Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Just Being A Good Yankee

The found chair before restoration.
 I live in an excellent area to "share" outgrown stuff with the world.  I just stick the item on the grass beside the driveway with a sign reading, "FREE", and  within 15 to 20 minutes the outgrown thing is absorbed into the community.

It's magical.

We have "shared" a number of items in this way.  Things that are not worth posting on Craig's List, and furniture with some life left in them, and too good for the Recycling Center's dumpsters.

Last week the magic worked in reverse (see karma in last post). We were driving along a road in the southern part of town when I spotted a chair like the ones I had been pricing online for a few months.  There it was on the side of the road with a familiar "FREE" sign beside it, and some other less impressive abandoned items.

Booya!  I struck gold.  The exact same chair was $269.00 to $320.00 on line, and here it was on the side of the road beckoning to me.

I wanted  a wooden desk chair with wheels for the desk in the den.  The chair we had there now was an antique one we picked up at a garage sale at a private school in Woodstock, Connecticut a few years ago while we were on one of our drives through the country.  It is a nice wooden chair with thick arms, but no wheels.  Not a good choice for in front of a desk.

I pulled a "u-ee", and swung back to the house with the chair.  There was another couple there, and I was praying they weren't going for the chair, and they weren't.   It coulda gotten ugly.  I stopped, and popped the chair into the trunk, and tore out there like I had just robbed a convenience store.  It was free, but to me I had just found $269.00 on that road side.

The old chair where it was meant to be.
I put the chair into the garage, and ran off to Home Depot for some chair restoration supplies.  This was a great project.  The chair was built by a company in St. Louis, MO, and I dated it to around 1929.  It was in good shape, with a front to back crack in the seat that was an easy fix, and it needed some new casters to replace the 1920 wheels it came with.

I sanded off the old finish, applied two coats of Minwax stain followed by three coats of gloss polyurethane, and Voila!

Cha-ching!  Money in our pocket!

To the family that shared their out grown chair with me, thank you.

Recycling comes in a lot of different forms, but I think I like this form best.

Save the planet.  Save my wallet.  Culturally, there is something very New England about this concept, and I like being a good yankee.


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