About 15 years ago, on our way back from the only Italian restaurant in Moriarty, Bill and I stopped by the side of the road way east of town, to check on a slow leak tire. It turned out to be nothing, but there had been some garbage dumped by the side of the road and a pink doll’s leg was showing.

The doll had packages and just junk piled all over it and it looked like leftovers from a garage sale.

“What are you doing?” was the question behind me.

“This looked like a real baby,” I replied.

“Well, toss it back, the tire is fine.” Sometimes I think that man has no soul.

“Why are you keeping that, or are you keeping that?” he now wondered.

Yes, yes, I was keeping that junk-covered doll, and I am being sexist here: No man understands the truth of dolls. And some women do not either.

Why did I do it? It was abandoned in a junk pile. No, I did not hear voices, but someone, some mean-souled individual had taken a 50s or 60s style lipstick had drilled it into the blonde-haired blue-eyed doll’s eye, that at one time could open and shut with lovely lashes.

It was settled. This naked and damaged little lady was coming home with me for some TLC.

First, I cleaned her up and took stock of her hair. There was not much left and it was a yellow color I have never seen in nature, (but I have seen on a lot of older women too soon grey). It took me days to get the lipstick out of her eye. Two hundred Q-tips and special soap and alcohol finally did the trick. “There you go Cindy Lou,” said I. The name just tumbled out and I knew who she was.

In the end of the 1950s there was a song, “Cindy, oh Cindy. Cindy don’t let me down. Write me a letter soon and I’ll be homeward bound.”

It was about a sailor who was missing his little sister, girlfriend, or maybe childhood darling. I don’t really know, but I knew this must be Cindy Lou.

I went shopping at the Dollar Store and found two outfits that were for a one-and-a-half-year-old. I bought both, because she deserved new duds. I made her a cap to cover up the lack of hair on top and then… the big reveal. I put her in our family antique cradle that had held all of our real new babies and looked around at my other dolls to see if there were any objections. None. She stayed.

The last time I had gotten dolls was on my 13th birthday or Christmas. Yes, those dolls now sit next to one another on a hall chair. They have been there so long, I had to have new clothes made for them. The sun in the window rotted away the material.

And I had only two sons, who have watched every “Chucky” murdering doll movie. One day when I came home from teaching, ALL of my dolls were tied up with rope and tossed into the family cradle. When I got through with them, there were no more movies and no more touching my collection. That’s what I call it.

For those of you out there that had dolls, you understand the need to take one in. The storyline in your mind might run, “It was very dark and unusually raining for New Mexico. The car had been crowded because Grandma insisted on going along. Why must we drive at night? Why not go in the daytime? “Because we have no air conditioning,” the mother warned. “I told you children not to bring so much junk. Pull over.” And a cranky mom started to toss things out of the car. Little plastic Army men, two Barbie dolls with the legs cut off by a drunken cousin, and the doll later called Cindy Lou. A tug of war went on until the teenage sister hit the treasured companion in the eye with an open lipstick. “Get that piece of junk gone!” And in a flash, years of cuddling in her closet with only Cindy to make her feel better, the Cindy that knew all the family secrets was gone in the dark.

This is only conjecture. But the doll is well and living with me now. Roaring Mouse saying,“She is not cuter than me!” Out.