Tuesday, April 5, 2011

1930's Chair

Roscoe's Chair
This chair was given to me by my cousin.
It was her maternal Grandfather's chair. 
My Dad was her Dad's brother so that Grandfather was not my Grandfather. (Did you get that?)
Anyway....I grew up in the same small town that her Grandfather lived in 
so he was very much a part of my life. 
His name was Roscoe Gilmore and he ran the local department store - "Gilmore's".

My Grandmother called it a dry goods store. 
Geez...I must have really grown up in the olden days to have shopped in a store called a dry goods store.
My home town, Blanchard, Oklahoma had a population of about 1,500 when I was growing up there.
Truly, a one stoplight town.
My Mom and sister, both still live in Blanchard.

Anyway, "Gilmore's" carried pretty much anything you needed. 
You could find women's clothes, shoes, fabric, lingerie, gloves, scarves, overalls, jeans, 
men's clothes, children's clothes, baby clothes, jewelry, watches, purses....everything.
At the back of the store was a small photo studio where Roscoe would take professional portraits.
Every Saturday there was a drawing.
Each week the invoice numbers from the week's sales were put into a hopper and a winning number would be drawn. 

I tell you....I grew up pretty much like the "Walton's". 
Which next to "Green Acres" was my least favorite show because it reminded me too much of my life.
Anyway....Roscoe also had a weekly column in the paper where he talked about whatever was 
important to him that week. It was called "Visiting with Roscoe" and at the end of his 
column...was always the list of that coming week's birthdays. 
How Roscoe kept track of everyone's birthdays in that town...I have no idea. 
It extended to people who'd moved away but whose family was still there.
I was always included on the birthday list no matter where I was living.
I don't know who reported all new births to him but we were all included on the list.
Roscoe passed away a couple of years ago after a very very long life and he continued his column 
in the paper up till just the last few years of his life. 

So, this chair was Roscoe's. 
His granddaughter, Shelly, my cousin has had the chair since he moved to a care facility. 
When she moved to a new home a couple of years ago...she just didn't have room for it.
And it's not her style at all. So she asked if I wanted it.
Well, it's totally the right vintage for my home and its super comfortable.
But it's so large and heavy that it got no further than the dining room.
Which is not where I thought it would be when I took it.

So here is my dilemma...

I think I could redo it and make it fabulous....but not sure I want it in my dining room.
My Mom wants it and she says it goes with her living room perfectly as is.
I think this is debatable. I think it needs to be recovered...no matter what.

What do you think? Can a big chair like that be ok in the corner of the dining room?
It may show up in my dining room photos.
My Mom is coming up today and she may take it.

We'll see...what happens....

I do love it....but I really wanted to keep the dining room open.


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You get to choose which dress.....
I'll choose a winner on April 15.
Just go to this post to enter.


Olive Cooper said...

If you have ample room to walk around the table and move chairs around recover it and keep it. Why don't you buy those furniture sliders that allow you to slide furniture without scratching the floor? They sell them at Lowe's, Home Depot, and Walmart. I know they work because my neighbor, who cannot lift five lbs, moves heavy furniture all the time with them.

Red Gate Farm said...

What a story! Thanks for sharing so much about your hometown... it sounds like a wonderful place. The Walton's was my husband's favorite show when we were kids because he loved all the "old things" like cars, tractors, radios, etc that were shown. If you lived it, I can see how you wouldn't want to watch it every week :)

I too love that chair but I can appreciate your dilemma. My house is only so big and I have learned I need to be picky about what I bring into it... but it's hard to decide when it looks so fab AND has a family connection. I'd love to have a comfy reading chair in my dining room since that's where I tend to sit and read in the evenings... with the TV on in the living room it kind of slims down my reading options.

Good luck with your decision.

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Ditto what Olive said. I think if you really like it, you need to recover it and keep it. You will find a spot for it if you truly like it.

D.B. said...

Love that chair! It would look fabulous after you recovered it in a great fabric! The story of Roscoe is so sweet, it would be hard for me to part with it if it were mine. I used to always have a wing back in my dining rooms......it just made the room more cozy. Whatever you decide, at least it will stay in the family. Sounds like he was a wonderful man.

Connie said...

Love the wood trim on that chair and I know you can make it look great, however, I can't imagine it staying in your dining room with the new look you've been working on there. I think I'd find it a new spot whether in your house or your mom's.


I love that chair! The history alone is amazing; keep it.


meach61 said...

Lock the door, tell Mom to back off! What about Roscoe getting dressed up in pinstripes or houndstooth? Even though he is on the large size, I think you will find a corner to tuck him into.

The Old Block House said...

I love this chair. It made me remember a cranberry one we had as a child with similar woodwork.

Please stop by our blogwarming giveaway and enter to win six antique blue canning jars. www.theoldblockhouse.blogspot.com

Belinda said...

I'm not a good decision maker, so I can't give you any advice on the chair.

I just wanted to say I enjoyed your story about the store in Blanchard. I grew up in Perry and we had Lintz's department store downtown on the square. When I was in college, I got a job as the visual merchandiser for Katz dept. store in downtown Stillwater. I loved that job!

I miss those days before we had malls!

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

Hi Nita. My first instinct is to shout "keep it!" because it's fantastic for your home. But, as a collector of things I should get rid of, I have to say let it go if it get's in the way of what you truly want for that room. It's like the blouse on sale -- it's only a score if it fits :)

Madame Meg said...

What a great history! I totally understand your dilemma... but if your mother is anything like mine, the decision won't really be yours in the end anyway! My inclination would be (since Mom seems to really want it and you don't have a perfect spot for it at this point,) to relinquish it with the warning that "It's my chair, but I'll loan in to you until either you no longer want it or I desperately do, but under NO circumstances is it to be gotten rid of!" Though, I should also warn you that that's how I got my liquor cabinet from my Mom, and now she's moved off to Arkansas and forgot to take it with her, so it's mine!
: ) Meg

Amy @MaisonDecor said...

I enjoyed hearing this story too! Funny thing is every week night when my stepson is with us (hes 9) we watch the Waltons! We all love that show and to hear it reminded you of your childhood is kind of cool. Lucky you. Give mom the chair if she wants it, it may come back in the end! LOL

Anonymous said...

Nita, I'm sure you could work your "magic" and make the chair even more fabulous than it already is! I say keep it ------- even if it stays in the dining room! It is a great chair and has wonderful memories attached to it. Jana in Texas

Meadowsweet Cottage said...

I don't know whether Roscoe will end with you or your mom, but I think his upholstery has seen better days. With those sweet lines and awesome wood he deserves a makeover!

oldblackcatboo said...

I'd say.....
Why? because I have a houseful of chairs in every spot imaginable around here! I can't let ANY of them go and I want you to be better than me!
XOXO - Cindi

Vicki V @ blestnest.blogspot.com said...

I love that chair and the story that goes with it. I'm not sure about it being in the dining room, but I do think you should keep it! It's fabulous!

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