“I have collected dolls all my life,” said the 83-year-old woman. “I just have fun dolls, every kind you can think of. I don’t know why I collected so many. I just like dolls.”
During a time when girls received rag dolls as children, Barrett’s first significant doll was a Shirley Temple doll.
“My Shirley Temple doll started it all. She’s the same age I am,” Barrett said.
Barrett grew up in Texas and went to the movies weekly. She said, “(Each movie) was a continued story. One week it was Slash Gordon, and the next week it was the Lone Ranger. You had to go back the next Saturday to see how it continued.”
One week the theater gave away Lone Ranger dolls.
“I won a Lone Ranger doll. He was always my Shirley Temple’s boyfriend because they were the same height,” Barrett said. She said these two dolls are her favorite.
Although Barrett does not avidly collect dolls today, she would never turn one down. Her dream is to start a doll museum, but she has not found an affordable location.
“I wanted (a doll museum) to be a place where all children could come, not a money-making thing,” she said. “I’m not interested in selling my dolls. I just want to share them.”