Monday, October 21, 2013

Rock on, little chair


Somehow, I still have this little oak rocking chair that I used as a child more than 60 years ago.

Amazingly, most of the joints are tight and nothing on it is broken, despite the passage of the years, including six years of temperature extremes in the unheated attic of our Thorntown house.

When I was still too young for school, I would drag this chair into the living room and park it in front of our giant Philco Model 41-295 console radio.

I remember hugging my teddy bear (I called him Ted), rocking in this chair, and listening to Hopalong Cassidy, the Lone Ranger, and Captain Midnight.

I hardly ever missed the Storytime Special program at 5 p.m. on weekdays on WBAA, the Purdue University radio station broadcasting from West Lafayette, some 20 miles to the west. And this is where I sat to listen to the National Barn Dance, sponsored by Prairie Farmer magazine on Chicago’s WLS every Saturday night. (One of the featured acts was Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers. Captain Stubby, whose real name was Tom Fouts, went to high school with my mom in Deer Creek. He was three years younger than mom.)

My granddaughter Lisa used it on visits with us and these days it’s the preferred seat for Jackson Holland, our kindergarten-age next-door neighbor.

The incongruous penguin decal is showing its age, but hasn’t faded much in six decades.

The only older pieces of furniture in the house are my parents’ bed frame, now stored in the garage, and our kitchen table, which belonged to my great-grandmother Dietz. Maria refinished the top a few years ago and gave it a durable polyurethane coat that should last at least another 100 years.

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