Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Mrs. King's Dolls

I did not start out to blog about a shooting tragedy, but it is ironic, in a way, that I planned this post before the news of the shooting tragedy today in Portland, Oregon.

We in Binghamton, NY, a small city of about 47,000. in upstate NY near the Pennsylvania border, suffered our own shooting tragedy on April 3, 2009:  13 dead, plus the shooter.  Sadly, there have been a good number of mass shootings since that day.

One of the dead in the Binghamton shooting was a 72 year old teacher, Bobbie King.  Besides her work at the American Civic Association, where the shooting took place, she put in countless hours of volunteer work at Hanukkah House, the Binghamton museum I have been blogging about the past few days.

Every year, portions of her collections of dolls and dollhouses would go on display at Hanukkah House for the enjoyment of the community. There is nothing said in the descriptive material about Mrs. King, but her doll collection was a legend in this community.

Since Ms. King's untimely death, her family has graciously continued the tradition of displaying some of her dolls and dollhouses.  When I view these dolls each year, I can almost imagine them crying over the tragedy that took their owner's life.  We like to say that good comes from bad, though, and I like to think that these dolls are celebrating Bobbie King's life and all the people whose lives she touched in her 72 years on Earth.

Looking into Mrs. King's dollhouse, you see a world in miniature.  If you didn't know better, you might think this was a room in a mansion taken from above.  The detail is incredible.

Here, you see a set table with a miniature tea service.
And here, a bedroom complete with crocheted coverlet.
Sadly, today, we have a situation where innocent lives were again taken by....who?  why?

Binghamton asked that question almost four years ago,and, in a way, it is fitting that I write about Bobbie King's dolls tonight.

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