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Last, but not least

By Staff | Aug 8, 2014

Tim Chapman/PCT Mary Bell’s “Table by the Sea” won the People’s Choice award at the Rugby Lions Club’s seventh annual Tables Envisioned, held July 30 through Aug. 1, at Heart of America Library.

People from around the area tried to focus their eyes on one table at a time at the Rugby Lions Club’s seventh annual Tables Envisioned, held July 30 through Aug. 1 at Heart of America Library.

The fundraiser – for large-print books for the library and support of Lions Eye Bank of North Dakota – attracted dish set collectors from around the area. Of the 25 tables, visitors chose Mary Bell’s “Table by the Sea” as the People’s Choice award.

Bell’s coral and cream Oceana pottery shell set (made by Fitz and Floyd) captured the imagination of voters with its fine detail on plates, soup bowls, mugs and wine glasses. In Bell’s prompt, included in the Tables Envisioned book, she wrote that her ocean-related, aquatic-nature dishes remind her of one of the favorite nights of her life. She was tagging along on her big sister’s date in Santa Monica, Calif.

“They were so kind as to bring me along with them so often to grunion run which occurs maybe twice a year at full moon and is a time when the fish grunion attempt to beach themselves in droves as part of their life cycle.

“The ocean becomes sparkling shimmering silver under the full moon from reflections of the grunion coming in while many people on the beach gather them in buckets for a nice meal while other people appeared to be movie stars walking along the beach in long dresses and fancy suits holding their heels in the hands and walking barefoot on a most romantic evening.”

The age range of participants at this year’s event had 9-year-old Lydia Repnow on the low end and 100-year-old Bernice Hilzendager at the top.

Lydia, in her fifth year participating, had a Northwest Airlines-themed table titled “Please Lower Your Serving Trays”. Lydia’s fond of the airline because of memories of her first flight, a trip to San Diego at age 7. During the display days at the library, Lydia would change the food on the plates from pancakes for breakfast, hot dogs at noon and chicken at supper.

“I learned that a lot of people have other things that are cool too,” said Lydia, daughter of Tables Envisioned coordinators Chuck and Jan Repnow.

Hilzendager’s table was titled “Meet Melburn Rose and my China” and she was the first centenarian to display a table in the event’s history. Her table had a pink tablecloth made by former neighbor Lil Blessum and the dishes were made by Tielsch Altwasser China in Poland. The china has a delicate pattern of roses and smaller blue flowers.

“I generally like all colors and enjoy using them when I can,” Hilzendager told the coordinators.

Other tables included Dee Dee Bischoff’s frog-themed dishes and glassware, Lila Harstad’s hummingbird and ruby red-themed Avon table and more.

“Every year there’s always a nice variety and I think this year people finally caught on to it and know the money goes to a good cause,” Chuck Repnow said. “It’s a chance for people to share their treasures.”

Participants represented Rugby, Towner, Bottineau, Willow City, Cando, Minot and Fargo.

Eileen McClintock, of Rugby, stopped by to see the tables on Aug. 1. McClintock enjoyed Sue Rosenkranz’s china from Japan and Cindie Haakenson’s depression-era glassware.

“I was born during the depression and I like to know more about the history,” McClintock said. “My mother had a few pieces. I think they’d get them on cereal boxes.”

Past People’s Choice winners include Gary and Barb Lee with Country Roses by Royal Albert Bone China; Esther McClintock with Moroccan Amethyst by Hazel Atlas; Desiree Klein with Avon 1876 Cape Cod Ruby Red dinnerware; Charles Repnow with Athena by Royal Albert and Chester by Syracuse; and Julie Baustad with a collection of Flow Blue.

In recent years, the Lions have earmarked monies from this fundraiser for the restoration of the fountain in Ellery Park, according to Repnow.

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