March 29, 2021

Heather and Patrick in THE chair


The chair is a perfect miniature of an adult rocking chair! When Arley worked at the Cleveland Chair Company, it was probably designed as a model of full-sized chairs.  It’s upholstered in a red “leather lookalike” material.  From the age of two until I outgrew my little chair, it was my favorite place to sit.

When I was two, Harriett took a part time morning job at a Cleveland department store and Uncle Jack babysat me.  I would sit rocking in my little chair as I watched her get ready for work, saying over and over, “I won’t cry today when you go!”  Then I always did.

Later, there seemed to be a direct connection between the rhythm of my rocking and the stream of words coming from my mouth!  Whenever we had company, I’d sit there, begin rocking, and then chattering away.  Glenn began saying, “Sally’s in her red rocking chair again!” whenever I talked too much.  It was such a helpless feeling—knowing I should stop talking but somehow just not being able to!  Usually when we had company, I’d start rocking as I listened to the adult conversation.  Then the compulsion to chatter would strike, and I’d begin talking—repeating earlier conversations I’d heard, telling “insider information” about our family that my parents would rather have kept private.  Sometimes they’d go in the next room and frantically signal me to stop talking—but usually I ignored them.

I still sometimes succumb to the temptation to “overshare”—and keep that little chair to remind me that rocking in silence is often a wiser option!  It’s been a joy to see my children and then grandchildren sitting in my little red rocking chair.  I don’t think my parents ever took a photo of me in it—they probably didn’t want any reminders of my embarrassing revelations.

Baby Charlotte in Grandmama’s Little Chair

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