I love antique stores and flea markets. They’re the nostalgic Ariel grotto of human thing-a-mabobs.
Between the steamer trunks, mantlepieces, records, and fur coats was this little trivet. My hands shot out to it on the shelf – there may have been a shopper’s squeal. Rescued for the low adoption fee of $2, I whisked my treasure home and with my magic Google wand bequeathed the ceramical wonder to reveal its secrets. Its cork backside was branded with a jaunty rooster encircled by the words “Soriano Ceramics” but despite the almighty Sherklocking power of the internet, I couldn’t find out much about its birth story. I’ll have to wait to be gobsmacked until Antiques Roadshow comes to town. Be it dud or financial deliverance, I had a wistfully sentimental reaction to its Mary Blair-esqe art and charming colors. I could picture the swan necked Lesley Ann Warren singing “In My Own Little Corner” in that sweet rocker.
Ah, the 1965 TV version of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella.” Like a lot of the movies I grew up with, it was chronicled onto a softly grained home-made VHS amidst Downy Soft Snuggles commercials and my grandmother’s daily recordings of John and Marlena’s melodramatic triumphs and tribulations on “Days of Our Lives.” To most I’m sure the version is a huge cheese fest- campy, syrupy sweet, and old fashioned, but I adore it. Oh, and bonus tid-bittery – the stepsister in blue is Pat Carroll – the voice of Ursula.
Miss Scarlet – I mean Miss Warren – entranced me with her doe eyed innocence and bashfully quirky smile. I yearned (surprise) for her delicate glass slippers and her ermine trimmed gown. The summer between my sophomore and junior year I got as close to Princessship that I suppose I shall ever come. If you haven’t yet noticed my penchant for the dramatic, here is where I reveal a crowining slice of my days as a thespian (which is decidedly less experimental than it sounds).
My high school’s summer theater program at Freedom Park did a production under the bug lights of “Cinderella,” and for a glorious aspiration fulfilling run, I got to be The Ella of Cinders. After each show we got the chance to meet the “fans” and I languished in the eager mob of little girls in pigtails who wanted to see my glass slippers and rocked back and forth shyly as they told me I had a purdy dress. It is my blissful assumption that this is how the revered face characters at the Magic Kingdom must feel embodying childhood heroines, however my pineapple emblazoned shirt and man khakis reminded me as I made pizzas at the Caribbean Beach Resort five years later, that my summer working in Walt Disney World would be a smidgen less royal.
It is now perfectly acceptable to start refocusing me with a chant of “Where’s the art, where’s the art, bring it here…” to the tune of John Williams “Presenting the Hook.” …My thanks, floggers- on to it! I’m tempted to say that I’m very nearly more than exceptionally proud of this illustration. I work, without exception, with the image of a new project finished and realized in my head before I even start. Ok, sometimes I don’t, but then I get all floundery and frustrated till I end up with my creative clairvoyance. Odd source though it may be, the trivet was my clear inspiration. It seared my lobe wrinkles like a powerful surge of lightning. There may have even been some latent static electricity. Cindy’s kitchen evolved more completely than some of my other pieces and my patience even withstood the layers of details like the concrete cracks in the hearth and the stacks of plates in the background. I really liked the idea that some hard earned hope was sparkling just out of frame and drifting in to add color and happiness… and great googley moogley, how can you resist that fairy tale sentiment?