Sunday, May 15, 2011

When the in-laws still lived in Colorado, and DW and I in Illinois, I stole an idea.

DW and I were on a jaunt, exploring a part of Illinois that we had neglected, and coordinated the trip with July 4th so to see small town parades and such. And maybe do some fishing. We followed a river from town to town and one night settled at a restaurant/bar that showed the exterior rustic promise of at least a decent burger.

If I remember correctly, the food and beverages were standard and therefore within expectations, yet a meal that long ago can be readily dismissed, even if superior. Even forgotten. Even if one takes a photograph, as is now a popular digital trend, as it leaves few markers aside from olfactory, my point being that something caught my eye. In the corner of the dining area sat two unused chairs, more stools, hand-carved with padded seats. So memorable were these chairs that some six months later and from one hundred miles away, we returned to this same establishment just so I could take photos.

No, I do not have those photos handy, for I am at this moment away from home again (and, I might mention, the place where I had breakfast this morning sufficiently stocked with "complimentary" bacon), nor have I scanned the old prints, assuming I would be able to find them. In their stead I offer this story. You see, I took the photographs so I could someday approximate the stool design.

My DFiL is a horseman, and as such, gifts he receives often have such a theme. Such is his fate, just as any cat or dog lover, no? He doesn't seem to mind. Yet, for the conscientious giver, the same ol' same ol' ups an ante. And when I saw those stools, I knew what I had to do.

The equine back-end.

My version has seen better days. Never mind that the hand carving is less than masterful. Cottonwood is not a wood conducive to detail, but it was the only type we could find of sufficient size when we went to the city of Boulder's communal wood pile. DFiL and I rolled the still wet, seven-foot long log up onto a trailer and brought it back to the house where I rough-cut the form with a chain saw. And over the course of three years and a several more visits, I carved and carved and carved and carved, and then painted.

Now cracked and peeled, the Colorado weather was unkind. I am not certain that the California sun is less so.

I thought I should take a couple photos.


lightning36 said...

Ofcourse you now have me wondering the name of the town in which you saw the original stools.

bastinptc said...

If I had to guess, 36, I'd say Ottawa or LaSalle. I can't say for sure. If I happen across a photo or if DW remembers, I'll let you know. A google search brought up others but not near as good as the originals.