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When I was a little girl, my grandmother gave my brother and I a ventriloquist dummy. It used to belong to my uncles when they were boys, and my grandmother passed it along to us. In fact, I’ve been told that there were two of them at some point, but I honestly don’t remember the second one, or what happened to it.

We played with that dummy for years.I loved Tommy Talker. He featured in stories I used to make up and tell my brother at bed time when we were supposed to be sleeping. Yes, even back then I was an avid storyteller. 😉 “Once upon a time, there was a boy named Tommy who was accidentally flushed down the toilet.” (Hey, I told stories. I’m not saying they were layered and deep.)

He spent time in the corner of bedrooms, had the place of honor in piles of stuffed toys, and eventually got tossed into the toy boxes in the basement and stayed there until my brother and I were far too old to play with toys. The other toys were thrown out and my mother rescued him.



Well, a month or so ago, my mom found Tommy Talker in some old boxes, and she sent him to us for my son to play with. He needed a little bit of patching up. That old cloth is incredibly fragile, but I managed to get him back into shape again, and my son is the third generation to play with Tommy.

Sometimes, I’ll stumble across Tommy in the rocking chair, or on the couch, and there is just something sweet about carrying Tommy to my son’s bedroom at night. Because I remember when Tommy was my buddy, when he’d been the guest at my tea parties, and when he’d starred in the dramatic tales of a boy named Tommy who navigated the underground world of the sewers… And now, as a grown woman looking into his gentlemanly face, I still feel like we still share secrets.