A few years back, my friend Kendra and I traveled to Key West for a girls’ weekend away; well, almost a girls’ weekend. Ken doll (yes, as in Barbie and Ken) accompanied us—a gift from our friends Kelly and Siobhan.
“You are to text us photos of Ken having fun in Key West,” we were instructed. “You know, like a Flat Stanley project.”
Remember Flat Stanley? I received a Flat (laminated paper) Stanley in the mail one time from my friend Colletta, who lived in Missouri. Her son and all his classmates sent Flat Stanleys to pilgrimage around the world. My family and I had a great time taking photos of Stanley visiting the sites in Florida. He saw Mickey, was nearly eaten by an alligator, fell from a kite, and climbed an orange tree.
In the end (if all goes well), all the Stanleys are sent back to their proper children, at which time each child gets to “show and tell about” his/her Stanley and his great adventures—an ingeniously engaging way to teach children geography. Apparently, The Flat Stanley Project is the “longest-lasting literary site on the internet. Created, owned and voluntarily operated since 1995 by Dale Hubert, M.Ed.”
There was another time a friend needed a photo at the beach for her niece’s Flat Stanley and thus, entrusted me with his care for the weekend. Somehow, Stanley disappeared. I either left him in the beach bathroom, or he blew out my car window driving home. I of course couldn’t tell my friend’s niece that, so I spent an entire day writing a Stanley story about why he couldn’t return home. In summary, he loved the beach so much he wanted to stay. OMG! Thus the above reference, “if all goes well”.
But I digress.
Remembering how much fun it was hosting Stanley (at least for Colletta’s son), I was excited to let Ken tag along in Key West. Ken wasn’t flat like Stanley though, as in paper-thin flat. He was flat as in no personality my-plastic hair-never-gets-messed-up flat even if two women launch me off the Key West Lighthouse. Kendra easily tired of Ken and was getting irritated with me by my incessant excitement over all the possible photo ops. That’s when we came up with the idea of Ken having an accident at the lighthouse. Kelly and Siobhan were extremely worried when we texted, “There’s been an accident at the lighthouse. Ken needs his rest today. There will be no photos.”
As a side note: Don’t be fooled by Ken’s prettiness and preppiness. When he “fell” 73 feet from the lighthouse, he didn’t break anything, bruise anything, or receive even a tiny little scratch. Ken is quite sturdy.
Since Key West, Ken has taken a road trip to Missouri with me. He enjoyed seeing the Arch. And then he traveled to Pennsylvania with Siobhan. She had to find new clothes for him because she was worried his swim trunks would bare too much plastic and be frowned upon by the Amish.
Eventually though, like with some Flat Stanleys, Ken disappeared. But I still have a few photos of his Key West adventures to share with all of you who have nothing better to do than to read a “Ken Doll Goes to Key West” blog.
Thanks for reminiscing with me.