Sometimes even the most beloved family treasures end up in the most undignified places. But thanks to my dad’s keen eye on a garbage heap near my Grandma Churchill’s old home, this once-rusty metal glider now sits as good as new on his and Mom’s back porch in Independence, MO.
(Here's a picture of me on Grandma Churchill's front porch taken a few years back. You can see the glider over my left shoulder.)
This simple red and white glider has occupied the same corner of Grandma’s front porch way out in the country between the tiny Missouri towns of Mansfield and Ava for as long as I can recall. It has served as prized seating for churning homemade ice cream, viewing amateur Fourth of July fireworks displays, cuddling warm beagle puppies and rocking babies to sleep. Mom remembers the glider residing in the same spot since the time that she and Dad were dating. (And they were married in 1962!) And I imagine this old glider has facilitated its share of after-dark smooch sessions within its gentle swing and its cozy-for-two accommodations. For my grandmother, this purchase must have been pure luxury, since making ends meet on meager profits from a dairy farm was a challenge even in those days. Mom thinks Grandma Churchill probably bought the glider at Roger’s Furniture Store, which she says used to sit on the old Mansfield town square. I pulled this picture of the main street during Wilder Days, an annual celebration in honor of hometown hero, Laura Ingalls Wilder of the Little House books fame, from www.mansfieldcommerce.com.
It's to my dad's credit that this old relic from the past, with a fresh coat of paint and a few new nuts and bolts, continues a sparkling existence. Gone are the rusty spots of flaky paint that nearly sent this piece of furniture off to an eternity in the local dump. Now, it shines in the sun a generation later on yet another porch where it once again gracefully glides.
In May 2009, Clarkson Potter will publish my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.
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