... a wonderful 80 years
I remember the day a young couple came into the store and selected me. They were about to move into a new house in Newtonville and wanted new living room furniture.
Originally called a "Davenport Table", my function was to stand behind a davenport (that is what they called a sofa back in 1924) and hold a lamp, books and magazines. Some people had family pictures and other articles, but this was not a family that indulged in that sort of thing. I was dusted, polished and admired for almost seven years. It was one of the best periods of my life.
My first move was to what is called "storage". In this case it was not the attic or cellar, but a building that was used to hold furnishings that the owners could not take with them for one reason or another. If you like cozy, crowded, airless places, I guess it's okay. However, I missed my family and wondered where they were and why was I here, and did they miss me? Eventually I heard that something called a "Depression" had taken hold of the whole country -- businesses closed, people lost their jobs and homes, and in all it was a miserable time, financially, for everyone. I understood that my handsome young man lost his job and they lived like gypsies for a few years, living in rented apartments, while I stayed in "storage".
Ever resourceful, my now middle aged man-of-the-house invented a series of things that proved successful. They were able to rescue me and the rest of the household furniture from "storage". I did notice that a few very valuable objects were left behind -- probably to pay the bill.
Our new home was a nice large apartment in Brighton and once again I was behind the gray sofa. We stayed there until the three older children were settled in their careers and had moved out. Not needing that much room, we moved to another smaller apartment on Commonwealth Avenue. These moves covered a period of about five years. It was not a surprise when I learned that another move was contemplated. The two younger girls were still in school so we decided to stay in Brighton. This new move was to the first floor of a two-family house up on the hill, very pleasant and in the winter, when the leaves were off the trees, you could see the tops of the Boston skyscrapers. We were there for almost ten years. However, the owners lived upstairs and wanted our apartment for a relative so they asked us to move. I was in a panic, oh me of little faith! Handily, my lovely lady, whose gallant husband had died, took charge. It seemed that my family was getting smaller each year. Now there were just three and me. The two younger girls were now married, one moved to Rhode Island and the other one and her husband continued to live with my lovely lady.
One of the older girls had married and settled in Melrose and in due time had become a realtor. She had spotted a duplex apartment that seemed ideal for my lovely lady, her daughter, and son-in-law. They loved it and so did I! My room was large and sunny. After a couple of years the house was sold and the new owners wanted both sides. Fortunately, a large house, formerly occupied by a Mayor) was converted to apartments and one became available. It was just down the street -- the move was easy, and they were very careful with me.
We had plenty of rooms, three on the second floor and three on the third floor. The owner of the house lived on the first floor (with six cats)! My lovely lady, now a widow, was working in Boston and the train station was just down the street. She lived on the second floor which had a huge living room with a fireplace, large bedroom leading to a screened porch and a kitchen-dining room combination. The daughter and her husband had the third floor comprised of a living room, bedroom and studio (for the daughter was an artist).
Then came my SURGERY! "Davenport Tables" were no longer in style. My legs were amputated at the knees! I officially became a cocktail table and was placed in front of the daughter's sofa; I liked that, everyone could see me. Life was serene for a number of years until another move was discussed. Once again I think I was considered superfluous until the Melrose daughter said, "Mother, I would like to have that table". Imagine, was I ever proud! I was going to replace another piece of furniture, in front of their sofa.
This position lasted for a few years, then I was replaced by a new dropleaf cocktail table. As tables go, I must admit it is a lovely piece of furniture; it doesn't have my background though.
They applied a vinyl cover to my top. Why, I wondered, but soon I knew. I became the recipient of many flowering plants and was placed in front of the three dining room windows facing East. Naturally, I received a lot of attention at dinner time as well as other times as my position was also seen from the living room. This is heavenly, I thought, and gloried in this life for many, many years.
What? Another move is being discussed? Yes sir, the master of the house, quite a cabinet maker (his hobby) has been busy making some (if I do say so) beautiful cabinets. Three, in fact, to go under the windows in the dining room. They will hold the large serving plates and vases, place mats and other objects used once in a while. With fancy tile tops, they can hold the plants that once was my job.
Why worry, they will take care of me, I thought. This relocation was excellent (it was) to the solarium. They removed my vinyl cover and refinished me -- boy, do I look good! I became the depository for a collection of favorite formal pictures and snapshots. I liked the snapshots best, they kept people looking at me too. I was there for years until some well meaning relatives gave the family additional furniture for the solarium. Now I'm afraid of the future and rightly so. My last move has been to the cellar, where I'll stay until my future is decided. In the meantime the 'out of season' plants are resting on me. It has rained for days on end and about two inches of water has accumulated on the cellar floor and my legs are soaked. That's all right, I'll dry out and I know they will bring me back upstairs one of these days. Never would my young couple (who had purchased me) expect me to have outlived them by 20 or more years and lead such an interesting life. It has been a wonderful 80 years.
Cheers ! ! ! ! !
Natalie's 80+ years old table.
November 5, 2004