Jan 20, 2012

A Minor Haul

Went to my grandparents' thrift store the other weekend and brought back two Trixies and a Ginny Gordon book. In case you don't already know, Ginny Gordon was a mystery series written by Julie Campbell during the same time as Trixie. They're deucedly hard to find nowadays, too. More about Ginny later.

So anyway, I got away with the Mystery In Arizona (Cameo edition, my favorite) and the Mystery of the Emeralds (deluxe edition) and the Mystery in the Old Barn (Ginny Gordon). There were an absolute TON of Trixie books there, I wish I could have gotten them all! Mostly deluxe editions, but a couple of the first edition-style ones as well....if only I had the money *sigh*.

Jan 5, 2012

Feeling Very Southwestern Today....

....because I've been reading the Mystery in Arizona over the Christmas holidays. So I took a little trip on etsy and discovered some lovely squaw dresses. This is what the girls would be wearing if I could make the Mystery in Arizona into a movie. ;)

This book constantly references the girls' matching twin sweater sets--Trixie in blue, Honey in yellow, and Di in the traditional violet. Unfortunately I couldn't find a blue sweater set (what are the odds???) but I found Honey's & Di's. Sort of.

Honey's gold twinset, found here
Diana's lilac sweater set, found here
Western-themed regalia was extremely popular in the 1950s due in part to John Wayne, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. Cowboy and southwestern styles crept into the clothing of the day and made brightly-colored squaw dresses and peasant blouses with dirndl skirts very fashionable for ladies. The book describes the girls' waitressing uniforms as "white blouses, heavily embroidered with all the colors of the rainbow and gay, multi-colored dirndl type skirts". So there you go. ;)

"It's lucky that they're the type of costume that fits practically anybody and everybody." --Diana

I wasn't able to find much in the way of real dude ranch clothes, except this lavender cowgirl shirt which would be perfectly perfect for Di.

sold here

Of course, they must have something pretty to wear at the square dance! So squaw dresses it is.

This turquoise blue dress with silver and black ric rac is perfect for Trixie--not too ornamented, not too girly.

Honey gets a lovely rust-colored dress with lots of petticoats--I'm sure the fall hues will enhance her coloring!
And for Di, a refreshing change--lipstick red, as opposed to the usual violet. :)
And finally, a glimpse at some real southwestern Navaho jewelry from the 1950s. This is what Rosita's father may have made; what she had to sell to Mrs. Sherman.

turquoise and mother-of-pearl---sold here
Next post? Perhaps some bullfighter costumes for the boys.... ;)

May 21, 2011

Version 1948: Diana Lynch

"She had shiny, blue-black hair that flowed around her slim shoulders,
and violet eyes fringed with thick curly lashes."
--the Mysterious Visitor

Other than Hayley Mills as Trixie, I don't think any other actress has been so frequently cast as a Bob-White, than Elizabeth Taylor, known for her "violet eyes" (of which Di is quite famous, too). Naturally, I had to cast her as Diana in the1948 version!  There are a ton of lovely photographs from the late 1940s below. Elizabeth turned sixteen in 1948, and had just completed a supporting role in "Life With Father".

 "She was wearing a strapless gown with a long full skirt, and she 
looked so grown-up that Trixie couldn't help gasping."
--the Mysterious Visitor

"Next to you, Honey, she's the prettiest girl in our class."
--the Mysterious Visitor

Above and below--Di with her horse (was he/she ever given a name?)

Di at the beach (Cobbett's Island?)

Di at Uncle Monty's ranch in Arizona

Below--Di in front of the Lynch family estate

Book Timelines: the Secret of the Mansion

DAY ONE: Friday (late July, no exact date)
  • Trixie talks to Moms about earning money for a horse
  • Mr. Belden comes home and reports that he has just taken a seriously ill Mr. Frayne to the Sleepyside hospital; he returns to work
  • Trixie cleans up Bobby and goes to meet the new neighbors on the western hill
  • Trixie and Honey Wheeler meet for the first time
  • Bobby goes off to play with Miss Trask; Trixie has her first riding lesson and falls off
  • Trixie and Honey explore the Mansion and find Jim
  • they spot the rabid dog for the first time; immediately afterwards Bobby yells for help in the woods
  • Trixie & Honey go back home and bring a picnic lunch to eat with Jim
  • they search through the study for money or treasure, and Trixie finds a brass key
  • Trixie goes home; her mother leaves for a Garden Club meeting and Trixie works in the garden while Bobby plays outside
  • Bobby gets bitten by a copperhead; Honey comes and Trixie saves him; the doctor eventually arrives
DAY TWO: Saturday
  • Trixie and Honey tidy up the Beldens' home and run up to Manor House
  • Trixie is given a lesson in trotting and tries to ride Jupiter, who runs off; Jim rescues him
  • the dog appears, Trixie tries to catch Queenie, & she barges right into the summerhouse
  • later Trixie gives Honey a bike lesson and Honey crashes 
  • Trixie is eating lunch when Honey calls her to announce that she's gotten a bike
  • Trixie spends the afternoon cultivating the garden with Moms
  • Trixie and Honey change in Honey's spacious room and go swimming in the lake
  • they try out the rowboat; Trixie dives in and gets hurt; the dog comes back and they chase him away
  • the girls change, go check the mail and then water the garden
  • Trixie and Jim have a conversation; Honey comes up later and almost gets attacked by the dog, which Jim shoots
  • Jim tries climbing up to the second floor of the Mansion and falls off the ladder
  • Honey's parents leave for Canada to escape the summer heat
  • Honey and Trixie bike to the store for the New York papers
  • Trixie and Jim explore the 2nd floor of the Mansion; Jim finds a Bible and the will
  • Trixie has lunch at home with her parents
  • Trixie takes care of Bobby while Moms and Dad go for a drive; Honey and Jim go for an afternoon ride while Regan rides through the back roads and Miss Trask takes a nap
DAY FOUR: Monday
  • Honey comes over right after breakfast and they work in the garden for an hour
  • Honey and Trixie inspect the Mansion while Jim looks through the cellar until lunchtime
  • the girls go home for lunch and Trixie reads Bobby to sleep
  • Regan gives Trixie a riding lesson and agrees afterward to let the "redheaded kid" ride Jupiter
  • Trixie takes care of the chickens and has a discussion with Dad about the Fraynes
  • after supper Trixie goes up to Manor House for dessert and Honey shows her around
  • Trixie spends the night with Honey
DAY FIVE: Tuesday
  • Trixie and Honey have breakfast in bed
  • all three go for a ride across Glen Road and have a picnic; they meet Mr. Lytell twice and get lost; Honey wrenches an ankle and Strawberry runs away; Jim has to catch him
  • Trixie takes care of the chickens and Mr. Belden comes home to report that Mr.Frayne has died
DAY SIX: Wednesday
  • Trixie tells Jim the bad news first thing in the morning
  • a plane flying over the Wheeler house explodes and the pilot bails out, landing at Ten Acres
  • reporters come by and see the junk-filled Mansion
  • Trixie's parents leave for the seashore with Bobby after lunch
  • Jim comes to Trixie's house and cleans up
  • Honey comes down around 4pm and the girls bicycle to the store for the New York papers
  • Trixie and Honey search through the Mansion one last time and find an engagement ring in a hidden safe; they almost get caught by a reporter and hide in the cellar; but they forget to bring back Jim's loving cup and the will
  • they all have supper at Trixie's house and don't finish until 9pm
  • they all have one last moonlit ride
  • on the way home they spot Jonesy at the Mansion; he has seen Jim's loving cup on the mantel
  • Jim decides to sleep in the summerhouse and the girls go on to Crabapple Farm
  • Jonesy's leftover cigarette starts a fire and Trixie & Honey go to warn Jim; they try to stop the fire but they can't
  • firefighters and a whole group from the village, including Jonesy, arrive at the scene; the house collapses
  • Regan arrives and takes the girls back to Crabapple Farm
  • Jim hides in the summerhouse
DAY SEVEN: Thursday
  • Jim writes them a letter, then runs away
  • the girls sleep late, then go up to Ten Acres
  • they find Jim's note and the ring
  • Mr. Rainsford, the executor, comes by and they make arrangements to go after Jim
  • the long-awaited rain finally comes pouring down!

    THE END!

May 19, 2011

Version 1948: Mrs. Wheeler

I just thought of this this afternoon: What about Gene Tierney as Mrs. Wheeler, in the 1948 film? She has the same sort of coloring as Honey (minus the hazel eyes) and had just scored a success with the Ghost and Mrs. Muir in 1947. I think she would probably be available to guest-star in the Trixie films. ;) And of course, she's just gorgeous. As Trixie describes her, "the most beautiful woman [I've] ever seen". Plus, she's glamorous enough to play Honey's ultra-sophisticated mother perfectly.

"Why, it's you twenty years from now!" Trixie giggled to Honey.
--the Secret of the Mansion

Mrs. Wheeler is dressed for a formal occasion.

May 18, 2011

Version 1961: the Casting of Trixie Belden

Naturally, Hayley Mills has always been my first choice as Trixie. She struck me as being so incredibly like Trixie in The Parent Trap, and later when I saw the Truth About Spring (1965) I thought the same thing.

Hayley had just won a 1960 "mini Oscar" for her role in Pollyanna, and was Disney's newest darling. Shown here, age 15, in a still from The Parent Trap (1961), Hayley's short blond curls, blue eyes, and plaid shirt bespeak "Trixie".She played a convincing thirteen-year-old, and her character in the film (at least, one of them) was quite a tomboy, very impulsive and always scheming.

Still, I wanted to make sure I wasn't leaving out any prospective Trixie here, so I searched through old films and television shows from around 1960. The only spunky blonde I could come up with was Sandra Dee, and well...she just doesn't quite cut it. What do you think?

Sandra in Gidget, 1959. Sandra turned 19 in 1961.

May 9, 2011

Book Timelines: the Gatehouse Mystery

Tuesday, August 22nd
  • Trixie writes to Brian and Mart at camp
  • Mr. Rubber Heels and Mr. Leather Heels have engine trouble and spend the night in the gatehouse
  • they have a quarrel about dividing up the loot; in the scuffle the diamond is knocked loose
  • Mr. Rubber Heels knocks out Leather Heels, takes the loot, fixes the car & drives away
Wednesday, August 23rd
  • Trixie and Honey find the diamond
  • Mr. Rubber Heels discovers the diamond is missing and comes back
  • Jim & Mr. Wheeler purchase Starlight
  • the girls cut away vines from the gatehouse 
  • Mr. Rubber Heels overhears them talking about the diamond
  • Trixie & Bobby stay at the Manor House for lunch
  • a man named Dick shows up around 9 pm, asking for the chauffeur's position
  • Gallagher the gardener quits
Thursday, August 24th
  • Honey dashes down to the gatehouse and brings back the shovels
  • Miss Trask gets yesterday's mail with Mr. Whitney's check in it, as well as a notification that Mr. Wheeler is expected in Chicago 
  • Dick is officially hired & is introduced to Trixie and Bobby
  • a man named Nailor is hired as the gardener
  • Bobby shows Dick around Manor House, including Honey's windows
  • Mr. & Mrs. Wheeler leave for Chicago
  • the girls go down & examine the cottage for clues; find footprints; Jim gives Bobby a riding lesson
  • Trixie helps Moms fix lunch & is invited to spend the night at Manor House
  • after 6 pm, Trixie heads up to Manor House and has dinner with Honey and Jim
  • around midnight, someone tries to sneak in Honey's room
  • Trixie tries to see if the screen door is latched but Jim catches her
  • Miss Trask hears thumps and bangs; it's Dick fighting with Mr. Leather Heels
  • Mr. Leather Heels goes down to the cottage and tramples away the clues
Friday, August 25th
  • Louie, aka Mr. Leather Heels, is picked up early in the dogwagon by the Sleepyside police
  • Trixie gets up early & tells Jim about the diamond while they feed the Beldens' chickens
  • Brian & Mart greet them on the terrace; Honey comes up
  • Trixie tells the others about the midnight escapade while they sit in the grass
  • everyone takes a quick swim at the lake & has breakfast at the boathouse
  • the Beldens meet Dick, who now has a black eye, on their way home
  • Trixie works all morning; Jim gives Bobby a riding lesson; Honey tries to show the boys the footprints but they're all scuffed away
  • Jim & Honey switch rooms
  • the Beldens eat lunch
  • they all spend the afternoon looking for the diamond
  • they find it in Honey's jewelry box & Mart goes home to hide it
  • Jim & Brian leave to pick up Susie from Mr. Tomlin; the others go for a swim
  • dinner @ 6:30, Manor House
  • Mart & Trixie go home to get the diamond
  • Brian leaves to switch out the pincushions
  • they all go for a moonlit right & then raid the icebox
  • Trixie & Honey dash down and get the mail
  • Jim stays awake all night waiting to catch the prowler in their trap; nothing happens
Saturday, August 26th
  • morning swim; discussing the previous night's failed escapade
  • the BWGs are officially formed after breakfast
  • Jim & Brian have a driving lesson; Dick comes back with poison ivy
  • Honey, Mart & Trixie look at the clubhouse & discuss club jobs
  • the BWGs go for a ride
  • back at Manor House, Trixie shows Honey how to forge signatures
  • Trixie calls her father while the boys look at the signature papers
  • Trixie & Honey go for a quick swim; Jim checks Mr. Whitney's signature on the job reference but doesn't tell anyone; lunch
  • at 5 pm Jim leaves for a driving lesson with Dick, the boys start work (mowing lawns), and the girls go for a swim
  • at 6:30 Dick comes back without Jim
  • at 7:00 the four leave for the movie theatre; Miss Trask stops to get gas on the way into town & drops them off, then goes to Mr. Lytell's store
  • the four BWGs go into the movie theatre; Honey & Trixie hold a whispered conference in the ladies room
  • Honey interviews Tom Delanoy for the chauffeur's position; Trixie hails a cab to Manor House
  • Trixie catches Dick in Honey's room; Jim and Regan burst in at the last minute and Dick is arrested
  • Jim brings everyone up to date while they all raid the icebox