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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Now You're Just Making Stuff Up

Hello 2015! 

This is the year I begin to divest myself from the role of family treasures curator and share the wealth.  Well, not completely and I don't know how wealthy any of this stuff would make anyone.  But, saying that, I am frequently found on e-bay nowadays as we get our house ready for sabbatical and whomever will be watching our kittehs.  Nothing of sentimental value is going but EVERYTHING can't be important and most things CAN BE SOLD or BETTER YET, GIVEN AWAY

Which brings me to my point.  My grandmother had such a lovely china cabinet I wrote the poem about it that I'm sure I published here at some point.  I was 14 when I wrote it and she has just been diagnosed with cancer.  She lived another 4 years cancer free.  But at the time we learned she was ill I became so sentimental and nostalgic for all things I loved about her and the home she made I was compelled to take pen to paper.   Flash forward almost 20 years and nearly everything in that cabinet came into my possession.  Of course, Diana has a bit too but I have the bulk of it right down the Checkered Chicken (nee The Lucas Chicken).  I have paid to have it all cross the ocean two ways and move across states North to South, South to North and East to West but now I'm finally addressing and assessing it. 

In amongst these glazed treasures are two tea cups that go with nothing else, not a saucer, not a plate, not even each other.  They are just two random tea cups that have traveled the Atlantic Ocean and never been used while in my possession.  As being on e-bay makes you do, partially out of fear of undervaluing your crap,  I began to investigate their humble beginnings.  The white one obviously hails from my neck of the woods--Shelledge by Syracuse China.  The second one is also domestic--Walker China from Bedford, Ohio.  So why do we have them when there is no set?  They are both mid-last century from what I can tell.

What to think, what to think?  The puzzle solver within awakens, what do I know?  I know both of these companies made restaurant china, so of course that information instantly transforms my orphan teacups into bottomless diner coffee cups, albeit the Shelledge looks like it might not have had as greasy a spoon in it as the other solid Fiesta-ware-esque Walker cup.  But that is clearly what they are--restaurant or catering china.   Why would Grandma Lucas have these?  She worked in Howard Johnson's one summer after Dad drank away his academic scholarship.  But HoJo's little silhouette was on every piece of china so that's not it.

Of course, my mind jumps to the only person in that house who would have stolen a cup from a diner--Dad.  It's not like Dad was a thief, but he did drink too much in his youth and middle years and what does a drunk like?  Coffee!  It begins to make sense.  I picture my young, erstwhile father making off with a Cornell catering cup of piping hot coffee in an attempt to undo a weekend's worth of damage.  In fact, both my scenerios involve my father stumbling off with the china unknowingly in his hand.  I knew him to drink I never knew him to steal. 

Mom and Dad front and center <3
And that is my myth of origin for these two delightful cups that are worth no more than a few bucks each and have no emotional value to me though I foolishly sponsored their UK-US tour without taking the time to get to know them. 

However, if you have a diner cup collection and would like them let me know immediately otherwise I'm releasing them into the wilds of the thrift store and my load will be that teensy bit lighter.