Dolls, dolls and more dolls

If you like dolls, you probably won’t be disappointed to see a New Ulm woman’s collection.

Mary Ann Grundmeyer has Cabbage Patch dolls, collective dolls from The Ashton-Drake Galleries; Barbie Elvis and Priscilla Presley wedding dolls complete with a guide book, Queen Elizabeth, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, oriental dolls, a four-foot tall doll, premature baby dolls, senior citizen dolls in rocking chairs, including Richard Simmons’ “Sweatin’ To The Oldies” collection, several Jesus dolls, among others. The Ashton-Drake dolls have a special allure to her.

“They’ve got finger nails, make cooing sounds, have hair made from real baby hair, and smell sweet like a baby,” Grundmeyer said. “I didn’t buy all these dolls. Many friends, neighbors and relatives give them to me because they know I’ll take care of them.”

Mary Ann and her late husband Winton who worked for New Ulm Telecom for 28 years, raised eight children, seven of which were girls, so dolls were common in the home. She said her five great grandchildren and 12 grandchildren enjoy playing with her dolls these days.

Grundmeyer said she enjoys donating dolls for fund-raisers at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Oak Hills Living Center and the New Ulm Area Emergency Food Shelf.

“It’s nice to give things away while you’re here yet,” she said. “And with all these dolls, I’m never alone. They’re been a joy for me.”

Mary Ann doesn’t sit with her dolls all day. A former Nurses’ Aid at Oak Hills who worked at most of New Ulm’s factories at some time in her life, she keeps busy now cleaning apartments two or three days a week.

Calling herself a “borderline diabetic,” Grundmeyer said she won’t turn down anyone who wants to see her dolls including neighborhood children.

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