A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A Trend That's Not Trending

This old rocking chair belong to Rick's grandfather and grandmother. When he was young he refinished the wooden parts of it and it's been recovered several times. I myself have recovered it at least 3 times and we've had it recovered once or twice.

In the little cabin there is only room for two TV-watching chairs. A Papa Bear chair and a Mama Bear chair. (The Baby Bears have to crash on the bed, the floor, or sit at the island.) Naturally, these two chairs have to be comfy. Neither of them are. 

The seat in the rocker needs to be totally remade and I've talked to an upholsterer about this. He said to get some material and bring it to him (turn at the corner store, go 6 miles, turn right, go 3 miles until you get to the green dumpster, turn left) and he'll fix 'er right up. In my area there doesn't appear to be an upholsterer who handles the material part also; you are on your own for that.

The chair is old, the little cabin is cedar, my ranching county is on the edge of West Texas, and I need to honor all these things in the choice of materials. Plus the chair belongs to Rick and it has to be somewhat manly. I drove into Kerrville today to pick out material from the interior design shop. This seems to be the only place in town with a big choice of material. So big, it's almost overwhelming.

But I've got in mind what I want, at least for the seat. I had recovered it in a vinyl that looks like tooled leather and we like that and you can sit on it if you're a little dusty. I told the young designer that I wanted tooled leather for the seat and a different material for the back. She kind of sighed and went to the closet. She pulled out some fabric with a tooled leather print. I told her that wasn't sturdy enough and asked her if she could order some leather for me. She said no.

She said it's a regional thing and the manufacturers don't carry it. I told her I was sure it was at least a western thing, not just Texas, and it would seem like someone would carry it. 

In Montana and Wyoming and probably Colorado I'm guessing there are some people sitting on tooled leather at this very moment.

She sighed again and began to look through a couple of her books to see what else she had. No leathers, tooled or untooled.

Shaking her head sadly and not wanting to look at me, she said the problem is "it's a trend and it's not trending right now."

With that statement she pretty much summed up the tooled leather, the old rocker, and me. She said I should try to find someone with a cow hide and get someone to tool it for me. I had been dismissed and so I left.

I headed to the feed store where milo and Beefmaker are always trending. The man that waited on me had on a cowboy hat and boots. The kid that loaded the feed had on a gimme cap and boots. Pickup trucks were in the parking lot and the hay barn was full of the smell of fresh coastal bales. 

I took the back roads home, past the RV park where a dozen full size Texas flags fly along the fence line. I passed several working windmills and some pastures with horses and cattle in them. More than one stone house over 100 years old was on my route. The creeks I crossed flowed along limestone eons old. The hills and Spanish Skirt formations that overlooked the road showed no sign of being new to the area.

I figured the last trendy thing my county had seen was when goat wire replaced barbed wire. We are old out here, the land, the rocks, the animals, the people. There is a sense that what you see today someone else saw 100, even 1000 years ago. It's a land that endures. It endures drought, fires, and occasionally a flood along the rivers and creeks. 

We have rodeos and dance halls and we buy our leather purses at the feed store and our Justin boots at Tractor Supply. When we go out to eat we go mostly for Tex-Mex and BBQ. After we finish our work, which is usually done outside, we sit on the porch with a cold beer and think about how lucky we are to be living here. 

We don't do trends.

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