Thursday, January 7, 2021

Something About Bobbleheads

I shake my head back and forth (just shake it)

I’m trying to remember when I first heard the word bobblehead. Was “bobble” used as an insult when I was younger? Dalcy recently mentioned today is Bobblehead Appreciation Day. I just nodded at her when she told me. She commented months of practice had paid off.

These things have been around longer than I remembered. The earliest known Western reference to a bobblehead is thought to be in Nikolai Gogol’s 1842 short story “The Overcoat,” in which the main character’s neck was described as being “like the necks of plaster cats which wag their heads”. In the 1960s, Major League Baseball produced a series of papier-mâché bobblehead dolls, one for each team, all with the same cherubic face. I read one of the most famous bobblehead sets of all time were of The Beatles.

There aren’t Bellairsian bobbleheads, and I wonder how Edward Gorey’s art would render in three dimensions. There are some bobbleheads related only tangibly to Bellairs. We’ve mentioned the Hannah Duston figure before. There’s also one of the now-fallen rock formation and New Hampshire icon, The Old Man of the Mountain. If we look hard enough, we could find bobblehead figures of many of the baseball figures Bellairs called out in various stories. Or, just as likely, other historical figures.

Still, would you want bobbleheads of Lewis, Johnny, or Rose Rita?

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