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Larry Fertick  Purveyor of one of a kind fetish dolls, steeped in Low Country folklore adorned with protective potions and poems. 🔮👓Inquiries: larryfertick@yahoo.com

http://doctorwrenfetishdolls.com/

After hurricane Irma we were without cable television for a few hours. We have a small t.v. on the screen porch. It picks up only a few channels but while surfing I experienced a moment of electronic nostalgia....the Ed Sullivan Show is broadcast everyday at 5:00 p.m. For the younger generation this was a Sunday night Variety Show bringing us the best in International entertainment. Elvis, James Brown, The Beatles😎. Broadway Productions. Clowns, Magicians and Acrobats from around the world!!!!! I don't remember how the tradition started but a group of young men (20 somethings) myself included would gather at Mary's house. Her son , Billy may have started this little cult. We would arrive 10 minutes before the show and pull into the living room additional chairs from the dining room and kitchen. We jockeyed for the best view... not of the television but of Mary. Mary WAS the show. No matter the performer Mary acted out the singer, dancer (sitting...arm movement only) juggler and on and on. If she didn't know the lyrics she made them up, hummed it or whistled. If an orchestra was playing Mary conducted. You get the idea. At shows end we would finish our iced tea, return chairs to the proper place and all file out. No one laughed during her performance. We sat in reverence and shock. This is a doll in progress. I had to tell of my Ed Sullivan discovery so I dressed Blanch in a house dress and fur stole. We often saw Mary at concerts, the ballet or a play. She always wore a ratty fur stole and lots of jewelry. Because she wore the fur and jewelry with a house dress it always looked "last minute". I loved watching her as she moved through the crowd to get a wine spritzer.....leaving a delicate cloud of dander and more than a few hairs in her wake. Gotta go. It's almost time to turn on the television and grab a wine spritzer or iced tea. Thanks for listening.

This is Charis. She is now living with Nicole and Chad. STORY TIME. When I was much younger I wanted to play the piano. I studied with a wonderful woman, Mrs. Atwood Morton. She was known to all of us was "Miss Mae". The Morton's lived in a large pre-civil war house just outside of Dixiana. I would go there once each week and have my lesson. I was not a great student and went mostly for the atmosphere and the experience. The house had large rooms with high ceiling. Electricity had been added...a single light bulb hanging from a naked wire in each of the rooms. Lamps supplied the task lighting. The effect was very dramatic. My favorite time to visit for my lesson was in the early spring. In March when it was windy Miss Mae and I would sometimes be startled by a loud crash in the fireplace. She explained to me that it was "just a loose chimney brick falling into the fireplace". It was all about the wind. My most favorite memory was when her mother would make an appearance. I didn't know her name but on rare occasions she would leave her room in the back of the house and unannounced walk through the living room where we sat at the Steinway Grand. She wore a crisp, white, floor length, long sleeved gown with a high neck and each time she said the same thing "it's sounding good today". She had a marvelous mane of white/gray hair worn in a braid over one shoulder. Years later Miss Mae and her husband decided to downsize because her mother needed to enter an assisted living facility. They relocated to a smaller new house but with the Steinway Grand in the living room. Strangely enough I was having my weekly lesson when Miss Mae received the call that her mother had passed away. Special memories of braided hair ♥️and a Steinway Grand. PS I was a horrible student ! I also stole the shutters from the old house before it was demolished. Don't tell. I still have them.

My name is Aveline, an Irish name meaning "wished for". I now live with Taylor in Iowa. WHEN DOES A MOLE BECOME A BEAUTY MARK? Marilyn Monroe died on the fifth of August in 1962. I was 12 years old and remember sitting at the dining room table and being mesmerized by her photo and the article about her death. I saved the newspaper for years. When I was making this blond bombshell the hair color was very Marilyn and I am always aware that August is the month of her death and Andy Warhol's birth. As I make dolls there are always threads to deal with and I usually tie them off and hide them. For this doll the black yarn that surrounds her red teeth is visible as a beauty mark on her chin...then the thread goes interior and is tied off on the back. I researched the term beauty mark and Marilyn is the one mentioned in wikipedia. I had two 1950s bombshell Aunts, one penciled in a beauty mark the other had one "cosmetically applied". Interestingly the piercing to the right or left above the lip is known as a Monroe piercing. My dolls evolve as I make them. I knew that Aveline would wear a tattered black ball gown. The original jacket ... I scrapped because it was out of character for Aveline. She only shops vintage stores and found this oversized military inspired vest and had to have it. Marilyn's grave was the first stop on the first trip Tom and I made to L.A. In the 1980s. Thankfully Randy knew just how to get there😎. Thanks Taylor for letting me experiment.

This is the oldest existing Doctor Wren Fetish Doll. It is College time and today I was thinking about the boarding house I moved into in Atlanta when I began college. Number 1, Peachtree Circle. I have mentioned the boarding house before because of its many eccentric characters. This doll has always reminded me of Joan. Joan was a tall girl who lived in one of the attic rooms. She spied on everyone from her perch in the trees and could tell you stories you didn't want to hear. The room was mostly windows and Joan would decorate for all important occasions, usually with construction paper cutouts on each pane of glass. Colors and shapes varied with the season or the holiday being celebrated. Her parents were well to do and lived in the Briarcliff area of Atlanta. I don't think that they wanted Joan around because of her "issues". When she knew that her Mom and Dad were out of town she would take a cast of characters to their home and raid the icebox, party down etc.? Her folks just let it happen and didn't punish Joan or change the locks. I think that they secretly liked knowing that she was entertaining and having a good time. This doll, Agatha Ann reminds me of Joan because on Halloween of 1968 she showed up at my door ready to go to a party. She had on a black mini skirt, fringed vest and flowers and jewelry everywhere. Oh.....She had also shaved off her eyebrows and applied a two inch strip of black electrical tape above each eye I was given three guesses as to 'what she was". I came up empty so Joan announced that she was a "Hippy Witch". I still don't know what the tape eyebrows had to do with it but the effect was stunning.

Part TWO. Miss Cosmo continued. "Just one song". Miss Lilly tapped the sheet music on the top of the piano and put it down. Looking Miss Cosmo in the eye she said "I play the piano here... Don't ask again and launched into a spirited and angry rendition of "Cry Me A River ". Miss Lilly died years ago and try as I might I cannot find a photo of her on the internet She WAS the best kept secret in N. O. and I visited her many times after and she always remembered me by name. Keep singing and dancing Yolanda.

This is Sister Yolanda. Yolanda means violet flower. When I was working on this doll I had a story in mind. When I posed this doll to photograph her before sending her to Robin my story morphed into a story within a story. The chair pose reminds me of the choreography of the late Bob Fossee, famous for acting, producing, directing and choreographing many Broadway productions and movies. This chair photo reminds me of the chairs used in a dance sequence in CABARET....one of the few movie musicals that I love. Anyway....Yolanda is a Conjurer, the most closely related family to New Orleans. During my time in New Orleans I developed a friendship with Glenn. Glenn ruled the French Quarter and knew all of the secrets. David, Glenn and I would get together on my monthly work trips to N.O. Late one spring night Glenn said. "I'm going to show you the best kept secret in New Orleans. The destination was Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop. The oldest building in the French Quarter. We snaked our way through the mostly empty rooms to the very back room. Small and dimly lit the room was consumed by a grand piano and a tiny lady. Miss Lilly, Lilly Hood. She was old but ageless. Everything about her was perfect, not a hair, eyelash or particle of eyeshadow or rouge was out of place. Her hair looked like a madly swept up piece of sculpture and to see her sitting against a centuries old brick wall was quite a contrast. We were introduced and she offered her hand....Tiny but with perfectly lacquered red nails. Very few people were in at this time of night but Miss Lilly kept the party going. She entertained us with Cole Porter and Johnny Mercer...Glen described her as "someone who did not play the piano or sing but did both beautifully". So right. On that night they were three other people seated on barstools at the piano. Looking like people on assignment and having fun at the companies expense. The woman complimented Miss Lilly on her talent then announced after taking a sip of what could have been her fourth or fifth cosmopolitan "Ya know??? I play the piano and sing. How about I play and sing". Lilly, sifting through sheet music said. "I don't think so". INTERMISSION

This is Blanch. She represents my Aunt Blanch and I have been working on her for several months. I pick her up between custom dolls when I have a few minutes of work time at the end of the day. At the bottom are two photos of her house, on the left is the house when she lived there and on the right is the house as it is today. Thanks to Keith Watts for allowing the current photo and a look inside after 40 plus years. Not many people will open their door to strangers I have mentioned Blanch in previous posts. We had a special bond and after I moved away I would visit her on trips home from Georgia. She always had a freshly baked cake and tea or coffee. I know of three houses where Aunt Blanch lived. In all three there was paranormal activity and in this house it was especially disturbing. So much so that for a short time she and her husband moved into a rental home and left this one vacant. Eventually they moved back but the episodes continued. One of my favorite conversations about the house involves her parents. The three of them were in the kitchen early in the evening but darkness had fallen. Suddenly all doors and windows began to rattle and shake. It stopped and then began again. After a few of these episodes my Grandfather left the kitchen and went into the yard. In a few minutes he returned to the kitchen and his wife Mary asked "where were you "? My grandfather replied "Oh, That was Harry...he died yesterday as you know and he was to repay money that I loaned him today. I told him not to worry about it". The doors and windows were still I'm sure I will mention Aunt Blanch again and maybe one day I will complete her doll 😎. I like having her around

Meet Xyleena. She just moved to Chicago to live with Brenda. One of the requests from Brenda was to relate the doll to her Cats. This gives me an opportunity for STORY TIME. Years ago when we lived in Atlanta I met a wonderfully interesting couple ....Linda and Cornel. Both are very talented. Cornel the illustrator and painter and Linda the interior and fabric designer. Both are Italian and now live in Baltimore. Back in the Atlanta days I had the pleasure of meeting Linda's mother, Silvia. Silvia would visit from Italy and I would always enjoy seeing her. She came with strange cargo.....Cats. Silvia would find Cats on the streets of Italy and take them in. I am sure that she kept some of the felines but others ended up in a travel crate bound for the USA. Lulu and Mackey seemed very happy in their new home although I couldn't help but wonder how strange it must have been for them to suddenly be in a new place where everything was foreign. I wondered about the television...all in english and if the cat food tasted the same. How about kitty litter... was it the same? I wish that Lulu and Mackey could have told me but there was the language barrier.

Riding back from a working vacation in Asheville, N.C. Toady is at the wheel and it's been raining since we left. I am in the process of sewing eyes on a Conjurer. It is said that a Conjurer can stop rain by throwing clods of dirt into the air. No dirt on interstate 26. Toady is a very good driver.

Happy Birthday ANDY WARHOL.....today would have been Andy's 89th birthday . We decided to put on our best wigs and glasses and pay tribute to the pale one.

Meet Ulalia. The names means well spoken and bright spirit. The request for this doll was bright colors. Colors are often connected with superstition and beliefs. Black...evil and death but also protective. If you are confronted by an evil spirit show it something black and you will be protected. White...purity. In some countries it is believed that a white cat, cow, rabbit, horse or pigeon is a bad omen and if you see one you must spit to be protected. Blue...holiness and protection. The Virgin Mary 's cloak was blue and as She and Jesus were fleeing Roman Soldiers she hid among spruce trees and the trees turned blue to protect them. The Blue Spruce retained the color. Red...passion and vitality. Red wards off evil spirits and witches. It is often worn in religious ceremonies. Green...hope and immortality. The luck of a four leaf clover. Choose your colors wisely 😎

This is BEATRICE, friends call her "Lady B" and she is moving to Merrick, N. Y. The ladybug is a valuable insect to have in the garden because they feed on harmful insects such as aphids and scale. Today I want to pay tribute to a man that I admired during my many years in Atlanta. His name is RYAN GAINEY and he was an internationally known garden designed and author, counting among his friends Audrey Hepburn and Martha Stuart. He lived not too far from my home and I would see him occasionally at garden centers or arts festivals. He was a true eccentric and I encourage all of you to google him. Quite the snappy dresser with a great car. His small house in Decatur was on a double lot and his garden was open to anyone who wanted to enter. It was also used in movies etc. Ryan died a year ago this evening at approximately 8:30. Ryan had a passion for Jack Russell terriers and at the time of his death they included Jelly Bean, Leo and Baby Ruth. There was an early evening fire in his second home in Lexington, Ga. Ryan made it out but went back in with a garden hose to save his beloved dogs. The four perished together in the smoke before the fire could be contained. I don't think that Ryan could have lived knowing that he had not tried to save his best friends. Thanks for letting me share this remembrance. For me it's a beautiful story of love and devotion....be happy and cherish all that you love 😎

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