Chapter Seventy Three
Such an exciting week-end has left me breathless as to where to begin to tell the story of the adventure.
We flew from Pittsburgh to Hartford, Connecticut and our first stop was an overnight at the home of Hitty Elizabeth. We Hittys so much enjoyed meeting many of our counterparts and of course, Hitty Elizabeth was delighted to meet Hitty TC Moxie. After spending the night we left early the next morning and drove to Stockbridge, Massachusetts to attend the seminar "All This, and Hitty Too".
After checking into a guest house at the Red Lion Inn, we immediately went to the library and there was our ancestor, the original Hitty! I don't have adequate words to describe the reaction of all of us when we were told pictures could be taken! Dressed in a reproduction of her original dress she sat on her bench in a long glass case at eye level surrounded with her original dresses, bonnets, summer quilt and oval portrait. Her regal figure reigned supreme!
After registering, Barbra-Jean and Esther stopped at the church where the paper doll workshop was in progress. They were pleased to know that the beautiful paper doll book that was being used could be purchased. While there they invited the other participants to a wine and cheese gathering back where they were staying for that evening. They set us up in exhibit style and enjoyed spending the evening visiting with the many ladies they knew from other functions and Hittygirls who had come from various parts of the country.
On Saturday the first series of talks was held at the Red Lion Inn, a block away from the library. The first speaker spoke about the Field family background followed by others about Hitty's second hundred years, Dorothy Lathrop's role in children's literature, the changing role of dolls in literature and dolls of the 19th century. Questions could be asked and there were breaks in between for the 20-30 attendees to partake of croissants, muffins, tea and coffee.
At four in the afternoon all adjourned to the library to the room where the original Hitty held court and high tea was served. Visiting Hittys were displayed on the window sills protected by Plexiglas. Sitting on one of the window seats was the 4 foot tall Hitty that lives on Cranberry Island. Hitty Moxie insisted on sitting on her lap.
Ladies from Stockbridge served the elegant high tea. I heard many oohs and aahs as the ladies filled their plates. HittyBelle and Moxie wanted to taste the little chocolate cakes but I reminded them that Hittys really do not eat real food.
By Saturday evening Barbra-Jean and Esther were getting a bit tired and elected not to attend the movie "All This, and Heaven Too". The screen play was written by Rachel Field. They rested and later went to the drop-in held by Julie and Sara in their rooms. Such a wonderful array of Hittys!
Sunday morning we started out fresh again. On the way to the library to hear the last of the speakers we stopped at the Red Lion Inn and some of us got our pictures taken on a very colorful carousel horse. We also took some time to just sit and rock on that huge porch. Every visit to Stockbridge must include time to sit on the porch that Norman Rockwell made famous.
The speakers and panel discussions on Sunday morning were most interesting. The charming gentleman that had purchased the Lathrop sisters' house in Albany, New York when the they moved to Connecticut opened the program and read excerpts from letters he had received from Dorothy Lathrop while arranging to buy the house. She certainly had a delightful turn of a phrase. He also described in great detail the layout of the house where the sisters had raised and cared for animals of all kinds and it sounded like many of them had the run of the place.
He was followed by a panel that was comprised of the daughter of Roger Linscott who had donated Hitty to the library, Polly Pierce the curator at that time, and a local lady whose father had carved her a Hitty that was also displayed with all its clothing and a trunk lined with the newspaper clipping about her parent's marriage.
The second panel included a teacher, a librarian and representatives from Cranberry Island. Their topics were about current ways to keep the interest in Hitty alive.
This brought an end to our participation of the programmed activities. We did not go on the walking tour of the town and chose instead to have a leisurely lunch with Hitty Apple and Hitty Flower from near Boston who had driven in with their owners for the day. Later we drove back to Connecticut and visited a friend from the world of miniatures.
Our last day before flying home started with a visit to the White Oak Doll Club and then on to meet another lady who lived in a house built in 1740! Can you imagine, that was even before the American Revolution. Her Hittys had been anticipating our arrival and had prepared a tea party.
We are now home and getting back to a routine. I enjoyed this trip immensely and do hope I have been able to convey an overall picture of this wonderful, informative week-end. Many people deserve thanks for our warm welcome. This seminar was quite an undertaking and I know all who attended thought it quite worthwhile!
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