Posted by: Debra LaValley | January 15, 2012

January 15, 2012

In the 1980s, my mother and I were really into Annalee Mobilitee Dolls. These cute felt dolls were made in Meredith, NH. We would often go to the “workshop in the woods” in Meredith and purchase the whimsical dolls. The dolls were a bit pricey because they were handmade.

We found out that the first Saturday in January, there was a huge 50% sale. We heard that folks got there during the night and would stay in their cars and wait for the doors to open. We decided to go and stay the night in the car for this special sale. I remember sitting in the car – eating snacks and waiting. There were many,many people there from all over. We had brought out credit cards/checkbooks, and were ready to buy!

Just before the doors opened, we were chatting with a fellow Annalee Doll collector – also from Penacook – Joan LeBrun. During out conversation my mother or I had mentioned we had our credit cards/checks ready to purchase a bunch of dolls at 50% off. Joan broke the news to us that it was CASH ONLY! We were devastated! We had been out in the cold all night waiting, and the doors were just about to open! We had no cash with us! Joan was great friends with my Uncle Bobbie and Aunt Marilyn. She graciously loaned us some money. I think it was $20 a piece. We had enough to purchase one doll each. I purchased a winged dragon (much like the plain dragon in the photo above). I no longer have the winged dragon. About 10 years later, I saw that one of these winged dragons sold at an Annalee Auction for hundreds of dollars and decided to place mine in the next auction. It was during my “Ramen” noodle meal days, and I was hoping to get a few hundred dollars or so for my dragon. I only got about $80 – maybe less. I was very disappointed.

Looking back, I wish I still had the dragon. The memories it held of that nights’ adventures were worth much more than $80 – but I was young, and the prospect of getting hundreds of dollars for it – enticed me.

I know better now. Even without the dragon – I will always remember the kindness of Joan LeBrun. She died many years ago – but I still can picture her smiling and how grateful my mom and I were for her generosity that night. She didn’t have to lend us any money. It goes to show you – that you don’t have to do much to change someone’s bad day into a good day.

Have a great day everyone and remember To Pay if Forward – whenever you can.

“Just a lot of folk sittin’ round the fire warming . . . Blow the marshmallow out and dream a dream gone by.”


  1. Debbie,

    Thanks for sharing that special memory about a pay it forward moment. You are right, you will never forget the winged dragon…. for many reasons! I can still see Mrs. LeBrun smiling too! It’s 21 degrees here right now but we haven’t had any snow yet either.

    Happy MLK day everyone! Kathy

  2. What a great story! I think you may be wrong about one thing. Whether or not you have the winged dragon in your presence, it is clear that the memory of that night isn’t going anywhere and can’t be bought at Auction.

    I have a friend who used to make Annalee dolls – it was really neat to see them come to life. 😀

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: