Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Platform Rocker: The Next Generation

I have lots of great memories of my early life with my father, but few possessions of his.  Many, many  years ago my mother gave me the platform rocker: "his" chair.  You know, the one he sat in all the time to read the paper, nap, think.  It lived in the corner of our dining room when I was growing up.  During my lifetime my mother had recovered it in a brown fabric but by the time it got to me it was in need of a redo.  I brought it to an upholsterer and chose a utilitarian blue fabric.  It became a much loved chair in my house.  The boys watched TV in it, argued over who got to sit in it and generally abused it even breaking one of the legs at one time.  So, I found a furniture restorer who was able to repair the leg just about as good as new.  But eventually after 20+ years of love by three boys, it looked like this:

The stuffing was flattened, the seat dirty and not visible in this picture is the side that the cat decided was a nice scratching post long ago.  I love this chair because it reminds me of my Dad.  When he sat here after work decompressing from his day he was approachable and available for my childish questions or to read me my favorite comic strip in the newspaper. Although Son #2 has no memories of my Dad, he has his own fond memories of this chair developed over his own childhood.  So when I offered to have it recovered again for them to use in their nursery, he was very excited.

His wife and I had a bit of trouble picking out fabric.  Our first three choices were discontinued!  But after two trips to the upholsterer and browsing countless sample books we finally found a fabric we were happy with and would go with the rest of her nursery choices.  I picked up the chair a few days ago:

The picture doesn't do it justice...maybe because it is taken with my phone in the shop.  I like how the chair is quiet and unassuming.  It doesn't jump out at you. The softness of the fabric invites you to sit and be cozy and comfortable.  My father was a quiet, unassuming man who provided for our needs, our safety and our comfort.  So in a way the chair has become a representation of that. I love the worn spots on the arms developed over the years and most of all the idea that there will be a connection between my father and his great grandchild.  I know that I could have bought a brand new chair for less, but I could never buy that connection.  I hope our new grandchild loves the chair too and builds his/her own fond memories of it.  I've told son #2 and his wife that the chair is to be used and loved.  Don't "save it for good" or worry about spills or stains.  Just use it, rock the little one in it and know that it has been a source of comfort for several generations of our family through the years.


  1. Gulp :'/
    I can tell from this story how special your Dad was to you, Nina and I think it's wonderful that you've given his chair a fabulous facelift and passed it on to the next generation. Dads? The best ... never forgotten x

  2. I don't have many items from my father either. I don't even think we have any furniture from the old days

  3. What beautiful memories, and an even more beautiful chair!