Early in the 1950s, Laura Deming of Redlands, now age 98, wrote to Roman Catholic religious orders and asked them to make and send to her dolls depicting their nuns.
She received such dolls from 95 orders in the United States and in other nations. About 20 years she donated her collection to El Carmelo Retreat House in Redlands, where they were stored and almost forgotten.
It happens that Ed and Marjorie Kristy own four religious shops in the Southland, plus the Catholic Religious Supply Co. in Upland. Following a tip from a priest, the husband late last year discovered the nun dolls in boxes in a closed-off kitchen in the retreat house.
Each doll, some of them dusty and dirty, was found to be wearing an authentic miniature habit, complete with rosaries.
"Currently the dolls are on display at our Madonna Shop in Riverside," Marjorie Kristy said. "We plan to put them on permanent exhibit in Los Angeles in April, at the Chapel Gift Shop, 805 S. Flower St."
Their supply company is hand-making replicas (about 18 inches high) of the dolls, and they plan to sell them for about $90.
Thanks for Memories
When Hermine Hilton of West Los Angeles is around, it's a mnemonic plague. And after years of giving lectures on how to be a master of your own memory, she has put her wisdom into book form--"The Executive Memory Guide" (Simon & Schuster, $14.95).
Some of her tips:
- In trying to remember names, it sometimes helps to link words. In her case, connect "her" and "mine."
- To remedy absent-mindedness, such as forgetting where you parked your car, think of your eye as a camera and your mind as the film. After placing glasses on a desk, take a moment to preserve the picture in your mind.
- To make sure you do certain things you have planned, use acronyms--comprised of the first letters of words. If, on the way home from work, you have to pick up the laundry, stop by the gym, and buy theater tickets, implant in your mind LET (laundry, exercise, tickets).
Thanks, Hermine, for the memories.
A Bionic Meter Reader
To the customers on Larry Littleton's routes in Santa Barbara and Isla Vista, he is known as the Bionic Meter Reader.
Littleton is 31 now, and ever since age 7, when he was stricken with spinal meningitis, he has been totally deaf.
Eleven years ago he began office work with Southern California Edison Co., but always in the back of his mind was the nagging wish to work outdoors as a meter reader. His supervisors, though, were concerned that he might be exposed to dangerous situations such as barking and/or vicious dogs.
Since last August, however, Littleton has been making his living looking at meters. Edison tested and equipped him with a minifonator, which he wears around his waist and which connects to a device on his wrist, allowing him to "feel" sound vibrations around him. He also has a TDD (telecommunications device for the deaf) that enables him to transmit typewritten messages over the telephone.
But then he is used to doing the unexpected. He and his wife, Susan Warren, were married in a hovering hot air balloon.
Essay Contest Winners
Gina Williams, a Dorsey High School student, was the first-place winner in the 10th annual Black History Essay Contest for Los Angeles area high school students.
The contest was presented by Involvement for Young Achievers Inc. and sponsored by Anheuser-Busch Inc. and its southern area wholesalers.
Williams received a $1,500 scholarship award for her essay on the life and achievements of Stevie Wonder. Taunya J. Smith of Centennial High received the second place award of $1,000.
Other winners included Antone Belcher of Inglewood High, third place and $750; Karmen E. Bailey of Inglewood High, fourth place and $500, and Sandra Matthews of Westchester High, fifth place and $250.