Missing Shirley Temple Costumes

Borrowing these words from friend Kelly Wenarsky….thank you!

I am sharing this very sad and frustrating story here as an appeal to the online commerce community, the antique and collectibles community, brick and mortar and online auctions and anyone else who POSSIBLY is in the position to report a “sighting” of these costumes.

Here is the timeline of the story and the original Facebook post to UPS. If you SEE or HEAR of any of these outfits being offered for sale, please contact Tonya Bervaldi or myself immediately so that they can be returned to her. These could turn up anywhere, so any information is appreciated!

The latest is that four of the five items were sold as unclaimed merchandise by UPS to an auction house in KC, MO.  They were then purchased by an individual, who contacted a third party in an attempt to get advice on their worth.  All of that took place in less than 2.5 weeks!

Here is the costume owner’s original post on the UPS FB page: 21617518_10211465142159088_5744483598214831165_n.jpg

UPS LOST FIVE ORIGNAL SHIRLEY TEMPLE MOVIE COSTUMES! On August 28, I sent out two boxes through UPS, one box got to its destination, the other box got to Orlando – maybe (and tracking shows that it never got off the truck in Orlando), and then was never heard from again. The box that is missing contains movie costumes that Shirley Temple wore in the 1930s – the actual costumes that she wore! Five costumes that she wore in her movies, they are completely irreplaceable (including the actual LITTLE PRINCESS dress from the movie “The Little Princess” among others – from Bright EYes, Wee Willie Winkie, Stowaway, and Little Miss Broadway). These costumes were being shipped to be displayed at a convention celebrating early Hollywood.
I am not wealthy, I saved and saved and bought these to share the magic of Shirley Temple with as many people as I could…From the start, the incompetence a UPS has been mind-blowing:
1. The boxes were supposed to be charged to a UPS account, the one that got to its destination was charged to a DIFFERENT account (which I cant even figure out how to contact) – even though the UPS number as written down correctly, and UPS has no idea who was charged for the box that is missing (even though it was scanned in at the actual UPS facility) , they said that someone should manually enter that eventually – WHAT?!?
2. Once we realized that the box was lost and started the investigation, they NEVER even contacted Orlando – NEVER – about the missing box. Not once! Because of the hurricane, I gave them an extra week to call (at their request), after an extra week, they called to say that the box was gone – when I asked what Orlando had said, their response was that they didn’t have the time to call..in a week. Not once. The box was very recognizable – a bright green box, and time was of the essence, and they didnt even try.
3. Without contacting Orlando, they closed my case, and said that I should be grateful that they gave me the extra week – even though they did nothing during that time – not even contact Orlando – not once!
If this is the way they handle boxes that were insured for $10,000…that is saying quite a bit about UPS! Isn’t there SOMETHING else that can be done? Can someone higher up the UPS ranks actually investigate what is going on?
4e12c7329fa3a88e60da1d9f13f0a7e7.pngdownload-1.jpgThis costume has not yet been located!

Time Flies….

I was contacted by a rep at education.com and asked if I would post one of their lessons on my blog. Here it is! PS: I hope time passes by much more slowly in the summer months!

Does Time Really Pass By Faster When You’re Having Fun?

Research Questions:

Time is one-dimensional. While it can be measured, we cannot actually touch it. It is used to measure duration, intervals, and the sequence of activities. We now use clocks to tell time. In the past, instruments such as sundials, hourglasses, and even just by looking at the position of the sun in the sky or the rings in trees.


  • Clock
  • 10-20 children old enough to have some sense of time

Experimental Procedure

  1. Plan a fun activity for the children to do. Before doing the activity, ask the kids to tell the time right now.
  2. Start the activity, but suddenly stop in 45 minutes and ask the kids to guess the time (without looking at the clock) and guess how much time has passed since they started playing.
  3. Now ask the kids to just sit there and tell the time. After about 45 minutes, ask the kids to guess the time and how much time has passed.
  4. Record the results. Are some children better than others at keeping track of time?

Terms/Concepts: Time; Timekeeping

Discover how time stays constant even when you’re having a blast by planning your dream day!


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Warning is hereby given that not all Project Ideas are appropriate for all individuals or in all circumstances. Implementation of any Science Project Idea should be undertaken only in appropriate settings and with appropriate parental or other supervision. Reading and following the safety precautions of all materials used in a project is the sole responsibility of each individual. For further information, consult your state’s handbook of Science Safety.

Going, going, gone

That’s how it is when you teach.  All year long, you’re going – nonstop.  And then somehow, even though you may or may not have been counting down the days, the end comes.  And goes.  There’s that mix of jubilation (summer! sleeping in! no making lunch!) with sadness (you’ve worked so hard with these students, seen them come so far, and then, they’re off!).

But then there are all of those memories.  Among the best were the two auctions I held this year, inspired, of course, by the Shirley auctions Take One through Three.   The last one served a purpose beyond how-to-fill-one-of-the-last-full-days-of-school.  It was a great way to get rid of all that stuff we teachers first hoard (with all intentions of using at some point), and then, after a period of several years, realize you will never use.  You know the saying – one teacher’s trash is another student’s treasure.


Each child began with about $50 Shirley dollars, and everyone ended up with at least one item.  Except the teacher, who cleared out some cabinet space.  Win/win!



Yup, a real hammer was used.  To great effect.


I won’t miss the stuff, but I will miss this class.  They shared my passions, embraced my emotions, and drank the second grade Kool Aid.  What a year.

Defining Moments

Had no intention of marking this anniversary.  I did so last year, reflecting on the ride that has been Love, Shirley Temple.  But as Facebook loves to do, memory reminders  were sent to several of us who were there at that fateful event in Morristown two years ago.  Those reminders turned into posts, which turned into discussions, which opened the emotional floodgates…for me, at least.  But what else is new?

Since you asked….it’s friendships.  Not necessarily “new” as in “just formed,” but new as in cemented over these two years.  Those that started out as simply Shirley friends are much more than that.  Case in point: Palooza Part Two.  Spent the better part of five days running around CA with my Shirley posse, and I know I’m not alone in saying we belonged together.  Several of us are currently experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

I think I said this last year, but it’s even more incredible now.  It’s a rare thing to be able to look back at a moment, an experience, and say, “That’s when it happened.  That’s when my life changed.”  Weddings, births, deaths….those are the expected moments.  But the L, ST exhibit in May of 2015 in Morristown, NJ set me on an unimagined course.  Fulfillment like nothing I’ve ever known.

To all the people that have been a part of this journey that shows no sign of stopping, the Colonel salutes you.  And loves you. ❤


Spring Fling

As in, I’m flinging a few photos onto this blog as a substitute for a proper post!  20170412_144431.jpg

State Flag in the the center, surrounded by NJ and its symbols


Water Cycle using water colors.


Spring paragraphs



Matching abbreviations with the word.  Plus painting!


Three types of clouds.  Plus more paint!

That’s all I’ve got today!

Returning to My Roots

Originally, as evidenced by this blog’s name – Snapshots of Second Grade –  I planned to use this as a forum for my school related thoughts and activities.  And if you dig far enough in the archived posts, you’ll find such posts.  But it has since morphed into Melissa’s Musings, with a substantial Shirley slant.  But – wait for it – today’s post is sans Shirley!  Instead, it’s about a group of 18 innovative kids who have used indoor recess to its best advantage – and have delighted their teacher in doing so!

In November, our Social Studies curriculum covers the westward expansion and displacement of Native Americans.  As such, we ALWAYS watch the premiere episode of the 1970s TV classic series, Little House on the Prairie.  And it ALWAYS sparks the interest of my second graders – boys AND girls.  For nearly 20 years, it’s done so, so yes, I can say ALWAYS with confidence.  Then, as the winter months approach, aka, indoor recess time, we’ll occasionally watch another episode.  If our class earns a movie “treat,” invariably it’s Little House.  So they’ve seen a number of the episodes.

Remember when I said it’s always a hit?  That was true, but it never reached the zenith that it has the last few weeks in my room.  One hundred percent ON THEIR OWN, ninety five percent of the class decided to reenact and “film” scenes from their favorite episodes during indoor recess and Friday free time.  When I say “film,” I mean they made a paper camera, clapboard and director’s megaphone.  They wrote scripts and cue cards and cast lists.  I KID YOU NOT!  Once I saw the level of interest, I volunteered my services as cameraman (“Mrs. T, don’t you mean “camera girl?”  Yes.  Yes, I do.)   I was able to record several of their scenes and share them via Google Drive.  Wish I had the tech ability to share them here, but this pic will have to suffice:

20170217_134235.jpgMiss Beadle and her one room schoolhouse

Creative? Without a doubt.  But even better was the level of cooperation that went on.  Yes, there was noise, and yes, there was disagreement.  But there was joy and pride as well.  And learning. Lots and lots of learning.

This is what feeds this teacher’s soul.  And not just because it was Little House.


Ok, I lied. Here’s a gratuitous Shirley!

It Was a Very Good Year


It just all depends on how you look at it.  There’s no doubt that 2016 was full of sadness – deaths of friends, and celebrities that seemed like friends.  The election.  And for the individuals reading this, many other examples.  But for those of us in Shirley’s Army, we had it pretty good.

Now, I’m not a Pollyanna (although I dearly love that film), nor am I a Debbie Downer (also love).  I fancy myself a realist. But I am also a teacher, and so sometimes I have to spin a story in such a way as to highlight the…er, highlights.  So here’s what ’16 brought me (and many of you too) in terms of Shirl:

The Florence & George special Army sale.  Remember that madness?  Those minutes-that-felt-like-hours on the phone, trying to get through to place your order?  And it was all for US.

Shirley-palooza, which included the opening of the Santa Monica History Museum’s exhibit, a tour of Shirley sites, the Collectors by the Sea tea party extravaganza, the stamp event, a visit to the Fox lot and to Dianne’s museum.  The Shirleyness we packed into those few days could tide us over for YEARS.

Time spent this summer – non-cyber time – with new and old Shirley friends.  Gayle, Dave, Mary, Migdalia, Shirley Jean – I’m looking at YOU!

The rescue of so many items….for me, the green smocked, screen-worn in not one but TWO films dress.  And it wasn’t just the acquisition of same that meant something – remember the shared joy each time a rescue was revealed? The thrill of the hunt for supporting photos?  The discovery of new information (not one but TWO films!!!!!).

And talk about the thrill of discovery – how ’bout finding pictures – millions of ’em – each time Heritage posted a Take Three item?

An article about US in the New York Times.  The TIMES, people.

Shirley-Con as part of Take Three.  A coming together like none we’ve experienced…at least, not YET.  Social media is great, there’s no question, but it doesn’t hold a candle to real in-the-flesh, get-to-know-you meet ups.  I mean, you learn a lot about a person during a SING ALONG!!!  (Well, maybe only about me….but that’s cool too).

The Heritage auctions – two for the price of one.  If you were there, close your eyes for a moment.  (Come on, just do it!).  Replay Dianne’s win, the teacup score, the breakfront win, the look of surprise?  terror? on the auctioneers’ faces.  The chats with Charlie, Susan, Teresa and the girls.  This all HAPPENED. To US.

Loraine’s Scrapbook update. If all goes as planned, there will be a mention of Shirley’s Army, and maybe even a Colonel quote, along with a photo of us. In. A. Book.

I know there was more joy this year, both Shirley and non.  So, although I’ve been pretty blue lately regarding recent events, I want to end ’16 reflecting on these things.


For those of you non-Shirley people reading this (all four of you), I’m sorry.  Not sorry that you don’t understand all the references, but sorry you didn’t get to experience them with us.  But there’s more to come….surely.

The More Things Change….

The title refers to the theory that “kids these days” are digital natives, and need constant multi-media stimulation, and without it, they will not be engaged and therefore cannot learn. Hogwash. Because what happened yesterday in my class proved that children are still children, and all they need is a good story….and storyteller.

After a three day absence, we were happily reunited in the classroom on Thursday, and I was greeted with “Did you win anything?” (see, I told you kids are still kids!) and “What happened at the auction?”  Building suspense, I responded, “I’ll tell you all about it…..later!”  But not too much later – mainly because I couldn’t wait.  The scene looks like this….a teacher and her students, assembled on the carpet.  That’s it.  No iPads, no smartboards, no plugs, no flash. Just eyes wide open, laughs when applicable, oohs and ahhs.  And me.

I started with the adventure in the airport, and the flight diversion, playing down (WAY, WAY DOWN) my emotional response. In other words, I didn’t tell them that I acted like a total nutcase.  Children needn’t be exposed to everything. I told them about Shirley-Con, and how I played teacher, ringing my bell and even using the Class/Yes response.  They laughed heartily. They were with me every step of the way as I reenacted Dianne’s incredible win, as well as the next day’s Army strike when we scored the teacup lot. And as my story progresses, I realize what I’m doing.  I’m painting a picture of togetherness, of cooperation, of all-for-one.  In every snapshot I shared with them, the lesson was that we worked together, and that it is better than being on your own.

Naturally, “What did you win?” came up again.  As well as, “How much was it?”  We worked a little math into the equation – “This is how much I spent, but then I sold some things, so subtract this.  Then I bought another, so add that.”  There reactions were priceless.  Some thought it was a fortune, others said, “That’s not too bad!”  Ah, to be a kid.

When the story wrapped, I glanced at the clock.  They’d been sitting, engaged, mesmerized, 100 percent with me….for 45 minutes.  With just the sound of my voice and the movements (such as they were) of my body. So don’t tell me kids need flash.  Kids need real emotion, real feeling, real passion.  And that day, as on every other, they got it in my classroom.  Take Three and all it encompassed was mind-blowingly fulfilling…but so was the sharing.  As Shirley says in Bright Eyes, “I’m pretty lucky alright.”


Sentimental Journey (alternate title: That Video!)


July 2015.  I never imagined that I would be in Kansas City, MO for this auction. But there I was, front row, in bright pink, for all the world to see.  And now that the video of that marathon day has resurfaced, all the world can see it again.  As my Shirley Soul Sister says, “Oy.”

There was NO WAY I wanted to see this video when it was first posted that July.  I cringed when I heard someone talk about it.  “We could see you the whole time!” I simply couldn’t face seeing my crying, fidgeting, foot-tapping self.  I don’t even pose for photographs, let alone this.  (Some day I’ll tell you the story of my behavior toward my wedding photographer.  Ouch.)  Much of my reluctance to watch it had to do with that.  But there was a part of me that couldn’t watch it for another reason.   I didn’t want the visual reality to spoil the MEMORY of this life-altering event.  I didn’t want to be an outsider looking in; I wanted to remain inside the experience.

So when it disappeared from Youtube, I uttered an audible sigh of relief.  And happily forgot about it.  Until yesterday.

Time really does wonders.  Heals, erases, softens, puts into perspective.  Sure, my first inclination was to listen and not watch, but I got over myself.  And took that journey again. And felt those emotions again.  And witnessed Shirley’s Army history again.

Now I can’t stop watching.  I want to find certain clips to see if what I remembered about that moment really did happen that way.   I want to see the expressions on people’s faces, because the first time around I missed that completely.  And I want to recapture – and hold on to – those feelings of joy, surprise, love and fatigue.  Most of all, I want to marvel – at what took place in July 2015, and what has come since.

If you watch nothing else, watch Stuart’s opening remarks.  Was I the only one to feel a secret, self-satisfied thrill when he told the story of how Shirley’s Army was formed?  Or experience a little jolt of recognition every time he called, “Shirley’s Army strikes!”  There we were, a small band of members in the front row, and I thought we were hot stuff.  And, to be sure, we were.  But man, look at us now.  Our ranks have swelled, the recognitions have multiplied, and the experiences keep coming.  If we weren’t then, we are certainly now a force to be reckoned with.

I’ve said it about a million times since that July, and I’ll say it again. How’d I get here? Well, all I have to do now is watch this, and I’ll know.


Reel to Real

I’ve never considered myself a collector.  Sure, I had a lot of Shirley stuff.  As a child, I cut out every mention of her name in the papers or the TV Guide.  I had a doll and a record album courtesy of Santa, and a small collection of stills courtesy of my annual trips to Movie Star News in NYC.  As an adult, I bought the dolls that were issued….and the plates…. and the figurines….and the ornaments….and the music box.  I found a few precious compo dolls locally, and a few more on eBay.  But it was never because I needed to “add” to my collection.  It was because I wanted to be surrounded by Shirley.  I wanted keepsakes, reminders of the happiness she brought when I watched her films on Saturday afternoons.  Because it all started with the films.  If I never had one Shirley collectible, I’d still be connected to her through her films.

Movies were magic, as far as I was (and am) concerned.  My parents were big movie buffs, and many a night I awoke at 2:00 am to see the Late, Late Show.  Musicals were really my thing, and I was entranced by the sets and the costumes, and by my vision of Old Hollywood.  Something that appeared in a movie – a costume, a set piece – was akin to a religious relic.  Or would have been, if I’d ever seen one.  When I finally did see one as an almost-adult (the ruby slippers at the Smithsonian), it was my Holy Grail.  So the proposed exhibit of Shirley’s costumes was my Mecca (sorry ’bout mixing religious symbols). Yes, I was excited to see her dolls. Yes, I was thrilled to see her personal items.  BUT THE COSTUMES.  And then the auction – where clips of her wearing those costumes were shown –  while the actual costume was within feet of me.  Then my Shirley friends becoming the owners of some of those costumes. Impossible. Indescribable. Unimaginable.

At Take Two, more costumes, and another impossible dream coming true.  It wasn’t a costume, but it was a personal Shirley dress that was REMINISCENT of a costume.  Holy Grail. Or so I thought.

Then fate steps in, and opportunity knocks.  I’ll spare you the details of my hemming and hawing about rescuing a costume – an actual screen worn article – but it was my own personal Crusade.  Having a game plan in place (i.e., how am I going to pay for this thing?!), I took the plunge…and am just coming up for air now.

Because it’s here.


Blurry pictures to follow.  I was shaking. It also didn’t help that I was in rush, having raced home during lunch, hoping to meet the Fed Ex guy.


Pardon the less-than-professional backdrop of my bedspread.  #excited #rushing






Inside detailing. Hand sewn!



Inside the shoulder area.  Extra puffiness guaranteed!


Hooks and eyes.  Snaps.  And the smocking as seen from the underside.


As many of you are aware, the display has been in place for quite some time now.  It was complete less than fifteen minutes after the dress’ arrival.





You never know what’s going to happen.  Never did I think that when I noticed an inaccuracy in the auction catalog – one that listed this costume as being from Little Miss Broadway and not Just Around the Corner – and helped to have it corrected, that I would someday OWN this costume.  NEVER.


Note the COA, written before said correction.  BUT WAIT!!!  Just a few weeks ago, thanks to the eagle eyes of a super Shirley fan, we determined that this HAD been worn, albeit briefly, in Little Miss Broadway!  Guess what that means?  I have a rarity – a costume that was worn in TWO of Shirley’s major motion pictures.  Double-screen-worn, baby!

So yes, I’ve added a costume to my collection – because I can no longer deny that I’m a collector.  But I’m a fan first.