When I was a small child, my paternal grandfather lived about a mile away from us.
One day he walked up to our house carrying a little red chair that had been in his family. He wanted my father and his children to have it.
I was the youngest and the only daughter, so I ended up making the chair my own.
When I was growing up, I kept it sitting in front of an old vanity that I had in my bedroom until I left home. I could sit on the chair and brush my hair and “primp.”
I liked the story behind the chair. My grandfather, who was born in 1885, used it to learn to walk. Someone would turn over the chair so that it set steady on the floor, and my grandfather would push it across the floor.
Apparently, someone cut the legs down short so the chair could be used for this purpose.
You can see where the chair back and the top of the front legs are smoothed down from rubbing against the floor.
Granddaddy didn’t have an easy life when he was young. His father died when he was two years old, and his mother died when he was four. He had three older siblings. Apparently he lived with different relatives growing up, eventually living with his paternal grandmother.
|Granddaddy in 1889, when he was four years old.|
|Granddaddy when he was a young man.|
The chair has been painted red since I can remember. I don’t know why someone painted over the wood with thick red paint. Perhaps it was to brighten it up for children.
Now I keep the chair in either our den or living room. It’s currently sitting in the living room, providing a seat for a stuffed snowman that I’ll keep out a few more weeks.
|I have an old doll that would probably look better on the chair than this stuffed snowman.|
(Note: Do you think I should try to remove the red paint and show the original wood? Would that hurt the wood?)
I have other pieces of furniture plus other treasures that have been in my family a long time. I’m trying to record their stories so I don’t forget and so my nieces and nephews and other family members will know their meaning.
And I have so many family stories to record, including my father’s writings and letters he wrote his sister during World War II.
Not all my memories are good, but that’s the way life is. The good can be remembered, and the bad can be learned from.
Do you have any pieces of furniture that have been in your family for a long time?