The other day, I dropped in to Masterpiece Pools and Spa to get my hot tub water tested when I spotted something in the store’s backroom that made me stop in my tracks. It was a solid oak swivel chair. It looked completely out-of-place amidst the pool hoses and hot tub accessories. I let out a sigh of longing catching Al, the owner’s, attention.
I asked him where he got the chair. He said it was his father’s from when he was promoted to an office job for BC tel in 1958. The chair dates from the same year as it’s marked on the bottom of the seat. The solid oak chair and its companion desk were brand new office furniture for a man’s new position and office. Al’s dad used that chair until a few decades later when the company was updating all the office furniture; out with the solid wood, handcrafted furniture in with the new prefab grey metal desks and fabric covered chairs.
When the company was getting rid of the old furniture they asked the employees if the wanted to take any of it home because if they didn’t it was all going in the trash. So Al’s dad rescued the desk and chair, so at least a few pieces of history and a testament to craftsmanship were saved.
Like all writers I spend a great deal of time with my butt parked in a chair for hours at a time and the right type of chair is essential. It’s like the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears; the perfect chair should be neither too hard nor too soft but just right.
This vintage chair is not too ergonomically correct; not so soft that you can write for too long without getting up to stretch and get the blood flowing. It’s not too hard like the cast-off kitchen chair I’m currently using which is so uncomfortable I have to force myself to use it. It is just right; solid and substantial. It has a weightiness that keeps one grounded in front of the desk. The swivel mechanism allows you to tilt back ever so slightly which is the perfect position when your mind needs to wander and explore plot twists and character motives. One day perhaps I’ll buy one myself but for now the old kitchen chair will have to do.