Monday, August 06, 2007

The chair

Do you love a story about someone who does something extraordinarily nice, just because it seems like the thing to do? Here's such a story. A small gesture, but very generous.

It starts many years ago, in the early '60s, when my mother bought a chair very similar to this one.

My mother loved Danish design and this chair was a splurge, but she loved it. There were many knockoffs of this style chair, but this was the real deal, made in Denmark from teak, cushions upholstered in this burnt orange color. It sat in my parents living room for more than 30 years. When they died, my brother, sister and I had little interest in their "modern" furniture, which seemed very dated at that point and most of it, including the chair, was sold in the estate sale we held.

I remember the woman who bought the chair. She was a neighbor of my brother, going through a divorce and she was in need of some furniture to furnish her new apartment. She really seemed to like the chair and I was glad to see her have it.

Fast forward 9 years to last week. My niece Jessica just graduated from college and is starting her first professional job soon. She has a cute condo that she is furnishing. Like a lot of young people she likes "mid-century modern" furniture and while at the cabin she made the comment that she wished we hadn't sold that great Danish chair of grandma's. Her Mom, Brenda, said she had, in fact, seen that very chair just a couple of weeks ago. It seems that the woman who bought it at the estate sale just opened a new yarn and knitting shop in Pocatello and the chair was sitting in the shop. Jessica decided it would be tacky to ask to buy it from her, so we spent the afternoon looking on e-Bay for similar chairs. Jessica's boyfriend builds furniture and thought he might be able to build one for her if he could take a look at the original.

When we got back to Pocatello they went down to the yarn shop to take a look. Deb, the owner, recognized Jessica and asked, "do you know where I got this chair?" And Jessica replied that indeed, she knew, and that the chair had belonged to her grandmother, whereupon Deb said, "Well maybe you should have it. Would you like to take it?" Jess offered to pay her for the chair, but she said, no, she hadn't paid much for it and had gotten a lot of use out of it and she would be really happy for Jess to take it. Here is Jessica with her new/old chair. The cushions are inside the truck.

Deb's shop is called "Mustard Seed Dreams" in downtown Pocatello. We stopped by to thank her again for giving Jessica the chair and she said, "It was her grandmother's chair. She had to have it!"

What a nice person. I hope her shop is very successful and she enjoys every minute of it.


  1. Anonymous4:37 PM

    Well, I am by no means youg, but I love midcentury modern, as you know, and I love that chair. So happy that she got it. What a nice story.

  2. Anonymous4:43 PM

    my parents have that chair too. They recovered the cushions, though, so they're no longer the original scratchy orange stuff, but the chair is still in their house with all their other Danish pieces.

  3. I love stories like that. Thanks for sharing it.

  4. What a nice story. What a wonderful thing to witness people reaching out with kindness and generosity toward others.

  5. A nice story - thank you. 8-)

  6. Oh I'm weepy. I recently acquired one of my grandmother's chairs. It's very special.

  7. What a wonderful story!! I have some recollection of the chair but mostly it brought back wonderful memories of your parents.

  8. Anonymous9:07 AM

    Generous indeed!!!! I hope that I will be able to recognize and act upon an opportunity to be this generous, too.

  9. Glad to see the story had a happy ending, and the chair has gone full circle.

    It love the chair by the way. It looks great, I even like the burnt orange colour of the cushions

  10. great story! It's nice to have a member of the family back!

  11. I love a happy ending like that!!!

  12. Wonderful tale with a perfect ending.
    I had a very similar chair, also with burnt orange cushions. I think my starter husband ended up with it.