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8/23/15

When I was a kid we would spend part of the summer at my grandmother's place in Canada. My grandparents Frederick and Wilhelmina had moved there from Germany in the early 20th century. They spoke German at home and retained many customs from the old country, including the idea that visiting with your relatives was a matter of weeks or months. We spent most of our time there at the Camp.

The Camp was a summer cottage a few miles out of town on the banks of the Ottawa river. I remember the smell of breakfast cooking on a woodstove, the hum of bees in my Uncle Alfreds hives (...the texture and taste of honey cut from the comb!), and the sparkling water out the front door. There was a big swing hanging from a tree, a rowboat, a barbecue pit and some lawn furniture, including a sort of Adirondack chair.

chair and flag
Mom, Dad, and my big brother standing under a foreign flag- Uncle Adolf was Swiss


The chair sort of faded into the scenery, but as it happens, it appears in more than twenty photographs taken at camp.

chair and telescope
Wilhelmina, Frederick, and a gaggle of cousins


chair and sport
Sport (one of a series), Uncle Eric, his son Desi, Dad, and my brother


chair and swing
Uncle Adolf with Aunt Irene on the swing


I had been looking for some sort of lawn furniture for my house when I rediscovered granddad's chair while browsing through the photos. It occurred to me that this ubiquitous chair was most likely his own design- see, Frederick owned a sash and door factory, a lumberyard, feedmill, and hardware store, and was constantly fiddling with inventions- so I decided to try a reproduction.

prototype reproduction
a plywood mockup


It's a little smaller and more laid-back than the original, but it still looks great under a tree.

prototype reproduction
comfy!