This week marks the passing of a very dear and beloved member of our family, as the kitchen table and chairs that Christine and I have owned for the last sixteen years have finally passed into immortality.
The first pieces of furniture I didn’t inherit from my friends or parents and actually bought with my own money, that table has seen it all…sixteen Oscar parties, dozens of Thanksgiving dinners, more Christmas enchilada spills than you can shake a churro at, and years and years of shaggy cat loving.
Already well-used when I bought it in the fall of 1991 from my SFSU film school bud Robert Anderson, the table was a steal at the low, low price of $30.00. That’s right, five chairs and a table for thirty bucks! Top that, Ikea!
After investing another $50.00 in paint and upholstery fabric, Christine, our friends James and Marcie, and myself spent one long weekend fixing that baby up. We were such nerds we actually wrote our names and the date underneath the chairs and legs we worked on (pictured below).
But what a payoff! That big ass table was the hub of our rambling Fell Street flat for years. We ate there, we fought there, we danced on those chairs like drunken fools…literally. I still have the head wound to show for it.
And when we packed up and moved from San Francisco to Burbank with James and our friend Melissa, that table came with. Big as it was (and with a built-in, expandable leaf, it got even bigger!) that table came with Christine and I every time we’ve moved since then.
But despite another major renovation of the chairs, paint job and upholstery in 1997, our old friend began to show its age in the last few years. So, a few weeks back we socked the table and chairs away in the garage and replaced them with a smaller, newer and dare I say, cooler, dining table and chairs from Ikea.
When we finally cleaned out our garage last weekend, the table emerged once more into the daylight and made its last lonely trip down the driveway to the curb. I swear, if you listened hard enough you could hear someone calling out: “Dead man walking!”
And that night, as our table and chairs waited on the curb for Burbank’s bulky item pick-up to whisk it away, a miracle happened! Someone took the legs and all the chairs! Yeah! Spared from the brink of death yet again, our chairs and table legs were about to reinvent themselves in a new home! Hooray!
The table top itself didn’t make the cut and was left behind. But later that day, the table did get a super cool send off when some skater dudes propped it up against a milk crate and used it as a skateboarding ramp. If I hadn’t seen it myself, I would not have believed it. What a way to go, used and loved till the very end!
They finally picked up the table top on Monday and though neither of us could bear to peak out the window as it disappeared into the garbage truck forever, we slept well knowing that our table and chairs had a nice, long life both here and in San Francisco.
Thanks guys, we’ll miss you!