Zebra Ashtray

Six years ago or so ago, we were cleaning out The Commander’s house. She had spent the last 10 years or so of her life sorting out stuff and getting rid of it (especially after my dad died) but when you live in a house for 40-ish years there is gonna be a lot of stuff even if you are not a hoarder. There are hoarders here and there in all branches of my family and in-laws but my parents were definitely not in that category, thank you very much.

Emptying The Commander’s kitchen was one of the more difficult projects and I cannot figger how much time was emptying all of the cupboards of dishware of every sort. My life was consumed with bubble-wrap. And storage boxes. Boxes? Hello? There was no big-box office supply store in Sault Ste. Siberia and WalMart had a limited supply so we were often reduced to scavenging (with permission) whatever empty boxes the Big KMart threw behind their building. It was a SCRAMBLE!

We got rid of a lot of stuff from Command Central but I saved most of the stuff I found in the kitchen. One of the beach urchins moved back from San Francisco to the god-forsaken Great Lake State a couple months after her grandmother died so I gave her a set of dishes and some glassware and some furniture and stuff.

And then there was a cupboard full of kinda random stuff that my family didn’t use or hadn’t in a long time. In the bottom of that cupboard was the Zebra Ashtray. I didn’t even think about getting rid of this artifact. I just packed it up. We used the Zebra Ashtray when I was a small child and I remember it well. My parents did not smoke cigarettes but when people who smoked came over, the Zebra Ashtray was available. When I was small there were sometimes “bank parties” at our ratty little house and some of those folks smoked cigs. My dad smoked ceeegars occasionally and I remember The Commander smoking a cigarette maybe once. Except I suspect she wasn’t inhaling (I knooooow) like I didn’t inhale (I knoooow) when I *lightly* experimented with cigarettes at 23 or so. To look cool? Whut? Sigh. Nope. I cannot inhale smoke. So I do not smoke. Anything.

Anyway, I encountered the Zebra Ashtray at the bottom of one of The Comm’s cabinets. My baby brain thought, “Zebra Ashtray” and I wrapped it in bubble-wrap and shoved it into whatever box was available and moved it down to The Landfill. And put it away in my drawer of holiday hors d’oeuvres dishes.

I got it out this Thanksgiving for some reason (not for an ashtray) and one of the beach urchins turned it over and wouldn’t you know there is a mark and an artist’s name. Georges Schreiber, an acclaimed artist. My artifact is not worth anything. It is not an original and I believe you can find these things on eBay or wherever. But so glad I didn’t just throw that ashtray into the Kiwanis Thrift or whatever. I loved the Zebra Ashtray as a small child and I am glad that one of my own children led me to discover its origin. I may not have ever looked.

One Response to “Zebra Ashtray”

  1. Margaret Says:

    Love the ashtray story! My parents did smoke and had several friends who did, but never had a cool ashtray like that!!