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Her 300 Dolls Include All the First Ladies of America

September 07, 1986|Herbert J. Vida

Beverly J. Mosier of Laguna Beach is enjoying a personal resurgence in doll collecting, thanks to her three daughters who left home and took their dolls with them, "and suddenly there were no dolls left for me," she said.

To cure that, Mosier started making dolls and now has 300 of them, including a complete set of First Ladies gowned in exact replicas of the dresses they wore for the inauguration ball.

Each porcelain doll was cast from molds she made, following the descriptions of each First Lady sent by the Smithsonian Institution. In addition, she patrols second-hand bookstores to find other printed descriptions of the First Ladies.

"I try to sew the same materials used for the original dresses," she said. "Although, when I make a cast of a doll, I didn't try to make the face identical to the person. That would make them look like a statue, not a doll."

After learning about the First Ladies through her studies and explorations, Mosier wrote a book entitled "My Dolls, the First Ladies," and is thinking of having it published. The book also points out there were 12 First Ladies who were not wives, but family members such as sisters, nieces and a daughter.

Besides the First Ladies, other group collections she has completed include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and all the other characters in the fairy-tale. In real life, Mosier recently completed the 11-member wedding party of then-Lady Diana and Prince Charles. Mosier is now studying the queens of the world for another collection.

"At first it (making dolls) was just for the fun of it," she said, "but then it got to be a challenge to find out how good you really can get," a challenge that started from a doll crafts set left behind by one of her daughters.

Mosier's three daughters and son have given her 13 grandchildren, 10 of them boys. "The boys are equally as interested as the girls in the dolls," said Mosier, 58, who often shows her First Lady collection at schools the grandchildren attend. But, she said, "these are dolls to look at, not to play with."

Tustin High School just finished playing a football game in paradise against Kapaa High School. The team of 70, led by coach Marijon Ancich, was accompanied by 30 cheerleaders and about 120 parents for a week's visit in Hawaii.

And just to get everyone in the mood, the school's Touchdown Club dished up an authentic luau which helped to raise more than $100,000 to finance the trip. The team boosters also held raffles, a dance, pizza parties and a car wash-a-thon.

Dorothy E. Flanagan, 71, of Anaheim, a self-taught saw player with a "temperamental" instrument, none the less ran away with the gospel competition at Portland's International Musical Saw Players convention. She wowed the judges with renditions of "Amazing Grace" and "Search Me, Oh God."

She played the songs on Daisybell, her 57-year-old saw, which is the same number of years she has been playing it.

"Actually," said Flanagan, an organ and piano teacher, "even though I won, the judges thought Daisybell really wasn't a top professional saw." Hearing that, friends gave Flanagan a new professional saw and named it Sandy.

Besides gospel music, Flanagan said, "I play everything from classical to boogie." Her dream is to play with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Viola Cady Krahn of Laguna Hills is just a sweetheart, but watch out on the golf course. Her last handicap was a 14, not bad for a lady of 84. And that's her minor sport.

She's big in 1-meter and 3-meter diving and just won first place at the masters national championship held at the USC swim complex. She competed in the 80 and older category but was a bit disappointed because there was only competition in the 1-meter dive. "I really like the 3-meter board," she said. "It's more fun flying through the air."

She and recently acquired diving partner Cecil Bush, 81, of Ohio, also competed in synchronized diving but ended up in last place. "We won the booby prize," she said. But, she said, "the older divers always get a big ovation no matter where they place, and that's nice. It makes us feel good."

Acknowledgments--Ann Read, 49, in her 19th year as women's tennis coach at Fullerton College, was honored by North Orange County Community College District for being named South Coast Conference Female Coach of the Year. Her players racked up a 21-1 season record and won the state championship.

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