Yesterday I continued my effort to catch up on my Be Still – Fifty Two assignments. This one called for using a simple subject–like a chair, back lighting, and shooting from different perspectives. I knew immediately what I was going to use for my subject. It’s just taken me a while to get back to it.
First, some back story, some of which I’ve told before.
My mom was born in a small Saskatchewan prairie village in 1929. Her daddy died when she was two-years-old and my grandma went on to raise her three children by herself. What I haven’t mentioned is carpenter named George Goodwin. Based on stories I recall, and diaries I’ve read, I know that Mr. Goodwin was a good friend of my grandma’s and took a special interest in her children.
Mr. Goodwin took supper often with my grandma and her little family and, perhaps as a way of thanking her, built things for the children. I remember playing with wooden wheelbarrows and stilts he made. All that remains today is a wooden rocking chair that he built for my mom.
That this was my mom’s chair when she was a child makes it precious to me. The memories I have of sitting in this chair when I was a child and remembering my own children using it make it priceless. There was no doubt I would photograph this chair for the assignment.
I draped an old, worn out, hand-stitched quilt over the chair for a few photos. This quilt was made by paternal grandma. It’s falling apart and I’ve no doubt it will end up in the trash bin after I’m gone. In the meantime I treasure it and the memories I have that are attached to it.
In other photos I set quilt blocks that had been pieced by my maternal grandma on the seat of the chair. I rescued many of these blocks from my grandma’s attic before the tiny house was auctioned off.
I like to imagine my mom’s tiny child-sized hands on the arm rest of the chair even as I remember my own little hands rubbing the wood to a smooth patina. The little raised piece of wood on the hand rest used to remind me of a piece of Cadbury chocolate!
The rockers on this little chair have served to soothe and comfort children since the early 1930s. If I have my way they will continue to do so for many, many years to come. Perhaps one day my own great-great-grandchildren will sit in this little chair–now isn’t that a precious thought?
Here is a photograph I took of my granddaughter sitting in the rocking chair last year. There’s so much history in this photograph–not only is she sitting in her great-grandma’s chair, she is holding the well-loved dolls that belonged to her grandma (me!)