You may or may not be familiar with the pop surrealist artists Mark Ryden and Marion Peck and their body of work. In 2008, they collaborated on a short film called Sweet Wishes. (Go ahead and click on the link to watch the film. It’s less than two and a half minutes long.) The film features Dolly, Baby, and Bear, and it’s a story of what happens when the three of them get what they wish for.
Ryden and Peck also released a hardcover book based on the short film. Even though both Sean and I are fans of Ryden’s work and have even been to a couple of his art shows in Los Angeles, we were unaware of the film and the book until just a few months ago when we stopped to browse the Kinokuniya Bookstore in L.A. before heading out to a Galaxy game. I spotted the book on the sale rack and quickly snatched it up.
Sean wanted to make sure that we got to the Galaxy game in plenty of time, so we left the bookstore shortly afterwards and headed out to the Stub Hub Center. Once there and safely ensconced in a parking spot, we realized we’d made it with plenty of time to spare, so I pulled out the book and we sat in the car and looked through the pages together. I never laughed so hard at a picture book as I did with this one. We went through it quickly, and then I had to go through the book a second time, enjoying it all over again.
Fast forward to last week, when Sean and I were walking to the Golden Egg Café in Ventura for Sunday morning brunch. A few doors before the Golden Egg is a thrift store. I always stop to check out the display in the window if something catches my eye. This time, something definitely made me stop.
Unfortunately, it was Sunday, and the thrift store wasn’t open on Sundays. I wanted to make sure that this doll was the same Dolly from Sweet Wishes, so I stood in front of the window with my phone and snapped a bunch of close-up photos of the doll’s face. Then Sean and I went on to the Golden Egg.
I forgot all about Dolly until I returned to Morro Bay the following day. As soon as I remembered, I went downstairs and pulled my hardcover copy of Sweet Wishes off the bookshelf and compared my photos to the ones in the book. Sure enough, the two dolls were the same make and model.
“Sean,” I said that night when we were talking on the phone. “That doll was Dolly! And I didn’t buy her. Someone else probably will.”
“Aw, I doubt it,” Sean said. “That doll will still be there. You can go back and get her when you come home this weekend.”
The week passed, and on Friday Sean caught the train from Ventura to Morro Bay. We drove back down to Ventura late Saturday afternoon and stopped for dinner and then groceries, so we didn’t get back home until almost 9 PM. Sean was still unloading the car, so I got to the door first and let myself in. Guess who was propped on the coffee table? Sean had gone back to the thrift store on Thursday and purchased her for me as an early birthday surprise.
I did a little bit of online research and found out that she is a vintage doll from the late 1960s. She’s in pretty good condition, considering her age. She was made in the USA by the Ideal Toy Company just a few years before I was born, and speaking of birthdays, I told Sean that his purchase of Dolly was all the birthday gift that I needed this weekend.