This is Day 3 of a 21-day series. For more scoop on the who/what/why, go here.
In the grand tradition of one's blessing being one's curse, I am my grandparents' granddaughter. And my grandparents were fabulous, make no mistake. Stylish? Check. Worldly? Check and check. Self-effacing sense of humor? That would be a check, please.
My Gram and Gramps were the most loving, constant source of goodness in my life for most of my life. They adored me for the usual reasons grandparents adore grandchildren, and probably especially because they had always wanted tons of kids themselves, but were only blessed with my dad. They had to wait 30 more years for another bundle of dumpling fat to shower all that pent-up love upon, and then, because I was an only grandchild for five long years, they showered me with it like I was the desert and their job was to turn me into a verdant field.
I spent many, many weekends with them when I was small, playing all kinds of crazy games, reading all kinds of crazy books, dancing to all kinds of crazy music. They took me to matinees, to tea at Marshall Fields in the Loop, to fine Continental dinners at the Wrigley Building restaurant, where I washed down Dover sole almondine with bottomless Shirley Temples, and to exotic Polyesian dinners at Don the Beachcomber's, where I got to sit in a Queen Chair and stuff my royal face with as many pork spareribs as I could cram in there. Life was good.
But the best thing of all, my favorite treat-of-treats, was to get in bed early after my Mr. Bubble bath and watch Love, American Style with my Gram while Gramps served me a "snick-snack tray" laden with delicacies: sugar wafers, red Jell-O with bananas, ice cream scoop, Cheez-N-Crackers in the toxic, single-serve package and a glass of milk with enough chocolate in it to choke Augustus Gloop. Then they would crank up the A/C, dial the electric blanket to a toasty "7", and let me pass out in a pool of my own bliss.
Explains a lot, doesn't it?
The dark side of these crazy sensualists who contributed roughly half of my DNA is that they indulged in stuff themselves, too, and I mean STUFF. The place was always neat, but there were multiples of everything squirreled away everywhere. Because they came up during the Great Depression, we always said, but now I suspect it may have been something more than that. Something hoard-y this way comes. Their son, my father, rebelled against it and all sentiment (with the exception of his love for Jesus, as befits a good convert), and save for his writings, of which he saved every word, he let most of his possessions go as soon as they were gifted to him.
Much of the remaining "good" stuff I have once belonged to Gram & Gramps. They enjoyed giving it to me while they were still alive, so they could see me using and enjoying it. With each item, Gramps would launch into a lengthy story about the provenance of the item, the pawn shop it had been acquired in, or the particular trip to Copenhagen, or the fight it was purchased to make up for, followed by its estimated cash value (high! A fortune, even!) They were always interesting stories, and they always ended the same way: with Gram hissing quietly in my ear, "Sell it!"
These two kitschy painted metal trays were originally part of a set of six which got divvied up when the ex-husband and I moved to L.A. and pared down our possessions. Eighteen years later, I'm ready to let these go, too. They are not the ones upon which my Snick-Snacks were served, and they are a bit worse for the wear in places (some dings, scratches and a little rust in a couple of spots), but they would make a charming addition to any non-fussy mid-Century kitsch collectors home, especially an imbibing household.
Name your price, and/or pass along to someone else. (You're on Facebook, right? Yeah. That's what Facebook is for.)
Gram, wherever she is, would raise a glass to you in approval...
No, seriously, email the 'tater if you're into these (miz.tater AT gmail.com). We want them to go to a good home!