It was in the early 1980s that Mickie came to my office on Sky Harbor Boulevard and without hardly taking a breath said, "I want money. I'm going to buy a salesman's sample stove collection from Ralph and Elmer." Ralph and Elmer were, of course, Ralph Griffith and Elmer Bell, two names that may just live forever in the doll world. But, let me back up a little.
Mickie's first store front operation was in a run-down mall on the corner of Camelback Road and Central Avenue, where the BMO Harris Bank building now stands. Previously, she had been doing doll shows around town, with most of her dolls being Armand Marseilles, but she soon moved on to high-end dolls. Somewhere along the way, Ralph and Elmer had heard there was a doll dealer in town (They had a winter home in Apache Junction, which is not in Phoenix but is in "The Valley" as we say.) So, they looked her up and visited her. It was the start of an interesting relationship. Sometimes they sold her dolls, sometimes they bought dolls from her, at times they mentored her.
The mall experience gave her confidence to open her shop on 7th Avenue, where she entered the doll world in a big way. As for the salesman's sample stove collection, there were eleven. Mickie flew to Kansas City, made the purchase and started packing them. Later Elmer told me, "I couldn't believe it. She didn't ask me for a bit of help, just started packing up the stoves." To say that Mickie was independent is putting it mildly.
During her years of doll shows, exhibits and UFDC conventions, she sold the stoves, and they are now spread around the country. I believe that Sandy Kralovetz still has one or two. Some of the stoves from this collection can be viewed below along with many other items Mickie once owned.