photo/ willow/ magpie tales
Another weekly challenge from Willow at Magpie Tales. Lots of fun, do look up all of the participants!
When I was a little girl, before I even started kindergarten, my Mom began collecting Blue Willow china from a very unlikely source. Every Wednesday we would go to a matinee movie at the RKO Pelham, in The Bronx, NYC. A bonus was given away, free with the the purchase of a ticket: a Blue Willow plate, or bowl, or cup or whatever would finally make up a place setting. The goal was to reach a complete set, so that you could feed a group of 8 hungry folks and have them eating off a matching set of china.
Time flew by, and I grew past kindergarten age as my Mom continued to watch bad B movies and collect Blue Willow. I was happy to be going to school, to escape all those seedy romances and boring westerns, usually the second feature of a bill that might feature Bette Davis or Clark Gable or some super glamorous star, who meant nothing to me anyway. No one ever walked out of movies in those days. If you paid, you stayed.
A lot of family secrets are tawdry. Here's one. The last giveaway, the very last chance to get the last treasured piece of Blue Willow, my Mom couldn't go! But I had to go to school!! What to do? Well, we all have to make sacrifices from time to time, and even though I was sent to school when I complained of what Mom called imaginary illnesses, my Mom justified my skipping school that afternoon by pointing out that I would be contributing to the completion of what was sure to become a collectors item. She bribed me with a dinner out at the Golden Dragon, the local Chinese restaurant, where I could feast on my favorite, fried noodles and wantons. Enough said.
Mom bought my ticket, (adult price), spoke to the matron, (remember them?), who seemed always to be waving her flashlight, asked a special favor for her to keep an eye on me, keep me safe and sound, make sure that no pervert chose me to abduct. And to absolutely see to it that I receive the Blue Willow final plate when they were given out.
All went as planned, and the set of china had a big debut on Thanksgiving. And was put into semi-retirement, since the Blue Willow reached antique status rather quickly at our house, too precious for everyday use.
I now possess the last soup bowl. It has a tiny chip on the edge, and doesn't interfere with Milo, my cat, drinking water from it each day. He sometimes lingers, probably wondering how he can engage the attention of the two lovebirds flying above the idyllic scene. I too, as a child, was mesmerized by the intricate, very different story, that the Blue Willow had to tell.