• Donna Hechler Porter

The Desk Needs a Friend

This is a reprint of an article from my previous blog. I am moving those articles from there to here. It was first published on 14 January 2020.



“Old empty chairs are not empty in reality; memories always sit there!”

Mehmet Murat ildan



Houston. We no longer have a problem.


The desk has a chair.


Now, I have had the desk for years (except for a few years my uncle had it in between when I first had it and now). It was the first piece of furniture my grandfather, Woodrow McQueen, made. When I was a little girl, it sat in the corner of the bedroom of my great-grandmother Annie Lee Whitehead McQueen's house in Tyler County. I was told she would sit and write and read letters there every morning.


When she died, the desk came back to my grandfather of course. He had no use for it, so he passed it on to my mom. Later, I somehow came into possession of it.


It is old. Woodrow McQueen was born in 1915, so if he built it when not quite twenty years old, it dates to about 1935.



Woodrow McQueen at Texas A & M University


And, as long as I have had it, it has never had a chair. I am not certain why I got a bee in my bonnet to get it a chair recently. I just realized one day, while looking at it, that it was missing something.


A chair.


That, I knew, was going to be hard. The wood has darkened and aged to a brownish black color. And just what sort of chair would actually go with it?


Well, last week I was wandering around Goodwill, and there it was. The perfect chair. It looked old. It had an aged, brownish black color. It had fancy spindles and a little cushioned seat. It was only $8.


So you are right - I snapped it up.


One of these days I might sand the desk and stain it. I think it would be nice to bring it back to its original golden brown color. I will do the same to the chair (and we are going to hope that they match well enough).


Until then, the desk is no longer lonely, and the chair has a new friend.


Except I do now wonder - who exactly sat in this finely-crafted, blue cushioned chair . . .

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