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Salt cellars and a grandmother's love

December 2, 2009 |  3:12 pm

A minor mystery surrounds my grandmother's collection of salt cellars. No one in the family seems to know when she started collecting them, or exactly how many she had.

"After somebody goes, you think of all these questions that you wished you had asked them," my Aunt Ellen told me over the phone the other day.

My grandmother's name was Beulah Schrag, but everyone called her Boo. She died at home in Natick, Mass., just over two years ago. At 91, she had spent 30 years without her right leg, which was amputated because of cancer the year I was born. She was a poet, an artist, a food lover and a collector of salt cellars. She had 300 to 1,500 of the antiquated vessels for holding table salt, depending on whom in the family you ask.

The funny thing about the salts, as she called them -- I never once heard her say salt cellar -- was that although everybody knew they were her hobby and everyone was always searching for them at yard sales, in consignment shops and antique stores, nobody seems to know what they meant to her. Just that they made her happy.

To read the rest of the article about my grandmother's salt cellar collection, click here.

-- Jessica Gelt

Photos: Beulah "Boo" Schrag, in 1989, left, and circa 1946.