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Dirty Wow Wow

A funny, little, heartwarming thing has been happening at the City of Books recently. Staffers have been inspired by the book, Dirty Wow Wow and Other Love Stories: A Tribute to the Threadbare Companions of Childhood, and sharing their stories of their own fuzzy, ratty, stuffed friends.

I give you Powell's employee Gigi, who shares her tale and starts the thread.

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I so wish I had thought up the concept of the book Dirty Wow Wow and Other Love Stories. The minute I opened it, I was writing my own additions to its pages in my head. I had lots of dirty wow wows when I was a kid. There was Backy Dacky, a blanket my grandmother made me, which started out bright pink and blue and was loved so hard it — he, he wasn't an it, he was a he — ended up faded to almost white, tattered and full of holes, with a blood stain from when I ran to him for safety after a bicycle incident. There was a Pooh Bear inexplicably made out of purple corduroy. And a handful of dolls, each named after my mom (we also had a couple kittens at the time that ended up named after my mom).

I think most of us — and if we could reach far enough into our pasts, we'd see that all of us — had dirty wow wows. That's why, when one of my fellow booksellers, Karen B., suggested gathering up our own tribute to Dirty Wow Wow, I ransacked the apartment and the storage unit looking for mine.

So, before you go off looking for yours, here is a fair smattering of childhood love from Powell's Books, starting with one I'd forgotten I had.

Carpet Girl

I was a creative child — and I'm here to say that creativity does not always an artist make. One example of this is Carpet Girl, a doll I made out of an old scrap of carpet. Though it took quite a bit of work to make her (cutting carpet isn't easy) and though I put my heart and soul into the project, a flat doll with a face drawn on the hard, scratchy underside of a carpet is not a comfy sleeping companion. Nevertheless, I worked on her with love and diligence — pasting on eyes when the crayon wasn't cutting it and furnishing her head with thick locks of my own hair (most of which slipped the bonds of its staples long ago).

Yeah, my mom wasn't too happy about the hair part.
—Gigi L.

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Well said Gigi, well said. Stay tuned for more posts about Powell's staffer's "Dirty Wow Wows." And tell us about your own!

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Dirty Wow Wow and Other Love... Used Hardcover $3.50

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