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Holly Hobbie Returns on Hulu Starring Ruby Jay

Holly Hobbie, the patchwork girl with the giant blue bonnet, has returned. Created in the late 1960s and widely marketed to Gen-X girls in 1974, she now appears as a member of Generation Z in the new Hulu series.

Return of Holly Hobbie via Ruby JayRuby Jay is Holly Hobbie

Instafamous Ruby Jay, 14, landed the leading role in Holly Hobbie, a series about an aspiring singer enduring typical teen dramas while living in the small town of Collinsville. The series is filmed in Canada, but the town is straight outta Rural Oklahoma. In fact, we have a Collinsville! I’ve been there a few times.

I started watching the series over the weekend with my daughter Bridgette. We made it through three episodes, and Bridgy gives it a thumbs up. It’s sweet and wholesome with themes that appeal to most young teens: best friend drama, cheerleader tryouts, etc. The episode about the Miss Pickle Pageant  reminded me of the East Texas Yamboree and many a Yam Queen I have loved. Also, the show is slightly reminiscent of the short-lived, but long-remembered 1980s TV series Square Pegs.

Holly Hobbie Convention Family of Girls in Prairie Dresses Christmas 1978

Holly Hobbie Convention? The photo was taken in Christmas 1978

Vintage Holly Hobbie

Like many Gen-X girls, I loved Holly Hobbie. In junior high, I carried a metal lunchbox featuring the patchwork character to school every day. Yes, junior high. I suppose I was a late bloomer. And, now that I think about it, maybe that’s why I got my butt kicked on the bus every morning. All these years I’ve thought it was because I was the new kid living in a dilapidated farmhouse in the middle of an affluent neighborhood.

Speaking of the past, I recently decided to return to memoir writing. I’ve read Fast Draft Your Memoir in 45 Hours by Rachel Herron a few times, and am following all her great advice. That includes purchasing Scrivener, which has really helped me get organized. I’ve written about eight scenes, and obviously have a very long way to go. I think it will take me longer than 45 hours. Ha.

I share that to say this: Something as innocuous as a Holly Hobbie lunchbox can release a flood of painful memories. But, I’m determined not to blog my memoirs, but diligently organize them in book form, even if only for my children.

Do you have a favorite memoir?

As Herron’s instructs, a memoir is not an autobiography. I am not going to tell my entire life story in a book. That would be so boring. Instead, my memoirs, like yours, probably break down into three or four long narratives. Through all of them, the collective persona of Generation X bears out. Among those narratives, the one I most want to tell is about how all the bad things that happened to me before the age of 29 – things, that at times, hurt so bad I thought I would die — all eventually passed. Every single one of them. And, had I not pressed on I would have missed out on motherhood, the greatest and most fulfilling adventure of my life.

Do you have a favorite memoir? I have so many, but I really loved Sarah Smarsh’s Heartland. One of my longtime favorites is This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff.

Here are some vintage Holly Hobbie pictures to brighten your day. And, if you are the parent of a Gen Z, do check out the new series on Hulu. It has been very nice watching it with my Bridgy.

All of the above photos were either purchased by me or shared publicly on social networks.

Gen X Blog Jennifer Chronicles

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  1. Brett

    Love your story. Also found this–I didn’t know that “Holly Hobbie” was also the pseudonym of the artist that created her.

    American Greetings must be making serious bank with all the royalties over the past 50 years.

    • Jennifer

      Yes, isn’t that interesting!? I loved reading about her. Also, I don’t know why Wikipedia gets a bad name. I love Wikipedia entries and always learn so much.

  2. Belinda Bruner

    I don’t know how I could have missed this Hollie Hobbie thing. Maybe because 1. We didn’t have tv in the late 70s and 2. I was an early bloomer. Interesting read, though.

    • Jennifer

      It was only popular for a short time. When I was little the marketed items were mostly dolls and Colorforms. Later, when I was in my later tweens, they had jeans and tops and even dresses, but those were marketed to Gen-X girls born around 1970-1974. I think if you were born in the late 70s, you’re still a Gen-Xer, but would have probably missed out on the Holly Hobbie phase. In the late 1970s, I carried the lunchbox. It was on its way out by then.Thanks for leaving a comment!

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