Tuesday, August 5, 2008


These are my dining room chairs. They were purchased new by my paternal grandparents when they married in 1904. They were used around the table for all of their daily meals, while they raised three, good-sized boys. One of my uncles gave them to us in 1973, when we were moving into a new house; because he knew I always liked anything old with family history. They have been at our daily table ever since. That's 104 years of rough use, and they are still so sturdy never requiring any maintenance.

My favorite story about these chairs is one from my childhood that is still so clear in my mind as though it was just yesterday. My two cousins and I were playing one day at Grandma's. We were playing "bank". David and I were about six and Johnny was four years old. Back in those days banks all had teller's cages with iron bars between the customer and the teller to stop a robbery, I guess. These chairs with their vertical slat and side pieces reminded us of the bank. Johnny must have thought he could rob the bank, and got his head stuck between the side and the slat. Grandma tried and tried to get his head out, but to no avail. So she sent me out to the north 40 to get my Dad who was on the tractor. My Dad was not happy to get called in from his work to free a 4-year old lodged in a chair. As David and I stood scared to death, my Dad whipped out his pocket knife while Grandma held Johnny's head. We just knew that he was going to cut off his head, or at the very least, his ear. Well, my Dad just whittled away at the slat of the chair, until Johnny was free at last!

Now I have five chairs (no one knows what happened to chair #6), with one of the chairs having been whittled on. I certainly learned that day never to rob a bank! I often think I should replace those chairs with something more stylish, but they have served my family well. I'm now too loyal to replace them.

Thanks for stopping by,



Smilingsal said...

What a nice story. I wonder if you can see the chair that was whittled.

Mary said...

Hi Sally,
Your chairs are wonderful, and I really enjoyed the story, too! thanks for visiting my blog, and for your sweet comment. :)

bj said...

Oh, I LOVE those chairs and I LOVE that story...such sweet, sweet memories. I feel sure you will pass those chairs on to your kids someday. What treasures!
hugs, bj

Rue said...

Hi Sally :)

That's a great story! I wouldn't get rid of the chairs either.

Welcome to blogland!