Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Chairs With History

Do you remember that I bought two chairs home from the op shop several weeks before Christmas ? (look here)  I left them with my father to work on them together in his shed. Well so far I've only put one hour of sanding effort into stripping the chairs. Life has been busy catching up with my sister and her four children from Canberra and catching up with a nephew in the last few days. This left dad to play in the shed with my chairs, not that I mind in the least!

I knew that dad couldn't resist the challenge and it has kept him amused. His eye sight is fading and he has always had a hearing impairment ( many years ) and can't sit easily in a crowd of talking people -all he hears  is noise and irritation. So the said chairs have kept him out of mums garden and and from pulling any more of it out. Recently dad cleared a gum tree which was dead but then he started clearing the growth the whole way down one side of the fence. Mounds of mulch have been made and the fence line looks extremely bare. You can now see over the fence line across into the yards of others where you could never see them before.

But I procrastinate... The chairs have been stripped of lacquer, sanded until as smooth as a babies bottom and re glued. Dad looked under the chair (which I failed to do for one chair when buying them) and discovered a plank of wood and multitude of nails holding one chair together. When re gluing he pulled the center of the chair apart and found enclosed within three layers of ply wood (which I thought was a single block) a letter, a dollar note and some photographs.

I arrived home and dad says there is a letter for you over on the table. I was expecting a Christmas card and was highly amused to read the following letter

This gentleman has obviously endured a hard life, enough so to compel him to reflect upon his time in the war and the people he has chosen to surround himself by in later life. Scars run deep when you feel the need to express his sentiment about asiatics and american peoples on paper and then embed it in a chair. I suggested to my father that perhaps this man thought nobody would ever read it and he suggested that that is unlikely -"he should have repaired the chair better!"
Enclosing the dollar note was also a purposeful thing to do. It has been rendered useless by removing the serial numbers but according to my father  symbolises luck to the recipient by leaving money behind.

And the photo of himself is a statement in itself! He is on his block in Kangaroo Island, squatting and taking a "dump", as the Australian would so delicately put it. God bless Australia indeed!

So my old chairs definitely have character and have a history. I assume that this man has passed on as his chairs were in the op shop and his photo indicates him not to be a young man 28 years ago.
Well he can rest in peace and be assured the chairs are being treated to a royal makeover!

Oh Happy New Year ! Don't forget to leave a comment here and link on your blog to win one of two handmade calypso bead necklaces - check them out on this post


  1. How neat to find a bit of history with the chairs! I always wonder the history of some of my antiques :). Happy new year!!!

  2. Good read to you. Happy 2013!


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