Monday, March 15, 2010

Orange Bar Stools and other Quirky Keepsakes

I’m sure most people have things that follow them through life, but who’d have thought mine would be a pair of bright orange bar stools? And as you can see, they aren't even fancy bar stools, but they are cool.

In the early 60s my dad got transferred from Dallas to Fort Worth and we moved. My mom decorated our new home in the popular colors of the time. Brown, orange, and green. Her purchases involved a pair of bright orange, molded bar stools which were pretty cool for the day. Now the house has gone through multiple redecorating attempts and when we sold it and moved Mom in with us last spring, the coppertone appliances were long gone and country blue, beige, and touches of pink had obliterated every hint of the original color scheme. Except those orange bar stools that still stood proudly at the bar.

My friends and I sat in those bar stools and decorated Christmas cookies. As have my kids and grandkids. I ate breakfast there every morning and the only phone in the house was a wall phone beside the bar where I spent many hours giggling with girlfriends or flirting with my first boyfriends. We addressed Christmas cards there. The mail got tossed on the bar where we'd sit and sort through it. Grocery lists and school work and . . .

At Mom's 80th birthday a few years back, I provided a basket of paper and pens and asked everyone to write her notes. Two daughters of our friends wrote about looking forward to coming to the house because my dad made them coffee milk and they sat at the bar in the orange bar stools eating Mom’s cookies and listening to the adults chit chat, feeling all grown up drinking their 'coffee'.

Combining two homes into one last spring, we were both getting rid of lots of furniture. Mom said to put the bar stools in the garage sale. We certainly didn’t need them in our new house. But regardless, my husband and sons piled them into the truck and they spent the winter in the garage at the new house with boxes and other items waiting for hubby’s shop to be finished. Two weeks ago we started moving stuff into the shop. Shelves and the floor jack. Wood working tools and a clock tinker desk. My dad’s old workbench and you guessed it, those orange bar stools. My daddy has been gone 23 years, but last Sunday his best friend and his wife came down to visit and my husband was showing Ted the shop. I walked out to check on them and Ted was sitting in one of the bar stools smiling. He said he couldn’t wait to call his daughters and let them know that the orange bar stools made the trip and were alive and well in Waxahachie. Those orange bar stools have once again earned the status of cool.

What funny things have you hung on to? I'm not talking grandmother's Dresden china or Mom's diamond ring here? I'm talking those quirky items that just follow you through life.


Author said...

I LOVE the orange barstools. I'm so happy you have them. I'd buy them.

I found a styrofoam Christmas angel at a flea market, exactly like the one my mom has. She wouldn't share with me. I've kept my faux Barbie, a popsicle stick picture frame. Some things make us giggle just because.

Pamela Stone said...

I'd love to have your popsicle stick picture frame to go with my posicle stick purse, that minus the handle and lid, is now more of a posicle stick basket. You're so right, they make us giggle. Isn't that what it's all about?

Juliet Burns said...

Made me cry, Pam. I have a lot of memories of sitting at the bar in my childhood home, just like yours. My mom still has our bar stools too. She's reupholstered them several times, but I remember when they used to be bright orange.
The childhood home is gone now, (bulldozed) stolen from us by Bush and his cronies in the Texas government to make room for more mall stores. I can't even drive by to show my kids: this is where I grew up, this was my neighborhood. I rode my bike down these streets, oh dear, I digress. Anyway, LOVE this post, Pam

Pamela Stone said...

Juliet, sorry about your childhood home. Mom has driven by our old house where I grew up, but I haven't yet. Not sure how that will go for me. June 1962 - 2009 almost to the day we moved in and moved out.

Jean said...

What came with us thru all the moves: Michigan to Oklahoma to Texas to California? Our kitchen table & a kitchen chair from when we were first married. The table was 50's chic. Chrome legs and grey Melamine top. It was a all the milestones in our lives, including mixing and decorating Christmas cookies with a friend and all the kids.

The chair had a tubular base that bent around the parameter of the chair. It makes me smile because when I didn't have a rocking chair, I rocked the babies in it.

Pamela Stone said...

Hey Jean. With the exception of the color orange, my barstools aren't that much newer than your chrome kitchen table. Memories are so cool.

Virginia C said...

I love this post! I understand the feelings behind the words so very well! I have an old kitchen table, the metal kind with the squeaky leaf. I used to do my homework on that table, we had our family meals there when I was growing up, and I also pinned and cut out patterns on the table when I used to sew quite a bit. All my family members who shared the table have passed away. I put it in my office/work room, and I love to sit there with a cup of coffee and read or do paperwork. Lot of good times at that table!

Victoria Chancellor said...

Hi, Pam. I love your orange bar stools also. Our house was first decorated in the same orange, green and gold. We had a couch that looked like a Jackson Pollack (sp?) painting - all those colors splashed over a cream background. Loved that couch but got rid of it finally. Thinking of things I kept, and this is easy for me because I am such a packrat, I think one of the funniest is a gold vinyl dirty clothes hamper which is now in the guest bathroom at the lake house. Actually, our daughter April wanted me to keep it. It's vintage 1972. I also couldn't throw away my plastic sewing basket. It's brown faux wood. On Friday I bought a cheap sewing machine at Wal-Mart, so now I have a reason to use the sewing basket up here in the laundry room/craft room. You'll have to come see my "treasures" sometime! Thanks for such a great post.

CC Coburn said...

LOL! Pamela I well remember the kitchens done out in either hideous green or bright orange and fake timber! It was so de rigeur!
I loved your story of how those barstools have shared many happy moments with your family and friends, esp. the girls drinking coffee milk prepared by your dad.
I'm afraid the only old thing I've kept around for an indecent amount of time is my husband!