As you may remember, while in New York this month, I cleaned out the upper shelf of a kitchen cabinet for the Dowager Duchess (click here for a refresher). Among the treasures, I found no-longer-clear plastic cups from a party my mother hosted in 1972; more discolored no-longer-burping Tupperware; and a vintage first aid kit containing ointments, salves, and lotions that had all expired right after World War II. (OK, Mom, I exaggerate, but the stuff was from the 1950s!) The primary reason the Dowager Duchess wanted me to clean out the shelf was because she knew there were “movie dishes” up there — remnants of the five services for eight she and her mother collected in the 1940s (see a movie, get a free dish). My mother ended up with two of those sets and she gave one to me in 1971 when I left home. Recently, she realized she could use the bowls (larger than her everyday cereal bowls), which is why she asked me to clean the shelf.
|MY FATHER WITH HIS NEW IN-LAWS, EARLY 1949.
MY GRANDMOTHER, SMILING ABOUT ALL THOSE FREE MOVIE DISHES.
MY GRANDFATHER, STEWING ABOUT HOW MANY TIMES HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER WENT TO THE MOVIES.
Amazingly, my mother-verging-on-hoarder, filled up bags and boxes with extra movie dishes (and lots of other valuable items) for charity. Except for the six bowls she kept, and the emptied vintage first aid kit The Kid Brother took home, just about everything else went in the trash.
|THE DOWAGER DUCHESS’S “NEW” NEARLY-70-YEAR-OLD CEREAL BOWLS.|
|MY GOURMET BREAKFAST.|
|THE VERY BUTCH DINNER SET I HAD UNTIL ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO…
BECAUSE 2 PEOPLE WITH 6 SETS OF DISHES SEEMED A BIT MUCH.