The Doll Doctor holding daughter Margaret's dogs on Hilton Head, SC
I’ve lived with a doll-doctor for many years. Oh yes, when I met this beautiful doll doctor, she was a gorgeous student nurse We started dating and I never heard a word about her interest in dolls. Pat Peacock, it turned out, had numerous interests. She has become a RN, a Sculptor, a Linguist (German, Italian, and French), a Scholar, a needlework designer, a Thespian, a Mother—and she is also a DOLL DOCTOR!
Pat has been repairing dolls for almost sixty years. It started one day when our daughter, Margaret was born (1964). About a week after coming home from the hospital, Pat developed a serious back problem and the orthopedic surgeon ordered a three-week bed rest. My mother lived right up the road from us and offered to care for Margaret. Mother also gave Pat a box of doll-parts she’d recovered from the Brunswick, Maine house she and dad owned. Mother said Pat probably needed something to keep her busy. Pat looked through the doll-parts and got the bug—putting a doll back together.
Year after year, Pat, in between pursuing to all the other interests she has, has been repairing and restoring dolls with all sorts of problems. She rebuilds heads, complete bodies, arms, legs, and fingers. Nothing holds her back. She’s found out a substance she saw at our dentist’s office that works well in doll-repair and she’s always looking for materials or tips to help her “practice.” She has repaired hundreds and hundreds of dolls!
When we closed our live-theatre after twenty-two years, Pat was looking for something to keep us busy. She saw an ad for the TLC Doll Tour to Europe and asked if I’d like to go with her. When I saw this tour went to Oberammergau, Germany (close to where Pat and I had spent our honeymoon almost 60 years ago) I said, “Yes.” And we signed up for the very first tour we’d ever taken.
These doll-tours have changed our lives. Pat and I have met doll collectors, doll dealers, and doll-doctors from all over the world. Lynn and Anne, sisters from Canada, lead these tours, which I describe, ‘60% historical and 40% doll-connected.’ Not only have we met many interesting and wonderful doll people, we have learned so much about European history. On May 12, 2016 we head to Spain on our fourth TLC Doll Tour.
Both Pat and I have become members of the Doll Doctors of America. This group of talented men and women (the president of DDA is a man) meet at various times of the year and is publishing a book about doll-doctoring this summer at the International Doll Convention in Washington, DC. My involvement is merely one of admiration for these talented and fascinating individuals.