My sister has had this chair for about a dozen years. It started its life on Franklin Avenue in Toledo Ohio, where my mother grew up. My grandmother had it in her dining room, against the wall on the left hand side as you faced the kitchen. When my aunt, my mother’s oldest sister, moved to Bowen Road, both my grandmother and the chair moved with her. The chair was moved upstairs across from the bathroom, outside my cousin’s bedroom. My grandmother had the run of the house.
Certainly the chair has been reupholstered since Franklin Avenue, but I can’t be totally sure because I always remember seeing it covered in form-fitting plastic— it is well-preserved. When my aunt moved into an assisted living facility, my sister got this chair (and another one). She placed it in her living room and when my mother was able to visit, it was a perfect chair for her– wide, sturdy, and cushioned. Now the chair sits in our bedroom after a crammed ride home in our small Prius C.
It’s nice to have a bit of my grandmother’s aesthetic nearby. There’s a coziness and sense of power in curling up with a good book, connecting with the female lineage of my family. And it’s not surprising my sister removed the plastic. After all, how else can one get in touch with the past without viscerally touching the present.