Will's story that came with the Appalachian Children Dolls:
I picked these up in a thrift store and they were never opened. They still have their little tag that states that they were made (and presumably sold) to benefit an Appalachian Children's association or orphanage or something. they look kind of like tiny raggedy ann and andy, but their hands are permanently attached and they have X's for eyes which makes me think they're dead. In a way, they're like homemade "Living Dead" dolls. There's an overall sense of morbidity to them.
When I look at them they look dead and unhappy to be dead and I wonder if that's the way the Appalachian Children feel. Are they living up in the mountains of Appalachia playing, i dunno, banjo or autoharp or something and just whiling away the hours, depressed socially and economically, feeling more dead than alive down in those mountain valleys. Then I wonder, "who makes these?" They're obviously handmade, but handmade by who. Do they have some older mountain ladies who just toil their elderly fingers to the bone sewing dolls. OR, OR, do they have the poor children sewing these up? Is child labor alive and well in the poor hills and valleys of the Appalachian mountains?
Whose design was this anyway? Who came up with the forever holding hands dead children idea?? And then who thought this would be a good fundraising idea? Did the poor Appalachian children design this for themselves and, either consciously or unconsciously, creating an image of their own feelings spawned forth in the image of two depressed dead children perpetually attached to one another and, in a symbolic way, attached to the poverty of the mountains, the ignorance of the mountains.
Couldn't they sell candy or oranges or wrapping paper like all the other schoolchildren in America? No, the poor and depressed children of Appalachia have to sell poor depressed and, (most likely) dead images of themselves.
This makes me sad and that's why I bought this as soon as I saw it.