Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Antique Buggy

Imagine, if you will, a young mommy in the late 1960s out for a walk with her baby. In your mind, what does that baby stroller look like? Maybe bright and plasticky, with shiny chrome metal bars and such? Yeah, me, too. (Go ahead. Google "baby stroller 1960s" and you'll see what I mean.)

Whatever you had pictured, it was probably not this, huh?
 Believe it or not, that picture was taken in 1966... and the dimpled little charmer? Yep, that's me!

You see, by nature and of necessity, my mother has always been quite frugal. When she needed a stroller for her firstborn baby, she and Dad went to the auction house to look for a bargain.

Alas, there were no strollers to be found. The only thing available was an antique wicker baby buggy circa 1925. Since it was forty years old and so shabby, they were able to get it for $10. Mother declared she liked it better than a stroller anyway, so they brought it home... and plopped me in it for many a happy walk.

I think I remember Mother telling how she used it to cart her wash from their apartment to the laundry room on the premises. She would set me in the back, and put the basket of clothes in the front.
 It was a very generous buggy. Plenty of room for two happy tots. In the picture above, aunt Rachel and I are considering how I should scoot over and make room for her.
See there? This arrangement works out nicely!
 Here I'm sharing with my twin cousins. The girl twin gets to ride in the buggy with me, while the boy twin demonstrates his strong muscles by "pushing" us. I wonder how far he managed to get us on the grassy surface. Looks like some wise adult had probably lifted the buggy over off the sidewalk to slow his progress. Runaway babies would not be good.
 And then, a year or so later, we had twins of our own! Girl twins. So Mommy pushed the baby sisters in the buggy while I pulled a wagon for the puppy to ride in. I wonder how far we got with that set-up? Looks to me like that puppy required a good deal of cuddling and not so much riding in the wagon.
 Not quite two years after that we got a baby brother, and he had his turn in the buggy. Some teens from our church came by to help with the little ones, and took us all for a walk. I remember we girls had strict instructions to hold on to the buggy and not let go.

Regrettably, I couldn't find a picture of my youngest brother in the buggy... because yes, the following year, there was still another baby. Probably we didn't have a camera, or maybe couldn't afford film for the camera, during his buggy-riding days.

After that, the buggy went into storage for many years.

And then, in the 1990s, my mother got it out again. By then it was too wobbly and delicate to be used in any practical way, but it made a perfect photo prop for those grandbabies!
My firstborn baby...
...and then my second one...

...followed by nine cousins over the next few years.

Mother finally relinquished the buggy to my care not too long ago. I am very happy to have it in my living room. We've had a "family" of porcelain dolls cuddled together in it for awhile. I think I'd like to put something different in it now. I'm not sure what, but I'll think of something.

So, for this week's Vintage Thingy Thursday, that's the story of the second half of the life of my antique wicker baby buggy. I'd be very curious to know the stories it could tell of the first half of its life, wouldn't you?

2 comments:

pse said...

Did you figure out that if you were holding to the buggy, you couldn't get in the street or wander off?

A Romantic Porch said...

What a sweet little baby buggy story. AND what a sweet little baby Auntie! My my what a darlin' story. Love you! Rachel