I remember vividly the first time I saw a Starburst pattern dish from Franciscan Ware. I was browsing through an antique store in the City of Orange, CA with my mother when she suddenly made a beeline to a set of very atomic looking dishware. The story that unfolded involved my mom reminiscing that when her family moved to CA from NY when she was in elementary school her mother decided to "modernize" by buying this very pattern of dishes. The really cool thing was that my mom lived so close to the Franciscan plant in Glendale that she remembers going with her mother to buy them directly at Gladding-Mcbean & Co. As with most family heirlooms, we have no idea where my grandmother's set dispersed too over the years. Missing the family "treasure that never was" I was always drawn to these dishes but felt discouraged from collecting them based on their price.
Well, until earlier this week.
I almost fainted when I saw a listing on Craigslist for a 61 piece lot of Franciscan Starburst pattern for the fraction of the cost of eBay or Replacement.com. Although buying the entire lot was no small chunk of change, I knew that this one purchase would save me years of searching for that “bargain” dish the conventional way (although once I did score a mint condition creamer for $5). Surprised that someone else did not beat me to the chase, I crossed the Golden Gate to take a peak at Jim's collection. The moment I glanced inside the box I knew that Jim was my new best friend. Hearing his journey as to how he obtained each piece, I felt a little guilty that I was able to cut in line, so to speak, as I drove home with two boxes full of atomic bliss in my backseat. Once I had laid out my new possessions onto my living room floor, the guilt subsided. My dilemma now is where to store them to avoid my bad habit of accidentally breaking things. A challenge I think I can handle.
An extra curricular reading assignment on Franciscan Starburst.