Betsy Wetsy Memories

by Bobbie S.

1960's Betsy Wetsy Doll

(Photo of early 1960's Betsy which was used as inspiration for this article. We all hope the real "Betsy" in this story will be found soon!)

This much-loved Betsy Wetsy grew up in a small northern Minnesota iron-ore mining town in the late 1950's. Betsy was actually owned by little sister Debby (aka Deb, Deba, or Deb Web), with older sister Bobbie (aka Bob) as the Voice of Betsy and a willing participant in Betsy's jaunts over the years. For 3+ years, Betsy travelled with Debby as if their fingers were surgically attached. In fact, Betsy was lovingly dragged around so hard and for so long that one of her fingers fell off. Betsy's hair was washed, combed, brushed, braided, pulled, hatted, unhatted, ponytailed, pigtailed, and basically suffered so many stylings that it fell out in little blond tufts. Betsy had her own bed, a turquoise flannel blanket, her own place at the table, an important spot in the car, the most comfortable cushion on the couch, and a front-row seat during b&w TV showings of Monday-night "I Love Lucy", Saturday morning "Fury", and Sunday night "Lassie". One of Betsy's lesser-known TV characters was "Chew Some Cotton", a strange name (we all agreed) until we learned much later that his correct name was actually Joseph Cotten.

I Love Lucy Fury Lassie Joseph Cotton

(Photos obtained from Ebay auctions.)

Betsy talked a blue streak, in fact was rarely quiet. She slept when she could, although we sometimes pushed open her eyelids to ensure she was really asleep. She mostly drank water, although she also enjoyed orange juice and milk. We tried to feed her pancakes but they didn't seem to fit in her mouth right. One of Betsy's favorite activities was using popsicle sticks to pave roads in the dirt driveway at the back of our house. Of course, this always ended with yet another bath and hair-washing, which is probably why her hair eventually fell out. Betsy could stand up all by herself, with only a little help from inanimate objects like clothesline poles, chair legs, a sofa cushion, or one end of the wooden clothespin box. She sat on the back steps while we ate cottage cheese from little dixie cups with tiny wooden spoons. She was there for all our favorite treats: hot cocoa with whipped cream, miniature child-size pie crusts (hot from the oven) sprinkled with cinammon and sugar, sugar cookies, freshly-baked cream puffs with whipped cream, and white cake with chocolate frosting and sugar sprinkles.

Betsy did take a nasty tumble down a full flight of stairs one winter morning when her mom got hopelessly tangled in a hole in one leg of her well-worn flannel pajama bottoms. Fortunately, everyone survived the fall with little injury except hurt feelings, although that particular image is as clear today as it was then. Betsy also loved long winter afternoons playing in the storeroom, among shelved rows of carefully canned tomatoes, green and yellow beans, beets, radishes, corn, carrots, apple jelly, raspberry jam, applesauce, tomato sauce, and rhubarb sauce, along with mounds of potatoes and onions. Betsy was also well-traveled, enjoying car trips, neighborhood visits, bicycle rides, and even one trip on a small 4-seater private plane. Over the years, she played upstairs, downstairs, in the basement, on the porch, in the yard, and in the playhouse, always with her 2 faithful companions.

Betsy is now into her 40's, and lives in Buffalo, Minnesota although her exact location in that house is still to be determined. She was initially rumored to be in the attic of college-age daughter Ellie's bedroom, but is now suspected to be in a safe, cozy, warm spot in a basement storage box. Though she is balding, and has only 9 fingers (and we're not sure what she will look like when she is finally found), this Betsy Wetsy will always be front and center in the innocent childhood memories of two little girls from small-town northern Minnesota.

Copyright 2001 - - all photos are property of this website and may not be used without permision

All dolls on this website are part of a personal collection and are not available for sale.

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