By Heidi Trautmann
Peggy was known to everyone as the daredevil, the
oldest paraglider at 104; she did it twice and landed in the Book of Records. But
no one ever talks of her other hobbies.
I have met her as a regular guest of the Ladies
Lunches Angelina di Fazio and Deirdre Guthrie had organized back in 2005 with
the idea to get active and creative women together. I still wonder what they
had in mind that would come out of it. I often came to sit next to Peggy and I
found it interesting to talk to her, at her age of nearly 100 years then; she
was perfectly clear and I found that others talked about rather boring things
compared to her. I was amused.
One day she told me that she was collecting dolls,
original famous ones and so I asked her if I could visit her with a group of
friends among them one German artist who made dolls herself. And I remember it
well when we all went to see her in the charming small house just before you
enter Karaman Centre and she was waiting for us with many photo albums and
stories to tell.
Unfortunately I lost the notes where I noted down how
many dolls she had collected in her lifetime.
Peggy and her daughter Elisabeth waved us in, I think
we were eight of us, and found the coffee table laid on the terrace. Thus we
learnt that she had to have one extra room just for the many dolls including
the doll houses, beds and wardrobes to hold all the dresses. That was the
precondition when she moved to Cyprus in 2004 to join her daughter, she would
come with her entire entourage. There were dolls in her collection of many
famous doll makers, also Kathe Kruse, a German designer. She had them all in an
album. But she did not only collect dolls, she also collected old postcards as
far back as the 19th century.
We were finally to follow her to her dolls’ empire,
and as we entered the room we felt a little like Alices in Wonderland, one got
the feeling that it was a true world and Peggy looked like the queen of the
dolls’ empire as she stood there with the white curls on her head, beautifully
dressed, that twinkle in her eyes and her humorous smile.
May she find her empire intact wherever she is now, we
shall never forget that afternoon in her wonderland.