Pinky Sepulveda Goes to Harry Potter Camp

Alison McMahon Johnson

I can't tell you the enthusiasm and gratitude we all felt at Pinky's being accepted into Harry Potter camp, newcomers as we were to the whole doll camp experience. Naturally, it threw all of us into a great chaotic tizzy of getting ready to send our little one off to camp -- a first for all of us. At her age, just turned what? 13? of course her immediate response after the first peals of ecstatic enthusiasm was, "Oh, no, what should I wear? What should I take? What do I need? What should I do?"

The girls opened their closets to her and told her to start borrowing things that they'd outgrown and that might fit her (as is the usual case with a large family of girls, you get a large wardrobe to choose from, not new, but new to you -- all you need is an imagination and an ability to mix and match):

Rhubarb Sepulveda brings in some hostess gifts to take to the camp director: a magnum of champagne, a moon cake, roses, and a bit of jewelry. (above left)
Pinky has gathered together an assortment of clothes gleaned from her sisters' closets, and enlists Rhubarb's help as a stylist. It's a big job, but Rhubarb is armed with some champagne of her own to carry her through the process. (above right)

Sorting and selecting with the assistance and advice of her older sister Rhubarb, a performance artist (above left), who certainly can help here, with her fashion and theatre background (plus she has seen many of these clothes before, sister by sister)(above right)

As the sun begins to set, Pinky has pared down the selection to mix and match, and has begged the use of Rhubarb's fine black kit bag, designed by a niece of Cesar Chávez for her girls.
A job well done -- on less than a shoestring budget. Llike the Weasleys, the Sepulveda "has more children than they can afford," according to those whose wealth is measured in coin.

Of course, final refinements will have to be made before departing early tomorrow, but Pinky is chuffed as all get-out to have pared all this down into a kit bag and a swim bag, and is feeling good about the wardrobe she has put together from the family closets.

"...and we did it all without magic -- just hard work!"(sizing bathing suit)


"That was Mark. He said Alison's walking around the house in circles because she's been up all night getting everything together for IFDC and she's till working, and he has to watch her so she doesn't keep losing things in her hands, plus they are going to wait for a break in the rain and try to there without getting everything wet. Could you drive me there instead?"

As Pinky and Rhubarb sit back to share a small glass of champagne, a glow of light hits the South side of the room and out of a glowing mist, accompanied by a deep "tongk" as of two wooden goblets knocking together in a toast, appears the arm of the Sepulveda Godmother holding a bamboo wand topped with a crystal point, wrapped in silver and copper for conduction. Both ladies clap their hands and shreik in joy at the apparation, for no, it is not an apparition but a real live "fairy" godmother whose arm extends out of the glow with the wand for Pinky. Her soft voice croons as she floats the wand over to Pinky,

"Remember Pinky, about bamboo:

'Its emptiness is its strength and its hollowness its music,'"

and just as softly, blowing a warm breeze of kisses over the goddaughters, she fades back to from where she had been.


"That was Clare. She said she was running late and would meet us at the station."

Turning to see who is speaking to her, always with a pleasant smile on her face, always expecting the best, and here, so pleased with her new look and first trip away from home, she finds herself at a total loss for words, having been prepared to say, "Why thank you, and isn't this rain something?" but being met by insults delivered in a strange monotone, "a lack of affect," as it is called in psychology ...

photos taken aback is she by the words that she stands there waiting for the punchline; it can't possibly be for real, and why is there no expression on the man's face?

Pinky's got the wind knocked out of her sails and doesn't know just what to do or how to feel, totally confused by this intrusive blindeside attack. Rhubarb too is left dumbfounded by the experience. Both are so shaken by this that they don't notice that a security guard had been watching the entire episode, and the (perpetrator of the attack) is taken aside and questioned about this act of domestic terrorism: an unprovoked attack on two innocents, a sucker punch, shameful cowardice....There seem to be no words to describe the alarming behavior. The security guard also is perplexed, and his suspicions are aroused: the man must be holding back a darker hostility, leaking out at the seams, transferred to two very gentle looking ladies in a bizarre projection of inner fear.

Of course, the first thing he does is ask the man to remove his shoes, in order to both place him in a position of semi-helplessness, as well as to begin checking him out thoroughly.


Left to stew while ID and record checks are run on him (above), his thoughts take form, he begins reverting to form.
Security asks him to "walk this way," and takes him into an office for further questioning, noticing his feet are beginning to take on a peculiar yellow cast, and "walk this way" will begin to take on a new meaning for the guard.

In the staion lobby Pinky and Rhubarb attempt to pull themselves together while waiting for Clare, who arrives to find them uncharacteristically downcast, especially at the start of an adventure to which Pinky had been looking forward with so much enthusiasm. "¿Qué pasa? ¿Qué pasó? ¿Why the long face niña?"
"Something weird just happened, and we don't know enough about it to even be able to tell you. I'm waiting to see a hidden camera revealed at any moment. If we're not on 'The Jamie Kennedy Experiment,' then we just stepped into the Twilight Zone. I'll tell you later -- a weird guy came up to us and started berating Pinky for no reason at all."
"About what?"
"He didn't like the way she looked and just tore into her -- he came up behind her and just started in like we'd been having a conversation all along. Just a weird guy."
"Where is he?"
"I don't know. He disappeared."
"Well, Pinky, I have your camp gifts here for you, a bell, book, and candle for each camper to remind them of their camp experience -- or to use at camp. I also brought you a jasper pendant -- and I am so thankful I thought of it, in the light of this weirdo out of nowhere -- as Jasper is a wonderful stone to protect you against many kinds of astral attack as well as danger: it's one of the greatest all-around protective stones you can find. It's like Jade and Turquoise -- it is actually a relative of Jade, with more iron in it to make it the reddish color it is. Since you're an Aries, it will be even better for you. Let me put it on you: that way my love will also enter into the circle that protects you and be even more powerful."

"I got as many The Science of Harry Potter books, like the one you have to read on the train, as I could, but couldn't find fifteen of them, so I put in as many of the different Harry Potter novels as I could and then put in a humor book and a grown-up Dr. Seuss book and some herbology and other basic texts for the campers."


Later, after seeing Pinky safely onto the train,

"Hey, whose boots are these? I saw them here when I came in and they're just sitting here. I need boots -- it's going to be getting colder and they'll be nice for horseback riding."
"Really? There's no point in leaving them here then -- they'll just wind up in the lost and found. They've been here quite a while -- whoever they belong to must have left on one of the trains out. Take them."

"Cool -- they look like they'll fit just right. I'll take them home and put some Lysol and powder in them first. It looks like I have a cool pair of real Texas cowboy boots!"

"Well now you see, something bad happens and then something even better happens!"

Well, things were certainly looking up for the ladies, but alone on the train, Pinky breaks down under the stress of going off on her own for the first time and having suffered such egregious abuse on her first venture out.

9 June 2004:...:

...and then later, nearby:

sometime during the month,

x 2004: xxxx:

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The Background to the Story:

... 2004:

This time,
When ....

Summer 2004: Well, ... face repaints, .... One group I became involved with has a "Travel Doll Project," which was a good outlet for what I had already been doing with Furbies -- photographing them as traveling companions (which they were) with lives of their own.

For a while it gave me a place to show the photos I was taking and get some feedback on them, as well as see some of the scenes which others photographed their dolls in. As it became more and more restrictive and began to encourage competition in gift-giving, my interests wandered on to sites more focused on inclusiveness, such as the Harry Potter Dolls group.
All the Dolls I've done, play with, am working on.... (always under construction)
Page 1 of Featured Dolls
Page 2 of Featured Dolls
Page 1 of Doll Clothes
Page 3 of Featured Dolls(not open yet)
Page 4 of Featured Dolls: Alison's Wonderland Fur Salon for fashion dolls
Page 5 of Featured Dolls: Alison's Wonderland Fur Salon for fashion dolls
Book Crossing Diorama:
About the Diorama: The Diorama itself: how it was made; how it looks in scale to the real world.
Luisa's Story: How I overcame a lifelong antipathy toward "Barbie, the Doll."
The Sepulveda Girls: (just begun)
Pinky Sepulveda You are here

Above, we have a picture of ....

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... other than to have grown up in the shadow of the the mysterious tall fortress of the original El Segundo Boulevard Mattel Plant -- even before it was there. Since it moved (replaced by Ocean Gate Shopping Center, I believe), I have missed it. It was always a piece of community pride -- along with TRW, Trader Joe's, Dive'n'Surf, the Edison Plant, Mira Costa, La Playita, Knoll Surfboards; The Insomniac (perhaps a source of horror to most parents at the time), The Lighthouse, The Either/Or Bookstore on Pier Avenue; The Moose Fair, The Pitcher House, Buck's Body and Fender, Casey's Used Cars, the Harley Shop on PCH -- all the automobile dealerships along there, now a source of complaint to the nouveau riche encroaching on the laid back beach towns of Manhattan, Redondo, and Hermosa Beach.