Thursday, January 14, 2010

Liberty Blue

For the last couple of years--ever since we moved into our "new" house--I've been collecting a few eclectic pieces of old china for the living room shelves. Not a complete set of anything, just pretty pieces I come across at garage sales or thrift stores. While I was at my parents' house at Christmastime I was able to add a few pieces from my past. Here's the story:

When I was growing up my dad almost always had a secondary job in addition to pastoring. In 1976, when I was 10 years old, he worked at the A&P grocery store. We liked that job for him because he often brought home really cool stuff that the store was discontinuing. That year, in celebration of the Bicentennial, A&P carried this set of Liberty Blue dishes as a special promotion. You've seen those types of deals. Buy so many dollars worth of groceries, get a certain piece of china for a really cheap price this week. At the end of the promotion, for some reason, the store had a whole bunch of the little dessert bowls leftover, plus, apparently, a cream pitcher and salt-and-pepper set, and I don't remember what else.

Mother had the idea that we girls could start our hope chests with these dishes. So we did! I think I had a dozen of the little bowls. No plates (the plate in the picture is actually a different pattern), no cups and saucers, just these few odd pieces.

I never did care for a busy pattern on dishes, so I didn't think these were especially pretty, but I did think it was interesting that each piece featured a different patriotic scene. The little dessert bowls have Betsy Ross. For some reason the cream pitcher and the salt-and-pepper shakers both have Paul Revere. I found a list of other dishes (and scenes) in the set at Robbins Nest, and I was just amazed at the prices! Which brings me to the second part of the story.

Like I said, I wasn't real crazy about these dishes, but I did use the little bowls for several years when I was first married, just "for every day" and of course, some of them got broken. After we had been married 13 years, we were packing up to move from Kansas to Idaho. My mother came to help. We had a garage sale and got rid of a lot of stuff, the way you do when you move. I stuck these dishes in the garage sale box, but I guess my mother decided they were worth saving. I didn't remember that at all.

At Christmastime (just past) I noticed that she had two of the little bowls sitting on a shelf in the bathroom with shells in them. I assumed they were some she had from the left-overs Dad brought home all those years ago. I thought how neat it would be to have them for my "dish shelf" so I decided to ask her about them. "Mother, you know how you've said that if we see something in your house that we want, we should just ask you for it? Well, I'd like to have those two little Liberty Blue bowls that you have in the bathroom."

Her immediate response was, "Why, of course! Take them!" So I moved the shells to another dish and washed the bowls. The next day she came in carrying a taped-up envelope box from the basement. "Karla, look here!" I went to see what she had. This was the box of "treasures" she had "rescued" from my garage sale almost 12 years ago. In the box was another bowl, the cream pitcher, and the salt-and-pepper shakers! (The rest of the stuff in the box I still didn't want.)

I was happy to have these nostalgic pieces back in my collection. And my mother is just gloating that she thought to save them... especially after I showed her the current price of these dishes!

Visit Coloradolady for more Vintage Thingy Thursday posts.


Maureen said...

See....Mama knows best! Pretty dishes.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

That was a great story! And when I think of all the things I've gotten rid of I'm a bit sick and don't want to throw stuff out - and of course I do have to throw stuff out!

See? what an awful catch-22!



Carrie said...

Your post reminded me of my post about berry bowls that included Liberty Blue.
My sister started my collection of LB at a grocery store in NY. I really didn't like the pattern because it looked "old fashioned."
Later i started to collect is for its historical connection.
I also, did a post, Independence Day Tablescape, that featured two bicentennial tableware sets, Ruby Red Cape Cod and Liberty Blue.

I enjoyed reading this post about your LB dishes!

Postcardy said...

I have been looking for bicentennial postcards lately. I would like to find some of those dishes too.

CC said...

Oh my!!! The things we've discarded and wish,wish we had back again. I loved your dishes and your story. Thank heavens for mothers that rescue us from some things we're about to do.

Mrs. P. said...

What a great story. I love transferware and really like your liberty pieces.


~~Carol~~ said...

Mother knows best, for sure! That was such a great story! I am constantly amazed at the things that I collect now. Things that I remember from my childhood but really didn't care for back then. Now I have to have them! Your dishes are lovely!
Happy VTT!

Happy Cottage Quilter said...

awww what a great story. And how wonderful that your Mom saved the dishes. Sounds like something I would do with my daughter :-)


Susan L (lily40au) said...

Isn't it funny how your tastes change because I wouldn't have liked that pattern when I was younger ... and now it's my favourite sort of pattern. I'm so glad your mother rescued those plates and she deserves an extra big hug for being so darn clever! LOL

The Going Blog said...

What a delightful story. I love it. I'm amazed that your Mother kept them and knew where to go get them again. Thanks for sharing.

KK said...

Great story Karla. It is wonderful that your Mother was thoughtful enough to save those for you. She knew you would come around! They are very pretty.

Coloradolady said...

What a delightful story and a memory to go with it. The dishes are really nice, and I remember bicentennial things being so "in" during that time frame. I am sure you are glad you got some of these for yourself. Happy VTT!

GardenofDaisies said...

I have a bunch of these dishes! LOVE the blue and white with the patriotic designs.

The Watts Family said...

Oh cute story I like your little collection very nice ~Blessings Heather :)

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful! I love blue on anything.

pse said...

The red one adds a nice accent to the shelf.

Making Memories 1999 said...

I like those dishes and the neat story!

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

I love those dishes but your story makes me think I better not ever sell anything because I might like it and want it again sometime! :)

I have your creamer. I was on a rampage for blue and white creamers and yours is one I got on ebay. I'll have to show mine off someday too.

Happy travels,

Aliene said...

I remember those dishes and might have a couple pieces. Uncle Silas worked at the A&P during that time, also. Actually, most of his working career was A&P.
I keep things, too, thinking that maybe someday one of my girls might have an interest. Since they don't~ if and when I come across whatever I have I will save them for you. Loved your post! Brought back memories.

A Romantic Porch said...

How neat