Raggedy Ann Is Looking Good for an Old Broad

Jeanne Sager

Raggedy Ann 95I was wandering around Target on Saturday trying to find the right BPA-free drink container for my daughter when I saw her.

Triangle nose. Curly red hair.

Raggedy Ann is back.

And she's looking good for a girl who turns 95 this month.

Made your eyes bug out a little, didn't I?

I remember my own Raggedy Ann ... and my Raggedy Andy from when I was a kid, plus the Raggedy Ann and Andy cookies my mom made for me with some extra sweet icing (she doesn't remember them, I can't forget them).

But like any toddler, I was the classic narcissist. Those stories my mom was reading were written just for me, right?

Another dream shattered. Turns out Johnny Gruelle drew on daughter Marcella's plain rag doll to create her own "Raggedy Ann" in 1915. Three years later the cartoonist started writing stories about her, books I decided to dive into with my daughter this weekend.

I'm wishing we'd started earlier -- she's falling in love, and the Strong Museum of Play in Rochester, New York, is only holding open its Raggedy Ann exhibit through September 7.

Until then, kids (and their parents and grandparents who were Raggedy Ann and Andy fans) can go to the museum's site to enter a rag doll memory in the digital scrapbook. They're running a contest in conjunction -- five winners will win a Raggedy Ann 95th Birthday Doll (or you can buy your own for a new fan) -- but I've been poring through with my daughter to show her the long history.

I could let her think Johnny Gruelle created rag doll stories just for her, but this way she gets to share a bit of history with Mom and Oma too.

Now if only I could find that cookie recipe ...

What's your Raggedy Ann memory?


Image via Raggedy-Ann.com

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