Jim Yesse and Cindy Kresh are bringing their Barbies back to Bethany Home for a two-day exhibit.
A variety of their Barbie-themed dioramas will be on display in the chapel from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, and also from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.
It is open to the public.
This is the second year the brother and sister team is displaying items from their collection.
“The residents love it. I do a lot of repurposing. I repurpose so many things. I go into Goodwill. What I see and what people see are two different things,” said Yesse, who lives in rural Fremont and owns Yesse Appliances.
Small trinkets and partial rolls of wallpaper find new uses in the dioramas.
Kresh lives in Wisconsin Rapids and had five or six Barbie dolls as a child.
“She kept them, but they were packed away,” Yesse said.
About 20 years ago, when the doll’s 35th anniversary was celebrated, Yesse saw Barbie dolls on clearance after Christmas and decided to buy one for his sister.
He put it aside until her birthday, which is in June.
“That’s how this whole thing got rolling again,” Yesse said.
The following October, Kresh learned about an upcoming show in Wausau.
She asked her brother to tag along with her.
With his interest in miniatures and hers in the dolls, they were soon hooked.
“We bought stuff and met a lot of vendors,” Yesse said. “We got going, getting deeper and deeper into it.”
Some of the Barbie dolls are at her house and some are at his.
Many of the dioramas are in his home.
There are log cabin, theater, western, Wizard of Oz and even Harley Davidson themed dioramas.
Yesse explained how they came to start displaying the items at Bethany Home.
Their parents, the late Joe and Margaret Yesse, were both at Bethany Home at one time.
In addition, Yesse has customers who went to the nursing home.
That connection resulted in him becoming a volunteer there.
During a conversation about the display cases, the idea of displaying items from their Barbie collection came to be.
That was about 4 1/2 years ago.
Soon, there was a new display every month.
“Everyone liked it. Everyone kept saying, ‘When are you going to do another display?'” Yesse said.
Eventually, Bethany Home started featuring gift items in that display case.
Then, Yesse talked to a member of the Activities Department, and the decision was made to do a larger display in the chapel.
Last year was the first one, and it featured about 180 Barbie dolls on approximately 100 feet of table space.
“We will try to make it different,” he said of the upcoming display.
Bethany Home’s display case currently has a teaser in it to give the residents and visitors an idea of what to expect.
“We just have fun with it,” Yesse said. “It’s fun to make the people happy.”