Two chairs


That tiny crystal pyramid on the shelf? Jose’s Pulitzer!


By Caitlin Kelly

They came to us in a sad way, one we think about every time we sit in them.

In our co-op apartment building, we have many older folk — in their 80s and 90s — and some are long-married. One of them, always elegant, always together, went out one Friday afternoon for lunch.

On the drive home they were struck by a drunk driver, a woman. The wife was killed and her husband died later at the hospital.

Their children held an apartment sale to dispose of their belongings — so we went downstairs and found a pair of wing chairs, something Jose had wanted for many years. A good quality wing chair is easily $500-1,500+ so this had remained out of reach.

We got both of these for $450.

The upholstery is not 100 percent my taste, but neutral enough to work with our current color scheme. I’d like to change it to something else, but it will be costly.

Jose and I sit there and talk, sometimes for a long time. There’s something lovely and formal and intentional about sitting side by side in an elegant chair.

We think of that couple. We miss them.

But we cherish their chairs.


11 thoughts on “Two chairs

  1. Marge

    The wing chairs are lovely! I like that style of chair because they provide great back support and are easy to get out of. Enjoy! And Congrats to Jose on the Pulitzer!

  2. Re your chairs: That’s so often how it is with things we either inherit or acquire when someone else no longer needs or can use them – our enjoyment of the lovely object also carries a hint of sadness or a sweet awareness of the prior owner, almost like a patina of time and other users. This is why I often enjoy having older things around me; their history enriches my life.

  3. I love to be surrounded by pieces with stories behind them. in an unexpected way, you are honoring their legacy, by contenting to spend time in these chairs that meant something to them, and now mean something to you.

  4. Like you, Cathy and I don’t have any kids. We have often wondered what will become of our empire of dirt after our passing. Cathy’s grandfather, a grouchy curmudgeon starring in a love story for the ages, made a pair of corner cabinets for his lovely bride. They’re made of pine, all done by hand and finished with the dark varnish that was popular in that time (the 1930’s) The thought of these objects leaving our home and inhabiting some flea market stall,, their true importance all forgotten, is upsetting to say the least. Your post gives me a feeling of comfort. Good one.

    1. Thanks…

      Maybe you have nieces or nephews? Younger friends? We are lucky to have much younger friends (in their 20s and 30s) and maybe some of our things would be appreciated. But who knows?

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