Chair Weathers Storms
ASHS column for 9 29 05
Jerry Simmons

     I lived for over two years in my mother's home while she spent
her last days in a nursing home in Pensacola. September 16 of
this year marked the second year after her passing. I moved into
my own cozy little cottage a little over a year ago, and my
brother and I sold her house to the Escambia County (FL)
School District. The Carver-Century K-8 school is on two sides
and the property of the old Century High School borders the
third side with Hecker Road on the front. Since the school built
so closely, and the house was in disrepair, we thought it a good time to sell the property since we had a buyer for it.
     Well, I moved out of the house in May of 2004, after my brother and I and our children had laid claim on much of what was left in it. There was one chair, a swivel rocker, an ORANGE-colored swivel rocker, which none of the family wanted. I had left some items out on the front porch during the time I lived there and had a sign, "FREE," that I placed on the items. Of course, with Hecker Road being a heavily traveled road, people came by and helped themselves.
     Except for this chair.
     It was still there yesterday as I drove by. That chair has been on that porch since May, 2004; through two hurricanes, multiple storms, trees falling left and right around it, one crushing the roof, winds blowing the carport away, and it still hasn't moved off that porch! The picture accompanying this column shows it sitting so peacefully right on the porch, without a care in the world.
     I won't comment on Mom's taste in colors, but I believe the shade of orange on the imitation leather has something to do with the reason no one wants it, even for free. I mentioned to someone about no one wanting the chair, and they remarked that since even the hurricanes and tropical storms didn't dislodge it, maybe "God doesn't even want it."
     Or, maybe mom has something to say about it - I think she kinda liked the old chair, and as long as the chair is there, a part of her is still there, too.
     I wish she were there.
     Margaret Collier last week told you about Nevin Heller speaking at our regular meeting. She told you in the future tense, because it had not happened when she wrote about it. Well, I am here to tell you she is one sure-nuff prognosticator, because what she predicted actually came true: Nevin did speak, and he spoke on the very things Margaret said he would. I am proud to know you, Margaret, cuz you are so good at predicting the future. All I do is report on it after it happens!
     Our UWF students will be in town again this week, wearing their rubber gloves and I hope some facemasks, too. They purposely had the gloves last week to protect themselves from the rust, sharp edges and mold
accumulating on the old papers. A facemask will help them avoid breathing in any of the mold. I am hoping we'll be able to sort the papers out, because we've been asked many times if we had records of "Grandpa Ed" who worked for the mill in 1926 or some such year. We won't have all the records, but we will have some.
     Things are coming together for the big Fall Shindig October 8. The Gulf Coast Model A Club with their Model As and the Cotton Blossom Dixieland Jazz Band from Pensacola will highlight the day. But there'll be twirlers coached and sponsored by Brenda Dunsford, a dance group with Ramona Leonard, Cloggers from Brewton, and maybe even more entertainment.
     There'll be a local author, Tony Simmons, to sign his new novel, just released, "Welcome to the Dawning of a New Century;" author Ray Fortner of Pensacola and his newly published book; Ethel McKinley will be there with her book, "The Mind Still Sees, The Heart Remembers." Of course, the Historical Society has two new books available, too, along with other books and collectibles of all sorts. The Carney Camp of Sons of Confederate Veterans will be there with information on how you can be a part of their group.
     The jazz band will pass the hat for donations to benefit displaced New Orleans musicians, and proceeds from the barbeque and drinks will go toward the "Old 100" fund. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy a nice autumn afternoon in the James H. Jones Historical Park in Century. If you need information, call 850-256-2029, 256-2661, or 256-3980.
     We sure hope you'll come and be a part of this Shindig - it will be a fun time!

This page last modified on Wednesday, September 28, 2005