Carrying my Father Forward

Clay and Wood: Passing the Circles Along

He was born in 1894, served in two World Wars, and died when I was 5. I was his eighth child over a span of more than 30 years.

Surely he turned these plates before I was born, because I cannot remember them not existing. I do remember our family having many a delicious steak dinner on them, even through our family’s re-configurations after he died. It was like eating off one’s own private cutting board. Steak, baked potato, fresh or frozen bright green peas, and toasted French’s fried onion rings. Yum. The recessed center of the plate held together all those juices and made for easy blending and sopping with in-meal-mashed potato parts.

It has always amused me that I love wheel throwing. Not only do I love it just because I love it, but when I consider the spinning of the plates, I somehow feel connected to a process that might be in my genes. I wish I could thank him in person, but instead I thank him by sharing here.

We all carry forward parts of our parents. We may choose some of those parts to nourish, we may push others of those parts far away. But this is a part that came through me whether I chose it or not. I just looked up one day and there they were, clear and solid evidence: plates. He made some. I made some.

Guess it’s ’bout time to make that steak dinner and invite over some friends and family to share!

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