Family’s collection fills house

Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 23, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – A first glance at the house of Bud and Cathy Metcalf shows nothing out of the ordinary – just the light displays and tree that mark the Christmas season at almost every house.

You may notice, in the living room on a handmade shelf, more than 30 tiny &uot;matchbox&uot; cars, trucks and tractor-trailer rigs that Bud Metcalf has collected through the years.

But then you step into the rest of the house, and you realize that for the Metcalf family, collecting is a way of life.

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In two of the house’s bedrooms and part of a third bedroom, dolls and stuffed toys cover the beds, shelves, tabletops and walls, fitting onto the headboards of beds and into corners.

&uot;Our daughter collects these,&uot; Cathy Metcalf said matter-of-factly. Their daughter, Paula Philippe, now lives in Denham Springs, La., but has left her collection of hundreds of dolls at her parents’ house.

Items in her collection range from characters from &uot;VeggieTales&uot; and &uot;The Simpsons&uot; to at least two stuffed Snoopys and, last but not least, two Cabbage Patch dolls autographed by the creator of the doll series.

&uot;We’ve got four or five bags of these (dolls) that we haven’t even found a place for yet,&uot; Bud Metcalf said.

And the living room table is covered with Christmas-themed dolls collected by Cathy Metcalf.

They range from talking &uot;Sesame Street&uot; characters dressed in holiday garb to a Santa in swimming trunks that surfs to Christmas tunes.

After every Christmas for the last four or five years, she has browsed the stores to get the figurines at post-holiday prices.

&uot;My sister’s even got two or three that I don’t have,&uot; Cathy Metcalf said.

Bud Metcalf said that if his wife collects any more Christmas dolls, he will have to build an extra wooden platform to hold more.

Their collections also include Mickey Mouse items (him) and Disney beanbag dolls (her).

&uot;A child could easily find Christmas at our house,&uot; Cathy Metcalf said.

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