on “The Search for Ouch My Toe

  1. Charlee: “Hello there, Ouch My Toe!”
    Chaplin: “You remind me of Dennis’s old friend Flat Tony! Except you are in better shape than Flat Tony!”
    Lulu: “Why, what happened to Flat Tony?”
    Chaplin: “Well let’s just say that if you are made of paper and Dennis invites you to go with him to the Top Secret Dog Park, make sure he had lunch before you leave …”

    1. OMT: Wow, guys! Thanks for the heads up! Happy and I will remember that if Foster ever invites us anywhere!
      Happy: Yes, thanks for the warning. I think I’ll stay in my safe envelope in the sewing room!
      Foster: Are we going in the sewing room?! Wait for me!

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