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By Joe Phillips Dear Me
By Joe Phillips Dear Me

Cindi and I can

talk. We speak the same language on china tableware in Blue Willow patterns.

She collects Blue Willow and has it all over her house, even hanging on the walls.

Both my grandmothers owned Blue Willow, purchased when a set was reasonably priced.

Lois Milam Phillips received Blue Willow as a gift from her son, Ephraim Pray Phillips, when he hired on with the Postal Service to deliver mail to half of the Candler Building in Atlanta.

My maternal grandmother's son, Rudy, served aboard the USS William T. Powell (DE-213), a destroyer escort, making several crossings of the North Atlantic during World War Two.

Uncle Rudy visited Ireland and England and once brought his mother a set of Allerton Blue Willow when it was still available there.

Allerton did not survive WWII. The story I heard was that the pottery was bombed, destroying the silk screen patterns. Another version was that during the war years the potteries were banned from producing “decorated ware” in order to save fuel and resources. Only plain pottery was allowed to be produced for the home market. And, they were bombed.

Johnson Brothers produced Blue Willow that survived WWII.

Aunt Margaret Watts had Johnson Brothers Pink Willow and I have no idea what happened to it.

My first set of Blue Willow was from a box store and I doubt there is one piece of it anywhere.

James Wells was a Ham Radio Operator who totally understood how radios worked and during emergencies did what Ham Radio Operators are supposed to do. I never understood all the stuff in the room attached to his house. He collected old radios, any old radio, most were cannibalized for parts.

He didn't bother with cabinets for his hand-built radios, and you had to be careful what you touched.

For an early hobby, I collected stamps. My relatives collected post cards in large scrap books.

A friend collects baseball caps and old license plates; another collects little elephant statues and has hundreds.

My mother-in-law collected spoons, not usable spoons but spoons sold to collectors of spoons. She wanted one from each state, and I don't know how far she got.

I am drawn to cookbooks, any cookbook, the older the better with scribbling in the margins.

People collect little angels, thimbles, hydrangeas, balls of string, barbed wire, telephones, horse shoes, concert tickets, vinyl LP records, coins, Civil War bullets, airline stuff, dolls, snow globes, fishing lures, walking sticks, electric trains, cars.

Yes, that is “cars,” plural. I don't know how many 1957 Chevrolets he owns.

There isn't room around here for me to collect anything.

Most of my spare space is cluttered up with old pictures.

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