SOLS: 2013:9 Yes, It Was Bright Orange

sols_6Time: 1957 – 1975

Place: 9401 Kerwood Drive and 226th Street

As far as decor I have nostaglic leanings. I’m drawn to decorating in rustic and primitive styles.  Was my decorating taste influenced by all those books I read as child that were rooted in the past…Little House on the PrairieChildhood Biographies of Famous AmericansIsland of the Blue DolphinsCaddie Woodlawn? The rustic style certainly didn’t come from my mother’s influence.  She decorated with a modern urban flair during the fifties and sixties. Furniture in our house had a space-age feel. One of the pieces I remember so well was the orange chair that survived decades of moves. Bright orange chair.  A recliner. Far from a Lazy Boy though. It didn’t begin as orange but a dark conservative color. When my parents moved from their first apartment to their first house my mother had the chair reupholstered. Bright orange. It was the focal point of the living room and it pointed to the television.  Every evening my mother would relax in the orange recliner. In a way the orange chair was like a kitchen table where family gathered round.  The orange chair was the safe place for a three- year-old me to hold her newborn brother and have a photograph snapped. Another memory is coming home from school one day and seeing my mom sitting in the orange chair crafting items for a Holiday Bazaar. In the evenings my brother and I would stretch out on the floor beside the orange chair and watch Donna Reed or Leave It To Beaver or Bonanza.  It was at the foot of this recliner that mom taught us to play Canasta, Monopoly, and Yahtzee. Those countless evenings of playing taught my brother and I how to play fair, take turns, how to win and lose, and how to have fun. Life skills at the foot of the bright orange chair. Many years later my mom had to move back to an apartment. There wasn’t room for the orange chair so my aunt inherited it. Time marches on and I’m not sure what my aunt did with the orange chair when she had to move to an apartment. Many memories sat on that orange chair.

This is my cousin sitting in the orange chair...he even looks on the orange side.

This is my cousin sitting in the orange chair…he even looks on the orange side.

a chair for always

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5 Responses to SOLS: 2013:9 Yes, It Was Bright Orange

  1. Lori Kidder says:

    This brings back the memories of my mom’s bright red couch. It had a pattern that when we little girls sat on it in our dresses we’d stand up with the imprint of interlocking rectangles on our legs. Strangely she doesn’t own another primary colored thing in her whole house. I wonder what made her pick it out?

  2. elsie says:

    Wonder what made them choose that color. It was an anchor for your memories.

  3. Wilcox Carol says:

    I’ve read several posts this week about different pieces of furniture- tables, rockers, and now your orange chair. Amazing how many stories a piece of furniture can evoke. We had a black leather recliner that we snuck into the house and gave my dad for Christmas one year. A few years later, my sister had a Siamese kitten that crawled into the back and got lost for hours. Still remember hearing her crying, but not being able to find her.

  4. Tam says:

    Really enjoy these types of stories–that one small item that resonates in our being. I kept wondering if you enjoyed sitting in that chair yourself and what it felt like to you. Now I’m thinking about what object resonates from the past in my being.

  5. Your post lead me to reflect on furniture from my parents’ house where I grew up! They still have the rusty red couch all of us used to sit on when we would gather in the living room…the story also reminds me of A Chair for My Mother!

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