On this date in 1959 the Mattel Toy Company debuted the Barbie Doll at the American Toy Fair in New York. She went for $3, the same amount I paid three years later for my first and only Barbie, who sported a black and white knit swimsuit and a blonde bubble-cut.
I bought my Barbie with a matchbox full of quarters I had saved from months of allowance money, and I still have her downstairs in a shiny black doll case along with her friends Ken (with the fuzzy blonde crewcut), Midge, and Allen.
But I digress. What I really want to focus on is the significance of March 9. Barbie (who, by the way, looks remarkably good for being almost as old as I am) is not the only one with a birthday today. Yes, today Barbie may be turning fifty-four, but "Googie's Attic" is turning two.
I remember March 9, 2011, very well. I had just brought Pa-pa home from out-patient surgery on his right rotator cuff. A day or two before, I had read a magazine article praising blogging as a creative outlet and a means of documenting thoughts, ideas, and life events.
Since I would be close to the ranch with Pa-pa for a day or two, I decided I would give it a try. So I knocked on the portal of www.blogger.com and "Googie's Attic" stood there on the porch, shifting restlessly from one foot to the other, waiting to see if the door would swing open and allow admittance to this wonderful, new world.
Now, 150 blog posts later, I am still here, celebrating the day with the birthday blog. We have had two memorable years together as we have chronicled the many and sundry adventures of Sooby, Pooh, and Bootsie as well as the arrival of two more grandsons and the loss of their great-grandpa.
We found ourselves in a bonus situation a year ago, when "Googie's Attic," a toddler who had barely cut its teeth, finished as close runner-up to an established blogger in About.com's contest for Favorite Grandparenting Blog. With that, our visibility reached beyond our community of e-mail contacts and Facebook friends and stretched its way over the nation and the world.
As I publish each post to Facebook, I print a hard copy to keep in a huge three-ring notebook for quick off-line reference. Also, every time I get about twenty pages of copy, I send those posts to blog2print for binding in a very nice soft-cover book, each of which roughly corresponds to a season of the year. I received my last one, Volume 9 of Googie's Attic: A Different Kind of Grandparenting Blog, just a few days ago.
The things that make "Googie's Attic" different from other blogs are the things I enjoy most. I love experimenting with the different genres of writing and playing with the nuances of the language. I thrive on unexpected comparisons, ironies, analogies, sensory description and metaphor. I love to incorporate the elements of dialogue, suspense, and humor. I can't wait to discover what a piece will become in the process of the writing.
"Googie" is first and foremost a literary blog, where words take center stage (see? a metaphor). Although I greatly admire blogs with advertising, giveaways, magical graphics, lots of pictures and videos, and other techno-savvy bells and whistles, they are not me. I know this may limit "Googie"'s appeal, but I am out to document the childhood of five special little people using the best language I can find.
For the most part, I am content to let the kids' parents do the picture-taking. (I know there are occasional exceptions, especially lately.) But as far as viewing childhood through the lenses of cameras and camcorders goes, I have been there and done that. I have stacks of albums in my closet to prove it.
With the grandkids, I am after a style of documentation that offers them more of myself. I like to think that, as adults, they will find that meaningful, and that, even after I am no longer a physical presence among them, they can invite others they love to rummage around in this attic of ours.
Enough of this. On to the celebration. "Googie" is two today, and tonight I am putting two candles on a cupcake to celebrate. Who knows, I might even invite Barbie.