When Renée (Allen) Schroeder was a little girl, she often heard the phrase “don’t touch grandma’s pretties” when she went across town to visit her Grandma Fern Allen on Locust Street in Morenci.
She couldn’t help herself. She had to touch those beautiful glass bowls, pitchers, tea cups and other decorative items.
Now it’s Renée’s turn to give a warning to her grandchildren. Fern left many of those items to Renée and when her grandchildren Serena and Sutton come for a visit, they just have to pick them up.
“I don’t get too alarmed,” Renée said. “I just tell them to be careful.”
As a member of the Morenci Garden Club, Renée is taking a turn at filling the display case at Morenci’s Stair Public Library. She visited the library Monday to arrange several pieces of Grandma Fern’s glassware for public display during October.
“Grandma had a lot of shelves, especially in a sitting room off her living room,” Renée recalls. “She had glass shelves built in a window and when the sun would shine in, it was like a prism. There were colors all around the room and they reflected in a large mirror.”
Renée remembers helping her grandmother prepare for a visit from the Monday Club when some of her special teacups would be used for serving.
“I used to help her get ready for some of those Monday Club meetings or the Garden Club when it was her turn to be hostess,” she said. “Women did things in a ‘fancy’ way back in the 50s and early 60s. You even had to wear white gloves!”
When it was Renée’s turn to fill the display case, she started thinking about how Grandma Fern was one of the founding members of the Morenci Garden Club in 1953. She decided then to dedicate the month to her.
Renée doesn’t describe herself as a collector. She just likes to hang onto her family treasures.
“Grandma loved antique dishes and so do I,” she said. “I guess I got it from her.”