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Old Dishes
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Back in the early 70's, shortly after completion of Peace Corps service, I got my own apartment and started teaching elementary school.

My apartment furnishings consisted of Salvation Army specials and alleyway "found" treasures. My coffee table was a spool that had originally held telephone cable. It was the perfect height for the dog to clear it off with one sweep of his tail.

But my dishes were new. Corningware's Corelle dishes, plain white, had just come on the market. Very futuristic: lightweight, nearly unbreakable, ceramic glass. With one of my first paychecks, after paying my back rent (my landlord was so delighted that he had evicted the druggies and got a real, live working tenant that he was willing to wait a couple of months for the first rent), I bought a complete set of Corelle.

Dinner plates, salad plates, mugs, bowls large and small, and a large serving bowl were prominently displayed in my kitchen. Mostly because I owned nothing else except one sauce pan and a large cast iron frying pan I had found at a rummage sale. The Salvation Army supplied mismatched eating implements.

What is most astonishing is that I still have the complete set of Corningware. Drop it on the tile floor, it bounces. Freeze it, thaw it, it's fine (though now I understand it wasn't guaranteed for freezing). Unstained, unscratched, used every day.

The only piece that is missing is the smaller serving bowl. I had taken food to a friend's backyard barbecue and upon leaving the barbecue I placed the bowl and other stuff on the ground so I could load the car. I forgot about the bowl and drove over it. Blame it on the distraction of the moment.

Even Corningware couldn't survive being run over, as opposed to that famous Timex that took a licking and kept on ticking.

I still have the dishes, in perfect shape except that one small bowl has a chip. With all the moves over the last 40 years, I'm not sure what happened to the matching mugs. Other dishes have come and gone, but the Corelle abides.

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