Yesterday, I came across this small, antique chair at the local recycling center. Some one had discarded it alongside one of the large dumpsters, and it was lying there in the snow, with a veil of light rain descending upon it. There really was nothing wrong with it, except for a slight tear and some straw missing from one corner of the seat:
Perhaps there’s something odd about the way I’m internally wired, but this sort of thing pisses me off beyond any possibility of redemption. Maybe it’s frustration at the thought that some one else just couldn’t see any value in this object. Or maybe the fact that they made no attempt to give it to someone who did. But nonetheless, I picked the chair up, brushed it off, and brought it home.
I’ve rescued a number of antique chairs over the years (a total of five or six, I think): One pristine Windsor that was sitting on the roadside with other discards; several bow-backs with slight splits in their arm rests that were repaired easily enough with wood glue and clamps, etc. You get the picture. Think of all the embodied energy that would’ve been wasted forever had they found their way to a land fill. Surely, my wood turning buddies (like John Nicholas) would be appalled by seeing examples of their handiwork wasted!
The rescued chair found its spot in the parlor chamber of the Mansfield House, right next to the fireplace hearth. Hey, it’s even the right color! I’ll clean the chair more thoroughly, but regarding its damage, I’ll probably just leave that as is; it’s part of the chair’s history — part of its charm: