This Old Rocking Chair

BY T.F. STERN

When my parents were starting out as a family I remember them having a beautiful black Hitchcock Rocking Chair with its traditional gilded fruit design.  That chair lasted all through our growing up years and then some.

One year at Christmas my two year old daughter Bonnie was sitting on dad’s lap while he was reading her a children’s story.  If memory serves it was, Jack and the Beanstalk, complete with pictures.  There was a football game on television and dad was good at altering the story, “It was first and seven yards to go as Jack climbed into the clouds, using the magic bean stalk…”  Bonnie knew the story didn’t go like that but was having just as much fun as my dad.

About that time was when the old rocking chair decided it was time to be retired.  With a loud crack, followed by a thud, the two of them landed on the floor as pieces of dried out rocking chair shattered beneath them.  Neither of them were hurt; but the rocking chair that had been in the family for all those years was now kindling wood.

The next Christmas while on duty with the Houston Police Department I happened to find a replacement rocking chair.  It must have been around 1980 or maybe 1981. It wasn’t exactly the same; but close enough so I purchased it, placed it in the back of my patrol unit and drove it across town to my folk’s town house as a surprise.  Some gifts are more special than others; this was one of them.

When my folks moved to Florida that rocking chair was an important piece of furniture that found a home in their television room next to the sofa.  It stayed there until my mother passed away at which time my dad decided he no longer wanted to keep the house as he moved to a twenty-four hour care facility in the Houston area to be near family.

My sister and I were in charge of clearing out all the furniture; the rocking chair was supposed to go to either my sister or one of her daughters, can’t remember who since it’s been several years now.  The company hired to pack everything explained how much it would cost to send the rocking chair across the country; more than the chair cost brand new.  I decided to load it onto the U-Haul truck and take it to Houston rather than waste so much money on that old chair.

It’s been sitting in our guest bedroom collecting dust, at least until the other day.  We were sitting on the porch; I was enjoying the Cracker Barrel Rocking Chair Bonnie had given me as a present while Lucy was in a regular outdoor chair.  The idea of making the old black rocking chair weather proof was discussed and so that’s what I did today.

The spray on coating is dry to the touch after only a few minutes; but according to the directions (something I’ve learned are important), the chair isn’t to be sat upon for another twenty four hours.  It’s now a two person rocking chair porch.


t-f-stern-1Self-Educated American, Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern is both a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer and, most recently, a retired self-employed lock­smith (after serving that industry for 40 plus years). He is also a gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since January of 2005.


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