Probably for Christmas one year in the 1940s, Leora Wilson gave little rocking chairs to each of her six grandchildren.
I suppose this one, and my sister’s, were eventually relegated to a store room, as our old farmhouse didn’t have an attic. Both of us were 4-H members, in the Penn Township girls’ club called the Penn Gwens. We needed projects to complete, to record in our record books and for the Madison County Fair.
The little rocking chair became a project of painting and reupholstering it.
I noted that the name of the paint was Chiffon, and that I’d braided the rug, which was another project.
The fabric swatch gives you an idea of how much colored photos of that era have faded.
Marilyn Lawson and I did a demonstration about making braided rugs from discarded clothing and blankets.
Meanwhile, I’d learned to do needlepoint. When son Dan was small, in the late 1970s, I refinished the chair. This time I designed and needlepointed upholstery for the seat.
Now the little rocking chair belongs to granddaughter Kate in the Twin Cities! She’s so busy, I don’t think she sit on it. Or anything else.
It’s interesting how a single photo can bring back memories of a dozen other things! What starts as a single rocker quickly becomes refurbishing projects, upholstery, rugs, globes, etc.! Enjoyed reading about them all.
Your little red rocker started this!
I made a rocker and chair and table and a hutch for my daughter. We kept them and
eventually our grandkids played with them. She has the table now.
All child-sized? Oh how dear. Hope you’ll share photos.
This is such an interesting read, Joy. I agree with dlpedit about the associations a single photograph can bring to the fore. Your story reminds me of the child-sized Morris chair I have which used to belong to my mother. In due course it became ‘my’ chair and much later my son and daughter-in-law took it apart and refurbished it beautifully. They have since settled for other shores and so I intend passing it on to my youngest granddaughter in time (certainly while she still fits into it)!
Your memories are such a delight. This morning’s poem explored the seven-decades’ connection of this little rocker with Kate (age 4) with her father’s motherline. Before, I’d just considered its refinishing journey.
Aren’t we all just rockin’ away here!
See what you started? (I’m thankful for that.) There’s even more on my Facebook page!
What a fun club name ‘Penn Gwens’ adorable 🙂 Really enjoyed your posting and the photo’s. Love the dolls – brought back memories.
Memories means you have more stories to write!
I love the story of your little red rocker and its transformation through the generations! The braided rugs were fun, too, although Marilyn looked pretty grim.
She did, didn’t she? Well, she made up for it at lunch Friday. She told such fun stories!
How lovely that you were able to have lunch with Marilyn and swap stories!
Even better! She and another classmate made the trip to Earlham for my presentation Friday! There’s a wonder new Beans & Beignets cafe on the lower level (owned by the daughter of other Earlham grads), so that’s where we had lunch. Marilyn is also in two groups that want me to speak next week, about the first book. Marilyn had polio as a child. https://joynealkidney.com/2019/08/08/polio-dexter-iowa/
I love your refurbishment of the little rocker. The needlepoint is darling and I’ll bet stripping all that paint was a heck of a chore. Also like your rug projects. I think I tried my hand at that once, but didn’t produce anything worth keeping.
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