I bought this old rocker at an auction. My wife looked at me after I bid on it.
“Crazy!” is what she was telling me, without saying a word.
Now, this rocker was old and dirty, stained with God only knows. I think a cobweb was under one of the arms. It came out of someone’s barn or attic. I’m sure it had been there, forgotten, for fifty years. It could be a hundred years old. It was never fancy, just a cheap rocking chair from a long time ago.
Not a pretty sight at all and I want to buy it.
I bid five dollars. The auctioneer tried for a minute to get ten dollars. Then he dropped to seven-fifty. I was the only fool in the building willing to pay five dollars.
My wife looked at me again. “Crazy! We don’t need another rocker. Not THAT old rocker!” This time, she voiced her disapproval. Firm!
“Sold! To the man in the red shirt.” The auctioneer was pointing at me. “Five dollars!”
The lady sitting on the other side of me looked my way and moved a few inches farther away. She didn’t smile at all.
I had bought a junky looking old rocking chair. It looked like a piece of junk.
But, they didn’t know. No one knew. I had sat in that rocker, testing it out, so to speak, before the auction began.
Let me tell you, I bought a grand old rocker. If you know your rockers, you know what I mean.
Yes, all rockers rock. Some better than others. Some are bad rockers, some are good rockers and then, every once in a while you sit down in a great rocker. One that ought to have bells and whistles, one that should go to the great rocking chair hall of fame. A rocking chair that begs you to sit for a spell.
That old rocker, sitting there at an auction house in south Mississippi, ugly as sin, dirty and grimy is one of those.
I’m telling you, it should be in the rocking chair hall of fame.
You know how you put on a baseball cap and it just feels perfect. How it sort of welds itself to you head and you turn and look and say “This is the one.”
I’m not going to describe in detail how the rocker felt, but, I will admit I sat in it and suddenly I knew “This is the one.”
And, I got it for five dollars. It probably didn’t cost five dollars when it was new. I can’t even buy a large hamburger for five dollars. I’ve spent more than that for a shot of cheap whiskey.
As rockers go, this one is simple. Cheap hardwood, maybe even sweet gum or poplar. Glued and fitted together, no screws, no nails. Nothing fancy. The varnish peeled off before I was born.
The arm rests are flat, good for me to rest my elbows when I have a computer in my lap. It’s just the right height, my feet touch the ground, exactly like they’re supposed to.
And, it’s got a well worn, cane seat and back. Not the slats, not a carved back piece, but cane, woven by hand, back and forth when the cane was wet and pliable. Shaped by someone a hundred years ago, sitting in their rocker after a hard day’s work. Hot and sweaty, tired, hungry, thirsty, worried about this years crop. It’s a rocking chair where, long before my time, someone sat and thought about their day, dreamed their dreams and watched the sunset at the end of another day. A rocker where they sat and talked about their kids and their grand kids. And, where they rocked away the hurt and pains of life.
A perfect old rocker and it only cost me five dollars.
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