My turn

A chair isn't just a chair if it is a part of your family's history

2013-11-21T00:00:00Z A chair isn't just a chair if it is a part of your family's historyBy Gayle Faulkner Kosalko Times Columnist
November 21, 2013 12:00 am  • 

We went shopping for a new chair yesterday. My beloved recliner is declining quickly, probably due to the fact that due to bad knees, I have a tendency to plop into it. I'm waiting for the moment that I sit in the chair and poof, find myself actually sitting on the floor.

It got me thinking about the importance of chairs. I'm sure in your household, everybody has his personal favorite chair. I often share mine with my cat, because she doesn't have one of her own.

One's chair is usually found in your favorite room. How many great movies have you watched, great books have you read, and serious family discussions have you had while sitting in it. So when one has to give up one's chair, it's like losing an old and comfortable friend.

Many of our chairs have a memorable history of their own. We have a high back chair with big wooden arms that came from my grandmother. Although my mom suffers from Alzheimer's, if we talk about that chair, she'll talk about childhood memories. She remembers playing on it and pretending that it was a giant throne, and she's always delighted that it has become a family heirloom.

We have a lovely, strange round back accent chair that belonged to my Aunt Florence. It's not particularly comfortable, but it is certainly unique. Whenever I pass it, I think of my Aunt and my Uncle and can still visualize their house in East Chicago back in the early 1950's, with the chartreuse Chinese lamps (which I wish I had today!).

I know two friends who have lusted after this chair and still think I'm kidding when I told them that its future home will be theirs because it's listed as such in my will.

When our daughter, Holly, was born, Chuck bought the two of us a lovely mother and daughter bonding rocking chair. Later, we bought a miniature one just for her. Hopefully, someday, both will go to my grandchildren, along with baby memories.

Certain chairs have historical significance. President John F. Kennedy had tons of photographs taken in his rocking chair in the Oval Office. President Abraham Lincoln's rocking chair is in a Detroit museum. In television's "Fraser," his father's hideous avocado green recliner was always a hilarious bone of contention. Archie Bunker's chair became such an icon of American pop culture that it now is on display at The Smithsonian Institute.

Years ago, Arts Alive! in Whiting had a great project where folks took their old kitchen and dining room chairs out of basements and attics and had them painted into objets de art.

I had my favorite 75-cent wooden chair from college, bought at a junk store in Dubuque in the 1960's, painted by a local artist here to reflect downtown Whiting. It was the greatest chair in the world and now sits by our front door.

So here's hoping you're sitting pretty in your own favorite chair this morning as you're reading the paper, and enjoying both.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. She can be reached at

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