Joan Dorsey
Contributing columnist
When I was much younger, shopping for Christmas at our house was much simpler.
Our occasional trip to Olathe would take us to T G and Cry, as my older sister called it. It was a wonderland for little people who were 5 or 6 years old. But alas, I wasn’t always allowed a toy or trinket so I cried.
The next best thing was a visit to our local Variety Store. They carried everything and I mean everything you could need. I learned to look not touch there. This is a concept lost on many kids today. I wish it would come back in style. The old “it isn’t yours till you pay for it” rings true in so many ways.
Needless to say, I loved the variety store. There were so many things to look at. Being the youngest of 4, new was not something that happened very often. I do remember that great feeling of exhilaration when the girls snow boots from the previous year didn’t fit and you knew you got to get a new pair from the Variety store. They were rubber and zipped up the front with a bit of furry delight at the top. I kind of remember them being red. You tucked your many pairs of outdoor pants into them. Several pair of socks kept feet warm and ensured they fit because they were bought to last more than one winter. They smelled like rubber but they meant fun outside in the snow.
I remember going to the Variety store probably when i was in 3 rd or 4th grade. There were also hand made crocheted items and some decorations made by local folks.
On the very top of the display shelves was the most beautiful giant swan made of nylon net. It was totally a girly thing and as  I was used to climbing trees and digging in the dirt. It was out of my league. It was made to sit on a beautifully made bed as a decoration. This let me out in so many ways. I hated making my bed. I still do to this day. HATE IT!. So a swan was never to be on my Christmas list.
But I admired it and thought it was beautiful.
Over the years I have always wondered who made them. Several years back I mentioned it to my other Mom and she told me there was a pattern in the attic for the swan. Really after 55 years? Possibly?
We found the box with the patterns and the yardage and the wooden base. But no instructions. I am not a master sleuth so it stayed in the box.
Today while searing a site for Homemade goods online. I happened to search for nylon net swan bed decoration.
None came up. But there was a person with a book of instructions for everything nylon net from the 60’s. Click, into the cart it went. So for less than a latte from the coffee store I can possibly make this item I have wanted forever.
Thank you Mrs.
Brecheisen for the memories of a wonderful store full of everything.Thank you Mom for not always giving me everything I wanted when I wanted it. Thank you to my mother -in law for keeping the pieces of a treasure safe for many many years.
If I succeed in this project I will write about it. I still hate making my bed, but I would love those rubber boots for snow again, and maybe I will have my swan in 2020.