Outside the Portfolio 3…Motel Chairs

I love these chairs!

     They provide their OWN unique version of the front porch rocker…50’s Rock… the Gene Vincent of outdoor furniture…

     The motel, transient version…”sit here and relax…create your own little breeze…but this is not home…You gotta move on sometime….”

     I think for me ( go back to the post about Mrs Smith and you’ll find someone who would say, “NEVER say ‘I think’ or ‘In my opinion’….YOU’re the one writing …of COURSE it’s your opinion….!!!” )


 Forgive me Mrs. Smith….at least I remembered, even though I used it anyway…)

(Digression is the better part of squalor)

…or something like that. Now I need to ask Shakespeare’s forgiveness….I probably should just quit and post some pictures.

     …the attraction is the conjured memory mixture of hot summer sand-paper breezes and the electric tooth-jarring  jolt of  aluminum glasses filled with Grandma’s lemonade…the Sun pulling the ice out through the metal to shockingly drip on bare baked skin…

     Pre-Tupperware, pre-fast food, pre-disposable society ….back when, if you were lucky, you might get to pick from all 3 stations, gathered around your neighbor’s black and white ‘TV set’, the youngest in the family having the job of holding the coat hanger antenna at just the right angle..

     I don’t know why they are called ‘motel chairs’ but I would imagine they were the outdoor furniture de riqeur of the ‘finer’ Route 66 establishments. For all I know, my father, brother and I were sitting in these after we listened to the Sonny Liston vs. Cassius Clay heavyweight bout  on the car radio, on a two-lane heat shimmering ribbon, with Texas dangling at the end like a hard-won medal…

     A few years ago, these almost came back into ‘vogue’, but apparently they didn’t catch on quickly enough. I found 8 of them at Target, in the clearance rack for $4 apiece. I bought all eight. They were obviously reproductions of the 1950’s originals, but Hey…so was I…

      I looked online last night and found them for $95.00 each…I think I should take better care of the ones I have. I didn’t realize they were an investment! I enjoy the tactile sensation of the metal tubing and the powder-coated paint. This paint doesn’t peel like the old ones, but they oxidize in the sun and have developed a more  pastel saturation.  As have I…

      During that period, my “Lost on the Front Porch” phase, I bought a couple of the authentic, original 2-seat gliders from strangers’ front porches for 10 bucks… from people who thought I was crazy to even haul them off, much less PAY for them.  Granted, these two need a little repair…minor…..I think a rubber grommet and a nut and bolt would do it. (And maybe one of those “round tu-its”)

     My wife has asked me several times, and understandably so, “When are you going to throw those away?”

I just can’t do it!

     There are a lot of excuses for hoarding junk, but I’ll have to admit, the photographer has the most self-justifying….

“Are you kidding? I might have to have that for a prop sometime! Ok, ok, I”ll get it out of sight, but I’m gonna use it…someday. ”

     Of the pictures shown here, I used several photographic media, from manipulated SX70 Polaroids, a truly ‘lost art’ form,  120mm color transparency film, a truly ‘soon-to-be-lost’ art form,  hand-tinted Black and White print, to digital, but the motel chair is the common theme. I had forgotten some of these photos, and they jarred the  memory of knocking on a stranger’s door and asking, “Do you mind if I put this flower, or flag, on your porch chair and take a quick picture?”

There are a coupla’ more shots on a previous post


The lily….Janis Ian’s front porch.

The white chairs with the flags…..?

     I didn’t ask her name but the lady said, “We’re moving…Today! Take the picture AND the chairs….”

I did. Both

And here’s what my chairs looked like last week. 

NOT the best time for lemonade!

But it’ll come back around…

~ by rkpowers on January 15, 2011.

3 Responses to “Outside the Portfolio 3…Motel Chairs”

  1. Images of these gorgeous old chairs take me back to my childhood back porch, lolling in the shade, watching my grandmother plant pansies in the flower bed. There was nothing else to do except look and think. And the soil she worked was the same rich red/brown, and the pansies the same electric blue and chartreuse as in your image with the red iris in repose. It is so beautiful. Thank you!
    (BTW, I’m Rob’s, er, Rahb’s, cousin. I saw your site address in one of his emails to me. I’m really enjoying it, and forwarding to my DH and friends.)


  2. I remember you Donna, though it’s been, wow, many many many…oh, never mind. Thanks for the comment.


  3. Cool chairs, and a really lovely shot of them with the gerber. I love the composition of that shot – the angle, the abstract feel, and most of all, the vibrant colors. Nice work!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: