ROSEMARY HARRIS: Here he is, the first guy I ever went to bed with, and still the longest relationship I've ever had. Meet Cubby.
Like The Velveteen Rabbit (but unlike me...ha!) Cubby is showing his age a bit. You can see I used to bite his nose and inevitably, as all kids seem to, one day I decided he needed a bath - but dang if he hasn't forgiven me and hung on. Despite the loss of one eye and a whole lot of fur, Cubby is still smiling, and I've gotta say I get a kick out of having him around. (Usually on a shelf in the closet...I have a bigger teddy bear to sleep with now!)
Do you still have your first teddy bear? Or doll? And has anyone seen the movie Ted?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Aww. It makes me miss Cinnamon, my Steiff plush horse. Which I loved. I LOVED. I can still almost feel how comforting it was. And Cinnamon wasn't one bit cuddly. She was elegant and sleek and the color of--well, you know.
And sometimes my baby sister Nina called her Synonym. Which even now is pretty funny.
I really didn't understand the doll thing. I had some, but we never really got along. As you can see from this photo.
I bugged my parents for a Steiff Okapi, but they would never buy it for me. I also went through college with a stuffed green Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent, which talked when you pulled a string. ("I'm comin' Beany Boy!") I had Cecil into my twenties, when a boyfriend's four-year-old son fell in love with it, and I gave it to him. (It was Richard Holbrooke, actually, who became secretary of state.) I wonder if Anthony Holbrooke still has my Cecil....
ROSEMARY: You dated Richard Holbrooke...?
HANK: Oh, yes. A story for another blog. He was brilliant.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: My earliest memory is of sitting up in my crib when I was supposed to be napping, playing with my stuffed animals. No dolls for me, ever. But I didn't save any of them, although I do still have daughter's favorite blue "Horsey." I've made up for not keep the childhood friends by replacing them. On my bed are Gordon the teddy, Paddington (the proper Paddington in his original coat), Bob the green elephant, Tosh the German shepherd, and Leo the hippo. Some of you may remember Leo, who is now a star in his own right.
Oh, and my first record was "The Teddy Bear's Picnic", sung by Bing Crosby. I think it gave me nightmares.
ROSEMARY: I LOVE Paddington....Please look after this bear! (Whatever happened to my Paddington...)
HANK: Yes, Debs, that song is CREEPY.
ROSEMARY: (Really? What do you all think?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_jNgirWeQY&feature=relmfu )
JAN BROGAN _ I have not seen the movie Ted yet, but I think it looks like a hoot. I was the opposite of Debs, I played with dolls and hung onto a Thumbalina until I had my first boyfriend and had to quickly toss the doll in the closet so he couldn't see I STILL PLAYED WITH DOLLS. Not only did I still play with dolls, but I take credit for inventing the disposable diaper long before Procter-Gamble got into the business. A Kleenex fastened at each side with elastics for my brother's braces kept Thumbalina very dry and comfortable. Although I never hung onto stuffed animals, I take a weird delight in the fact the my grown up daughter took her Teddy with her to Medical School, and my son moved his Tiger, Candle, from his dumpy Brooklyn apartment to his new Manhattan digs. (This is Lannie's teddy!)
HALLIE EPHRON: So boring, I did not bond with stuffed animals. Or play with dolls, other than to dress and undress them. I did have a baby doll -- rubber (I remember the taste of her foot) legs and arms with a stuffed cloth body. I think I lost interest in her when my little sister was born. Otherwise I was much more into games. Parcheesi. Careers. Monopoly. My parents moved when I was in college and anything that I didn't have at college with me got swept away.
RHYS BOWEN: I never had a teddy bear. Sob. Because in those post war years of austerity in England you couldn't buy nice toys. So for my 21st birthday my mother bought me Henry Bear at Hamleys on Regent Street. She spent hours looking at bears until the store clerk said, "Madame, what exactly are you looking for?" and my mother said indignantly "A bear with a nice smile, of course."
LUCY BURDETTE: Oh this post makes me sad...I had a wonderful collection of stuffed cats. My parents gave me a new one for Christmases and birthdays. They were all different colors and personalities and their coats were made of rabbit fur. (I know...) My first one was called Fuzzy Wuzzy. Then came Wuzzy Fuzzy, Tangerine, Licorice, and Queenie (who was attached to a little red heart pillow) and more.
But when I lived in Florida for graduate school, we had a terrible battle with roaches. One day I looked in the closet where they were kept and found that the roaches had eaten off every bit of fur. All I had left was a collection of pitiful bald animals. I kept them for a while but was finally persuaded to throw them out--I had to agree that absolutely no one else could find them appealing.
ROSEMARY: JR readers, send me pix of YOUR teddy bears ( email@example.com) and I will post on Sunday. One lucky winner will receive an advanced readers copy of Hank's new release The Other Woman.