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Cool Colorful Prolon Ware Melamine Cafeteria Tray

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Little Milo Tenderwell was a child of eternal optimism and hope--he was also a risk-taker. It was a Tuesday morning and he told his mother that he would like to eat ‘hot lunch’ at the school cafeteria instead of taking lunch from home. For most fourth graders at Booksin Elementary, this would not have been such a big deal but for Milo, it meant taking a risk. He was risking the security of eating a PBJ sandwich, apple, chips and most likely a delicious foil-wrapped, chocolaty Ding Dong for the uncertainty of whatever the cafeteria gods were going to be serving up that day. You see, he had lost the monthly mimeographed cafeteria menu somewhere on the long, three block trek home from school and so Tuesday’s hot lunch menu was a complete unknown.

Milo slid his colorful melamine tray along the shiny stainless steel track until he arrived at his moment of fate--in front of the heavy-set cafeteria lady with hairnet and large serving spoon in her right hand. He so hoped that the daily fare would be ‘Pronto Pups’ and oven-baked potato wedges, Milo’s personal favorite. He longed for the taste of a nutritionally balanced hot dog wrapped in bread but he could accept most anything that was served to him except of course ‘Salisbury Steak’. Salisbury Steak was a misnomer, in reality is was not steak at all but rather it was ground beef and canned green peas in a luke-warm gravy, dumped over lumpy mashed potatoes made from reconstituted potato flakes.

Milo was certain (as a fourth-grader could be about such things) that Tuesdays was traditionally Pronto Pup Day and so he had taken the big gamble and now here he was face-to-face with the fate he had chosen. His hope was quickly dispelled as the large cafeteria lady dumped on his tray a pile of lumpy mashed potatoes, pressed a bowl into the potatoes and then poured over the runny gravy mixture. Milo pondered he poor lunch decision as he slowly shuffled his way to a lunch table. Miracle upon miracle, his optimism would be rekindled as he sat down next to freckle-faced Danny Fortier.

“Salisbury Steak? I love Salisbury Steak,” Danny said with excitement. “Do ya wana trade for my PBJ?

If you are a child of the 1960's you most likely ate off these wonderful serving trays made of confetti colored, nearly indestructible melamine plastic resin. The tray is 14.75" X 10" with six compartments, one with a cup sized indent. This one is olive green with flecks of dark green and orange. These trays make great stuff corrals to hold jewelry or to empty your pockets of change, keys, etc. at the end of the day but of course they make great serving trays for camping or entertaining.

This tray is in very good vintage condition with not cracks, chips or stains. There is just some light scratches from silverware.

We have two of these trays available and another with a different color pattern: https://www.etsy.com/listing/99463375/cool-colorful-prolon-ware-melamine
If you purchase one or more at the same time we will ship the additional trays for free, we'll refund you the difference after purchase or Convo us for a custom listing with combined shipping.

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Greg Boydston
Dee Ann Boydston

Cool Colorful Prolon Ware Melamine Cafeteria Tray


  • Vintage handmade item from the 1960s
  • Material: melamine
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 940 reviews
  • Favorited by: 18 people