My maternal grandmother, known affectionately as “Gong Gong,” lived her life with a quiet dignity, believed in being compassionate to others, and valued good behavior. Throughout her life she was always very neat, with every pleat pressed and every bow perfectly tied. Ever well mannered, she always had a “please” and “thank you” for those caring for her, even as her illness progressed. When she passed away in 2008, each of the grandkids was allowed to pick one thing of hers to keep. My choice: Gong Gong’s crystalline candy dish. While a thing of beauty and source of unending sugary delight, the candy dish also had an aura of mystery, awe, and power about it. For example, though at one point in its 50-year history it must have held some other candy, I can only remember it ever being filled with Life Savers Mints Wint-O-Green hard candy. In addition, the dish’s signature candy seemed to self-replicate: the bowl was constantly full and I have no memory of it being refilled.
Contributed by: Taylor Jasper
Origin: Bought, displayed, and used for over 50 years in Newport News, VA