Friday, February 7, 2014

Flashback Friday


We return to the early years or, in this case, months of me and my Wombie's life.  Nothing terribly noteworthy here, but you can see that Marj propped us up in the chairs and did her motherly picture taking chores.  The Wombie and I were preemies by a considerable period of time, and totally undetected.  That was back before sonograms so twins were an unexpected surprise.       



We spent some time in the hospital in incubators before coming home.  I should ask the Wombie about dates because I am foggy.  But I want to say that he and I were in the hospital after we were born for more than a month.  I also want to say we were about three months premature.  If I remember correctly our original due date was February.   Brother Philip is providing safety and support, something he would continue to do for many decades after.   


These pictures were not taken at the same time, as we appear older in the second one.  Of note is the furniture.  In the upper picture, one of the dressers that would serve Mark and I for as long as we lived in the house.  They were good solid dressers with round knobs that would be painted and repainted through the years, but never wrecked, and providing he and I with some means to organize our belongings.  The closet was another matter for us both; alas, no pictures of that.  You wouldn't think it real if there was. 

The chair in the upper picture I don't recall so well.  But in the lower picture is one of the chairs I have spoken before regarding their strength and solid craftsmanship.  You simply can't find that kind of solidity in furniture today.*  Unbreakable.  Squeakless.  Solidity like a massive tree stump, these chairs and matching table were the greatest.  I will now make it my life's work to find copies of these and to rest my arse in one before I leave this mortal coil.  No used furniture store is safe till I find my Holy Grail of furniture.    

* I am reminded of a great old movie called Executive Suite with William Holden and a great supporting cast of Walter Pidgeon, Fredric March, Dean Jagger, Nina Foch, Barbara Stanwyck, Louis Calhern and June Allyson.  

It is a drama about the boardroom machinations of a furniture manufacturing company whose CEO has just died.  There is a scene where the aspirants to the top job meet to vote for the next boss.  One guy, our hero William Holden, makes his pitch talking about the quality of furniture the company will make, and the joy the companies employees will have being makers of that furniture.  And how the next generation of product will be craft with care and strength and not the flimsy crap the company has begun making, as a means to make stockbrokers happy, at the expense of customers. Holden even takes a chair and smashes it against the wall showing how cheaply made the current stuff is.  




I think we have all bought the furniture of today: bookshelves that comes in a box and takes 4 hours to put together.  It isn't solid wood, it is pressed-by-glue sawdust.  There was a time, folks, like the chair above, when a truck backed up to your house and left furniture already put together that would last a lifetime.  It was chairs, tables, and dining room sets that didn't come from Big Lots or Wal-Mart designed to survive generations rather than a few short years.   

Of course, when you worked at the Mary Davis Home you had to buy what you could afford.  That's why my children won't inherit any furniture from me when I am gone.  Nothing survived.  What they will get from is great solid things from their grandparents and great grandparents that was made to last forever.  



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