Secrets of roadside chairs


"Superior Comfort, ''by MARIE CRAIG, in her "Around the Curve'' show - a series of photographs of chairs left by the side of the road. It will run May 14-June 7 at Fountain Street Fine Art, Framingham.

She says: "When it hits the curb, a chair is at a turning point. Part detective story, part social history, each chair holds many secrets. The chair also serves as a metaphor for all of the things we admit into our homes, and tells the story of consumption and disposability.''

For some reason, this reminds me of my mother's irritating habit of leaving old furniture,  some of it Victorian and, we learned later,  to become quite valuable, on the side of the road to be picked up by junk collectors in our semi-rural, seaside neighborhood.

I remember one day seeing a collie curled up very comfortably in the sun on one of the old sofas that my feckless mother had left at the curb.

Few if anyone in our town leashed their dogs, who often attacked people -- especially postmen -- and  killed chickens on the farm across the street. That led to a potentially dangerous encounter between my father and the infuriated gentleman farmer, Mr. Dean, after our vicious (to  other animals, including  human strangers) Rhodesian Ridgeback  mix raided the coop.

They both had guns, and I think that Mr. Dean was close to using his -- on our dog and my father.

(Come to think of it, pretty much everyone in our neighborhood had guns -- usually 22's and shotguns. There were also quite a few service revolvers around.)

-- Robert Whitcomb