Thursday, November 24, 2005

The aristocratic class and the poor have something in common: They each "have" their furniture rather than buying it.

I don't know if Mother ever bought any furniture. We just had furniture:it was there.

They did have one new set of furniture that somehow they got when they got married. It is the set that has always been in the back east bedroom. It used to be brown wood but Janice painted it blue and white.

The tall cabinet in the kitchen, the one without glass, was made by Daddy from the wood the bedroom set came in. Daddy was proud of the way the front door is ... I have lost my mind . I cannot think of the word that describes a joint where the two pieces of wood are joined with two 45 degree pieces of wood, like a picture frame. Anyway he was proud of his work and thought it good even though he did not have the proper fine carpentry tools to make it.

Some of the furniture was given to Mother by Mama and a lot belonged to my grandmother Webb. Mother resented Mammy sometimes. Even after being in Mother's house for decades, Mammy considered these things still hers and and when she visited, if she decided she wanted a plate back she took it.

Occasionaly we had new to us upholstered pieces that were given to us.

Mother's dining room furniture was used by Mama SEaton. It was a gift to her from Uncle George and when she died he gave it to Mother.

Typical of the furniture in that house is a small tabel desk that holds the tv. When Julia and Jerrell were at UT Martin they lived in married student housing. It was built for returning veterans of World War II and by the late 50s was not in good shape. When people moved out, they just left what they didn't think was good enough to take with them. Julia and Jerrell took the table desk where it had been abandoned and gave it to Mother.

The aristocratic class uses the valuable antiques they have inherited from their family. The poor cobble together their furniture ownings and wind up with junk but with no funds to replace them.

My Aunt Velma had a job teaching school, so she had money to buy things, including furniture.

In the fifties, blonde Scandanavian was in vogue. Eva Mae ran up to our house one day and excitedly told us that they had new blond living room furniture. I was excited, too, and it was a handsome set.

Aunt Velma enjoyed new things. I remember her serving a new dessert at a party once, something the rest of us had never heard of. She said it was called doughnuts. They weren't very good and later she found out she had made them wrong. How they were wrong, I don't know.Doris Carroll says Aunt Velma will be 90 on Monday.

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