Thursday, January 19, 2012

Treasure Chest Thursday: Mom's Antique Italian Vase

I have an antique porcelain Italian vase which was given to me by my mother several years ago.  She acquired it at a flea market while we were living on the westbank of New Orleans.  For many years, the vase had its place in my parents' formal living room.  There is a story behind this vase, one that I'm sure my brother Tony still remembers.

The year was probably 1974 or 1975.  We were living in Marrero, Louisiana at the time and we were about to make to trip to Mississippi to visit relatives.  My siblings and I sat in the car, waiting for Mom who had gone back into the house to quickly grab something she had forgotten.  We could tell when she exited the house that she was angry.  She stormed toward the car and began interrogating us.  She wanted to know how her vase got broken and who did it.  Of course, every one of us proclaimed our innocence in the crime.  Examining our faces, she sought for clues as to which one of us was lying.  It didn't take long for her to figure out it was my youngest brother Tony (the culprit of many mischievous acts at our house).  

She then flung open the back door of the car and pulled Tony out, demanding an explanation from him.  His story was that he and his friend Trey were playing marbles in the hall and one of the marbles rolled into the living room and while trying to get the marble out from under the chest the vase was on, Trey knocked the vase over and it broke.  He didn't know how to fix the vase so he just propped it back on its base.  

Mom then marched Tony back inside the house.  The rest of us got out of the car and waited on the curb in silence.  Mom rarely spanked us and when she did, it was usually a few taps with her house slipper.  For reasons unknown, she usually left the spanking up to Dad.  When Mom and Tony returned to the car, we loaded up and left for our trip.  We sat in silence most of the way.  We didn't want to push our luck because we knew Mom was already angry.  Tony got his butt whipped that day, not because the vase got broken but because he lied about it.  

This little story has been cause for laughter at some of our family gatherings in the past.  To hear Tony tell the story, Mom didn't even ask any questions.  When she realized her vase was broken, she knew immediately that Tony was the guilty one because he was blamed for everything.  She stormed out of the house, went to the car and  literally pulled him through a 2 inch opening in the car window then beat him nearly to death. One would just have to know my brother's comic expertise in telling such family stories- he can tell them with a dead on serious face while adding a lot of humorous sarcasm, sort of like Larry the Cable Guy.  

In any case, the vase was glued back in place and one would have to look at it very closely to even notice it had once been broken.  I have no clue as to it's material worth, but I wouldn't trade it for anything simply because of its sentimental value ;)

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