Bulger's Beat: Classic dishware inspires family memories

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When you sit down to eat, do you pay any attention to the plate you're using? It's a plastic and paper world for most, but for one Dickson woman, that type of informal dining just doesn't cut it.

Tina Littleton isn't afraid to call herself old-fashioned. But if you've ever eaten in her home, you know what she serves on the plate is just as important as the plate itself.

"These right here are the ones I used because of my grandparents," Littleton said.

Family meals come and go, but the dishes survive generations. Her kitchen cabinets are stocked with 1920s-era green jadeite classics and the large dining room is decorated with the family dishes she never let get away.

Ask her about paper or plastic, and she goes speechless.

"Oh, no. No, no, no," Littleton said. "Most people today would use plastic. I don't want any part of plastic. Plastic doesn't make a memory."

For Littleton, those memories include family meals around the table, so her classic cups and plates fill appetites beyond just food.

"This was her mother's grandma's cake stand, and she gave it to me because she knew I'd love it and use it," she said.

Her basement is filled with tubs of dishes - an estimated 4,000 in all - so she is always with options when dinner is served.

"Every meal and every dish has a story," Littleton said.

A small sample of classic dishes are on display at the Clement Hotel and Museum in downtown Dickson. Littleton said the visit by our news crew has inspired her to do a better job organizing the thousands of dishes she has stocked away in the basement.

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