Thursday, July 24, 2008

My Grandpa's Chair

I am participating in Kelli's of There's No Place Like Home Friday Show and Tell. {Click on this link to read more about it.}
Show and Tell
And this Friday, I want to tell you about one my my Grandpa's chairs. My Grandpa had two favorite chairs that he always sat in. His favorite inside chair is a beautiful chair and it has a mate (I have no idea who has the mate). Both chairs were sitting in the living room, in front of the big picture window with a marble top table in between them. Grandpa was a chain smoker and he was always smoking, half turned so he could look out the window and still watch us play in the floor. As we got older and became adults, he would still sit in that chair, look out the window and still be able to turn to face us for conversation.

Grandpa was a carpenter, a builder, a designer and an, uneducated by modern standards, architect. During the depression, building was slow. He would do odd jobs, repair jobs, handy man type stuff to make money, in order to feed my Grandma, Dad and his brothers. Sometimes, people who had very very nice homes and possessions... would call him to come do work for them. After he completed the job, they would not have any money to pay him..... Grandpa learned to never leave without some sort of compensation...

One such lady tried to get out of paying Grandpa for a job well done. When he looked around her beautiful home for something of equal value, that she was willing to part with, the items would be worth too little or too much. He did not want to take advantage her or be taken advantage of. He finally said, "Do you have anything else?" She took him out to the barn. There he saw two very old original Jacobean chairs. Webbing was all that was left in the bottoms. Hay had been loaded into them and the cows were eating out of them....
He knew the chairs were worth more than the job he did. But he did not see the situation as taking advantage of this lady. He saw it as rescuing two antique chairs from the fate of being feeding troughs.
He did what repair work was needed to them. Refinished and reupholstered them, cared for them, loved them. He acquired many antiques during the depression era in this fashion. I have two other side chairs circa 1840's-1850's that came from his estate. I know they were payment for a job as well.
This was one of my favorite chairs because this was the one he always sat in. I did not know what had happened to it until a few months ago my Aunt, (my Uncle's Widow) emailed me. "I have your Grandpa's chair (I knew which one she was talking about) in the attic. Your cousin does not want it... You can have it..." What a present!!!
It needs some repair work. A wheel has fallen off and needs to be put back on. The bottom of the leg where the wheel goes needs repair. (My Aunt kept and gave me the wheel.) Grandpa had it upholstered in a silk brocade. Someone has covered a seat portion in car seat velour. (YUCK!!!) I bought a beautiful silk blend brocade that I plan to reupholster the chair in. I will also need to get all new stuffing.

From my Grandpa's Estate, I have many treasures. But this is one of my favorites. This was his favorite 'inside' chair. He was the only person who sat in it. And I loved hearing him tell the story about when he first saw it, cows were eating out of it. LOL!

This is my Friday Show and Share. I hope you enjoyed it.

14 comments:

ceekay said...

What a great story and fantastic that you got your beloved chair! Can't wait to see it with the new upholstery.

Kathy said...

What a gorgeous chair - love the detail. Great story also!
Kathy (mimisgarden.blogspot.com)

Hootin' Anni said...

Feeding troughs? Oh my oh my....I'm sure glad to hear that your grandfather had the foresight to take them and save them...they're gorgeous. What a wonderful story you've shared with us. I loved reading.


My show n tell isn't what I had planned to do this week, the hurricane Dolly prevented me to have much online time this week since the time I did have was updating on the storm coming through our area. Next week, I hope to have my 'tears' show n tell. This week, I opted with photos I had on the computer already - bric a brac in our master bath. Come by if you can. I'd love a visit from you...and, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND.

LBP said...

What an amazing story to go with your pretty chair! I am glad your grandfather was able to rescue it!

Feeding trough indeed!

Blessings

Linda

A Hint of Home said...

I wish I could go into some of these attics or barns. They have such treasures in them.

Barbara H. said...

I am so glad you got this treasured memento! He did such a beautiful job restoring it. I wonder how on earth such beauitful chairs became feeding troughs and put in a barn! I am glad he rescued them.

Sandra said...

That is a beautiful chair and what a great story :)

Charity said...

What an heirloom! It is beautiful. I love the story behind it! :)

Kathi~Lavender, Lace and Thyme said...

What a great story! and his chair is simply beautiful, they don't make them like that any more. You've brought back fond memories of my Grandfather with your beautiful story, thanks for sharing it today.

Have a Fantastic Friday!
Kathi :)

Schotzy said...

What an amazing treasure. Hope you'll post the "after" soon!Thanks for stopping by my place earlier!

Carrie said...

What a great post!

Kelli said...

What a wonderful show and tell! I loved reading the story of your Grandpa's chairs, he did an amazing job restoring them!
~Kelli

Ivory Spring said...

What a treasure you have. I love the story! Thanks for sharing.

Jeanne said...

I love, love, love, the chair and your story. The chair is so beautiful and your fabric will be elegant. These family stories are so nice to read. Nice post.

Jeanne