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Story from the Lakes

In 1938 my grandmother Gussie Jockers (Augusta) with her little brother Freddie and sister Dot (Dorothy) gathered together to celebrate the construction of three lakeside cottages on Highland Lake in Northwest Connecticut. I spent my summers on that lake when I was a child and it holds many of my best memories. They sold one, then another and finally Stardust, my grandmother's cottage. The two chairs pictured here were from that same cottage. Sold in 1968 when I was 18, I returned with my family in 1986 with my own family and rented a cottage on the lake. The cottage had been torn down and replaced with an ugly blue box. Across the road was a junk pile. On top the blue chair on the right. Tossed away like some piece of garbage. It was scratched and rusty, but still sturdy, so I grabbed it and took it home with me, sanded it down and repainted it with Rustoleum Primer and Paint.

That very next summer my dad was also on that lake, inspired by my visit and wonderful time. He rented the cottage my great aunt Dot had built and sold many years before. He and my mom were walking around the lake one evening and my dad spots the red chair. Being my dad, he walked down and spoke with a man who lived there. "Where did you get this metal chair, " he inquired. "Oh it was thrown up in a junk pile behind Tony's place. He told me I could have it." "Well," my dad said, "That used to belong to my late mother in law. It meant a lot to us, would you consider selling it?" "Not a chance. Here, take it, it's yours." My dad thanked him and next time I talked to him he had a surprise for me, the red chair. I of course gave it the same treatment and they finally made their way to my summer home on my lake. Together again, 77 years later. How cool is that? And...they are still every bit as strong as they were all those years ago. My aunt Meam told me they were called "Bup bup chairs," because you could rock them, bup...bup...bup...bup.

Frank Miller

10 hrs ·

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