The Norman Transcript

Breaking News

Opinion

November 11, 2012

A box of old dishes finds a new home

NORMAN — The year was 1945 and the war that would end all wars was finally over. My mother’s father was leaving the military after stateside service in World War I and World War II. His sons were coming home from the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific. From his final “mustering out” pay, he handed his wife $100 cash to buy something for herself.

Finally, a tangible reward for her service holding down the homefront, raising the children and praying the Rosary every night for her husband and two sons who were in some of the war’s heaviest fighting.

With part of her cash, she splurged and bought a set of Fiesta dishes. Eight place settings at John A. Brown Co. in downtown Oklahoma City. They were the art deco rage in the late 1930s and 1940s. It beamed “middle class,” the way a Lincoln Continental said upper crust. The dishes were made in solid colors and fired in the kilns of the Homer Laughlin China Company of Newell, W.V.

Fiesta dish production continued from 1936 until 1972. In 1986, the dishes became popular as collector’s items and the plant started making them again on the 50th anniversary of the first set. Grandmother used her set every day, sometimes with family, but usually alone. She lost her husband of more than 40 years in 1963.

n n n

That box of dishes that my grandmother bought herself in 1945 made one more move this past month. She had wrapped them in newsprint and hauled them many times from Oklahoma City to homes and apartments in Norman. She finally entrusted them to her daughter in Santa Fe.

Grandmother didn’t need them when she went to an assisted living center and then a nursing home. Before she died at age 100 and six months in 2001, she let it be known that the first great-granddaughter of hers to get married would be getting the dishes as a wedding present long after she was gone.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Dancing forward

    The official motto for Mike Fowler’s chairmanship of the Norman Chamber of Commerce is “Moving Norman Forward.” But after Thursday night’s annual banquet, the sub-theme should be, “Let’s Dance, Norman.” More than 500 chamber members and ...

    April 19, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • Local control or not?

    Oklahoma lawmakers are a fickle bunch when it comes to issues of local control. Sometimes they want it and other times they do not....

    April 19, 2014

  • Norman should act wisely

    Editor, The Transcript: The fact that the city of Norman sells water for oil/gas drilling (or any other purpose) for less than half what they pay Oklahoma City when buying water, and while Norman residents are on rationing, is an act of ...

    April 18, 2014

  • There’s no need to fix system that’s working

    Lawmaker attempts to alter the way judges are selected are being challenged by the state’s lawyers. More than 1,800 signatures on a state bar association petition urging a “no” vote on Senate Joint Resolution 21 have been gathered in just ...

    April 18, 2014

  • On the side of openness

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has been criticized for failing to release emails and other information sought by press outlets who believe it was covered under the state’s Open Records Act. Now, Fallin is coming down on the side of keeping the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • A raise for troopers, but what about others?

    Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers could see an increase in their paychecks during the state’s next fiscal year, which begins in July....

    April 17, 2014

  • Fallin should help residents

    Editor, The Transcript: I see this week that our empty skirt of a governor asked the federal government (small business administration) for much money. She is concerned about the suffering of the business owners in Lexington and Purcell ...

    April 17, 2014

  • Top honors for NPS

    Top honors keep rolling in for both of Norman’s high schools. The district learned this past week that Norman High School and Norman North High School have been recognized as two of the most rigorous high schools in the country and in the ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Wind power bursting

    There are a few wind generators dotting the Norman skyline, but western and northwestern Oklahoma makes up for the deficit here. An industry group this week said Oklahoma ranks fourth nationally in the amount of wind-generated ...

    April 16, 2014