Mrs. Beasley, meet Woody: A Toy Tale

beasleyThis is Mrs. Beasley. She was featured in a 1970’s era TV show called Family Affair. I had my own Mrs. Beasley doll, and my favorite thing about her was that her plastic spectacles were removable. They were the perfect accessory for playing school, or putting on the cat. Needless to say, those flimsy frames broke often. My mother discovered that she could write to Mattel and, for a meager sum, purchase replacement glasses. I estimate she spent twice the doll’s price in new specs before I lost interest or got my own real glasses, whichever came first.


2016-december-b-011This is Woody, the cowboy from Pixar’s Toy Story. He’s been one of my son’s favorite characters for a long time, but he was never perfectly content with this toy. You see, the jaunty hat is really just a fabric brim sewn onto Woody’s cloth head. It simply cannot, will not come off, no matter how much you tug, pull and plead. Perhaps because of my Mrs. Beasley fixation, I felt I had to do something to address this problem.



2016-blog-xmas-003This is Woody 2. His jaunty plastic hat is removable. It fits perfectly on your big toe, or on the guinea pig. His hat, in fact, is the perfect size to disappear into the average American toilet and completely plug the plumbing. You might try removing said hat with a plunger, or a wiry toilet snake. Possibly with a ginormous wet/dry vacuum. You may find it necessary to tear out the entire toilet, then jostle and shake the slippery ceramic behemoth until the hat falls out. This may cost significantly more than the cumulative amount spent on the toy, Mrs. Beasley and all her replacement glasses.


2016-blog-xmas-006This is a DIY plastic ornament bubble from the craft store. It is the perfect size to hold one well-bleached, scrubbed and sanitized jaunty plastic cowboy hat. This makes a wonderful keepsake commemorative ornament for the tree, marked Christmas 2016.






This is Stinky Pete, a character from Toy Story 2. He is the toy my son wants for his birthday. Pete’s hat looks much bigger than Woody’s, probably too large to clog a toilet, sink or tub. That cannon, though, may have to be confiscated. Oh wait, Stinky Pete is for sale only on eBay, for $199.95! I guess we will never have the opportunity to find out just how large that hat or the cannon really is.

Hope all your holiday adventures were happy ones!


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at or Twitter @catballoumealey
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26 Responses to Mrs. Beasley, meet Woody: A Toy Tale

  1. rnewman504 says:

    Stinky Pete is $199?!! Wowza! Hope you had a good holiday. All the very best in 2017! xo

  2. I loved reading this, Cathy. Twice. I had to read it aloud to my husband. LOL Happy new year to you and your family!

  3. mariagianferrari says:

    I remember Mrs. Beasley!!

    Happy Holidays, Cathy!! ❤

  4. You made me laugh! What we won’t do for our children. Can just see you trying to retrieve that hat! I remember “Family Affair” and Mrs. Beasley. I was working as a rooky reporter back when you were a child. But, I did like the show. Wishing you a Happy New Year!

  5. cmagerl says:

    You had me in stitches!
    Best wishes for the new year!

  6. tinamcho says:

    So funny! I believe we have a Woody figure somewhere in my son’s toy box, ignored now that son is 11.

  7. I loved Mrs. Beasley. One of ours (I have a twin) received a haircut! I hope you are able to find that toy at a reasonable price. Maybe we should all be asking for Pete on FB. Perhaps someone would have one at a more reasonable price. :)Happy New Year.

  8. Whoa! That sounds like a fun time! 😉

  9. Stinky Pete would have been the one I tossed!! Let that be a lesson to me. I remember Mr. French from Family Affair, and Sissy (that made me laugh when I was little), and the dad who was SO laid back. Happy, healthy New Year 2017!!

  10. Hysterical post! Too bad you don’t have a plumber in the family. As for Mrs. Beasley, I didn’t have that doll but my best friend did. What a trip down memory lane!

    • Perhaps your BFF’s Mrs. Beasley unconsciously influenced your cat-eye spectacle collection! Happy New Year Chris!

      • A favorite older cousin (who was way cool) wore granny glasses, not unlike Mrs. Beasley’s, in the late sixties – so as a kid I did sort of want to wear glasses, although I didn’t need them until college. But my love of cat eye frames comes from my mother. She wore them as a teenager in the 1950’s and I have an old strip of black and white photo booth pictures of her modeling them that’s priceless.

  11. Oh, I remember Mrs. Beasley, what a fun post. And I love the hat in the ornament, a nice way to hold on to memories. Happy New Year!

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