By Stephen Huba
The Weirton Daily Times
WEIRTON, W.Va. — In one of the most memorable scenes in the 1983 Christmas classic “A Christmas Story,” the mother induces her younger son, Randy, to eat his dinner by exhorting him to “show me how the piggies eat.”
Randy, played by actor Ian Petrella, lifts up his plate and buries his face in a messy array of meatloaf and mashed potatoes, provoking laughter from his mother and a look of disgust from his father.
What’s not as well-known – except among plate-turners – is the fact that Randy is “eating” from a Fiesta dinner plate. The Fiesta backstamp on the Old Ivory plate is clearly visible, said Kathy Holley, an avid Fiesta collector from Racine, Wis.
“If you look closely in the movie, you can also see a vintage cream soup bowl, nappy bowls and a Hoosier-type cabinet that appears to have more colorful (Fiesta) ware inside,” she said.
Holley, 53, a member of the Homer Laughlin China Collectors Association and regular visitor to the Ohio Valley, recently had one of her own Old Ivory Fiesta plates autographed by Petrella, who was 8 at the time the movie was made.
As first related on the “Plate Turners of the World, Unite!” Facebook group, Holley attended a Racine screening of “A Christmas Story” on Friday at which Petrella made an appearance. This is the 30th anniversary of the movie’s premier.
“Some of the actors are doing their part to keep the spirit of the movie alive. … When I realized it was Randy, I got it in my head, ‘I should take a Fiesta plate for him to sign,'” she said.
Other people were having him sign DVD copies of the movie or memorabilia such as the leg lamp, but Petrella expressed surprise at being asked to autograph the plate featured in one of the movie’s most famous scenes, Holley said.
“I said, ‘Do you know what this is?’ and he said, ‘Oh, yeah. I know what that is,'” Holley said. “He said no one had ever asked him to sign one before. … He was a really good sport about it.”