The buddha’s back…

squeaky_buddhaA little story… please indulge me.

In 1963 my mother, my brother and I went to San Francisco to visit family. My brother was an infant. We did all the touristy things, including Chinatown, where my mother bought a rubber squeaky buddha (how politically incorrect). We had that little guy for years.

When my brother and I traveled, my mother would send the buddha with us as a good luck talisman.

When I had children my mother handed the buddha down to me. The buddha became our family talisman and traveled with our children.

One year – shudder – buddha didn’t come home from camp. My youngest had left him there. We even went to the camp in Wisconsin to see if we could track him down. Nope. He was gone forever. That was something like ten years or so ago. Sigh. We. Were. Very. Sad.

Ever since then I’ve looked for squeaky buddha. Whenever we’ve been in a Chinatown I’ve gone into every souvenir shop I saw, asking if they carried rubber squeaky buddhas. They generally looked at me like I was a crazy person and shook their heads. I’ve seen brass buddhas, wooden buddhas, plastic buddhas… but no squeaky rubber ones.

Enter eBay.

I set up a search for rubber squeaky buddha. I wait.

One day, I got an eBay alert. Heart pounding, I click on the link.

It’s him. I can’t believe it. The one and same. Turns out that Little Ho Ho (seriously – that’s his name) was designed by Rose O’Neill, who brought the world Kewpie dolls. Great – this little buddha that my mother probably paid $1.99 for in 1963 (if that) is a collectible piece of Americana.

I watch… the auction was up in 5 days… I watch. On the day the auction closed, I log in. The girls and I agree that we’ll pay no more than $60.00 (gack).

We lost the bid – he sold for over $70.00. I just couldn’t do it.

Wait! My story has a happy ending. This last Sunday another Little Ho Ho became ours. Again we waited for the auction to count down… last 14 seconds… we posted a bid and waited… watched it count down. We won the little guy. Won – ha! Won it for $36.00.

Whatever. He’s ours.

Life is good.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “The buddha’s back…

  1. Suzy

    So — did Little Ho Ho go to Israel with the youngest? Or are you keeping him close to home?

  2. Little Ho Ho was the first thing I bought on ebay in 1997. I don’t think the seller said he was by Rose O’Neill. Anyway I paid $9. No one else bid on him. He moves around the house sitting among more costly antiques. I even packed him in my suitcase on my first trip to China (before 9/11). Smile.

  3. I have one too! Just love him and have had him for years. He watches me while I work on my computer.

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