Hill Couple’s Hobby Honored by Washington, D.C., Museum

October 17, 2014
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The Beacon Hill Times has neighborhood competition, but not competition that should cause much concern.

“I call it the world’s smallest newspaper, with the world’s smallest circulation,” says Bowdoin Street resident David Trumbull, who, since January of 2011, has published the Bowdoin Street Times, a miniature newspaper (about the size of a matchbook) for the dollhouse of his wife, Mary DiZazzo-Trumbull.      Recently the tiny paper, which reports on the weekly activities of David and Mary and their friends and the newest acquisitions for Mary’s dollhouse, was honored by the Newseum, a museum of journalism, located in Washington, D.C., with an online story entitled “Big News in a Small Package.” You can read the Newseum story at http://www.newseum.org/2014/07/29/big-news-in-a-small-package/.

“In the early 1980s, when I was living in a lovely studio apartment in South Lawrence, I found my treasure,” says Mary. She continued. “Next to our giant green dumpster I spied it, all quite empty bare plywood except for some thick green carpeting which I eventually ripped out. The outside was painted a sage green with white shutters and several window boxes. Right there I decided to rescue this treasure. Ideas came rushing in and it began — the “miniature fever” they called it.”

Mary decorates the dollhouse for every season and holiday and takes photos, close up, sometimes actually inside the rooms. When she shows friends the photos they say, “I see your living room, but where is the dollhouse?”

Mary explains that the photo is not of our Beacon Hill apartment, but actually taken inside the dollhouse. Mary’s mom and dad helped her shop for miniatures from dollhouse shows and specialty shops.

            Mom would call it, “A masterpiece!” “It was this ability, with digital photography, to blur the distinction between the ‘real world’ and the ‘small world’ of the dollhouse that interested me,” David said. “I could not imagine a household that didn’t have a newspaper delivered, so I started publishing one sized for the dollhouse.” The print run consists of four copies, one for the dollhouse, one for an archive book, and two for Mary to give out to friends.            “You would not believe the reaction of friends when they hear they ‘made the paper’ that week,” David said. “You’d think they’d gotten into the Globe or Herald, they really get excited about being in a story in the Bowdoin Street Times.” When the issues in the dollhouse start to pile up, Mary bundles and ties them with string and puts them in the dollhouse attic. The emphasis on verisimilitude continues even then, with the cover story one week being a picture of the bundles and a report that the fire marshall gave a citation for a hazard.

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