Why, of all Breyer models, did you choose to collect Brighty... obsessively?
Model horses (specifically BREYERS) have ALWAYS been a part of my life.
My mother had a small collection from her childhood; and some of my first models were those she passed down to me, (a few of her more, "loved" models. She had several that I was never allowed play with). I grew up with my little second-hand herd, and a few "new additions" when I got a bit older.
So... Brighty wasn't my FIRST model... nor was he my SECOND!
Those honors belong to Stormy, and Misty of Chincoteague respectively!
I didn't even realize that Breyer HAD a Brighty model, until just before my 11th birthday in 1992!
Prior to 1992, I was under the impression that Breyer Animal Creations, was out of business and no longer selling their model horses. Why on earth would I think that?? After all, everyone knows that Breyer has been around for over 60 years, and has never stopped making their wonderful models! Well, growing up in Arizona, the hobby/toy stores that had carried Breyer's models, slowly went out of business; or stopped stocking Breyer models... one by one. Since I stopped seeing the models on store shelves (and the internet not being in everyday use yet), I assumed that Breyer had gone out of business.
Well... in 1992, I happened into a NEW toy store (one that would eventually become my first job!), and imagine my surprise when I saw shelves full of lovely yellow Breyer boxes!
And among them... a BRIGHTY model!
By this time, I was familiar with the story of Brighty. I first encountered the story of the plucky burro, in a the early reader, Five True Horse Stories. Inside this little book are excerpts from three of Marguerite's books; Justin Morgan Had a Horse, Stormy, Misty's Foal and, Brighty of the Grand Canyon. I was too young at the time to really appreciate the stories, but it was this little collection of abridged classics, that launched me into a horse crazy, reading frenzy!
As with the model, Brighty was not the first story by Marguerite Henry that I devoured. Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague holds the honor of being my first taste, of the author that would become one of my enduring favorites!
Knowing that his young daughter had found an author she enjoyed, my father brought home a copy of Brighty of the Grand Canyon by Marguerite Henry. At the time, his job had him living and working near the South Rim of the Grand Canyon; visiting us at home, on the weekends. He gave the book to me one summer, and told me that I needed to read it.
Something about the story, completely hooked me, and there was no turning back. I read that book habitually every summer, for at least 8 years. I still know the story backwards and forwards; and I still own that original, much loved and bedraggled, paperback copy!
On that day, when I laid eyes on the first Breyer horses that I had seen in YEARS, and among them the Brighty model that I knew I HAD to have... I begged my grandmother to purchase him for my birthday gift. After all, I pleaded; my birthday was only a week or two away! Even though she couldn't fathom why her granddaughter could possibly want a model that was "sitting" rather than "standing", she unwittingly initiated... what would become one of the most unique and "off the wall" collections in the Model Horse Hobby!