“That Story Lady”

Angela Scott, Author – Storyteller – Ventriloquist

Archive for February, 2012

Love Is Foundation for a Miniature Platform Rocking Chair

February 24, 2012

It was a gift from a previous colleague and friend. “This antique rocking chair was the first gift my wife gave to me when we married…” He had been promoted and his career required relocation to another state. “We just don’t have room to take it with us and we know you’ll appreciate it.”

Thankful to have been the recipient of such a valued treasure, reality struck. “This rocking chair needs a lot of love and work, which would include re-upholstering as well as refinishing the wood. When dad first saw the chair, he paused. “I hope they paid you to haul it away…” It was the truth, albeit brutal, and then he smiled.

Dad and I began our joint venture the next week. It proved to be an extensive project of work requiring incalculable hours. Several weeks later, family and friends enjoyed the new and improved antique rocking chair. It was comfortable beyond words. Someone always found time to rest in the classic rocking chair.

The corduroy cover on the seat cushion resembled the color of mink that faded with use until it was beyond time to repair it again. Thankful to remember that dad had a friend who specialized in upholstery, the friend agreed without hesitation to restore the antique.

Only a few months later, dad died. His death devastated my tiny daughter. Afterward, when chatting with dad’s upholstery friend, he offered to craft a miniature platform rocking chair for my daughter. He wanted to give her a tangible memory that represented her grandfather’s love as well as the friendship our families shared.

A few tears welled in the eyes of dad’s friend as he gently placed his hand over his heart. Emotion filled his words. “I have a few leftover remnants of the fabric used for your rocking chair… I’ll craft a miniature platform rocking chair for your daughter. It’ll be like a matched set. It’s for your dad, too.

Less than seven years of age, she enjoyed playing in the chair; however, several years would go by before she’d be able to comprehend the gift’s magnitude. She loved her grandfather; he loved her, too. On the birthday she celebrated with him before his death, he’d told me how grateful he was for the time he’d been given to spend with her “Pa-poo.”

Dad’s friend told me the fabric that covered her child-sized platform rocking chair was sturdy and durable enough to last a long time. He reassured me with a smile and a few words. “It’s so tough, gravy won’t stick to it!”

His eyes brightened when I asked if he’d autograph a 3 x 5 index card to commemorate the gift. “Of course! Write what you want remembered. I’ll sign and staple it underneath the chair to one of its wooden foundational supports.”

Recently, I was reminded of that signed index card. It was a tender, sweet reminder of dad, his love, and his life. The card remained in tact even though it’s been almost 20 years since it’d been stapled to the foundation of the miniature platform rocking chair that was custom-made for her.

Mom says it best. “It’s the little things that matter the most.”




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1 Reason Why I Needed to Read the Fine Print

February 23, 2012

Stored in a miniature cedar chest, I paused when the view of a flat rectangular purse captured my attention. Inspecting the denim zippered artifact, it seemed odd to hold denim that resembled the color of a pink rose. It had been more than a few years since I’d last held that bag. Rediscovering a tangible moment of a forgotten childhood memory piqued my curiosity.

Dad worked in a textile mill when I was young. The mill exclusively manufactured dark blue denim fabrics, which was quite the opposite of the pink denim bag resting in my hands. While wondering whether I’d purchased the bag or had received it as a gift, memories of dad surfaced when Mom and I visited his place of employment. The family day event was planned to celebrate those represented by employees of the mill.

It suddenly seemed important to inspect the tiny label on the simple and perhaps insignificant denim bag. Imagine my unexpected surprise when realizing I’d received a minuscule history lesson about the mill where dad had labored for our family. The message had been hidden by thick lines bordering the miniature company label on the bag.

Squinting didn’t reveal the seemingly secret words framed in a square line of print. It bordered the edges of the label, which was equivalent to the size of a postage stamp. However, with the assistance of a magnifying glass, the elusive answer was finally revealed. The textile mill proclaimed excellence as they began their second century of operation. It was easier to read the subsequent line summarizing the mill’s mission to create comfortable fabrics for everyone. The pink denim keepsake served as a reminder of the reason why dad appreciated working for the respected textile mill in our community.

While recently watching a movie about the Santa Clause, it was amusing to watch the key character casually read aloud a name printed in bold letters on a business card. There didn’t seem to be any apparent reason to inspect the broad lines bordering the business card, which temporarily disguised the charge for the next individual who received it.

It was only a few days later when the similarity was understood between the fine print that bordered the postage sized label on my pink denim bag and the fine print that bordered the business card featured in the recently viewed movie. Neither the movie character nor I had stopped to read the fine print before us until a magnifying glass finally revealed the mystery. It was vital for both of us to read the fine print in order to proceed.

The movie character needed the details on the card in order to continue and complete his scripted story; however, my need to read the fine print on the label was sentimental. The details of that pink zippered denim bag had been overlooked for years. Perhaps that’s why it’s now such a valuable memory.

Dad was a man of few words, yet he generously served our family, his employers, and friends in our community. The visual struggle to read the fine print on the postage sized label stitched to the pink denim bag finally unlocked the door to cherished memories that hadn’t been recorded for others to remember… until now.



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Boomerang 101 – How to Throw a Boomerang

February 17, 2012

One particular sermon illustrating the importance of the healing quality of laughter in life is unforgettable for me. Norman Cousins authored the book, “Anatomy of an Illness.” He discovered the positive effect of profound doses of daily laughter combined with Vitamin C that conquered his illness.

Fascinated with Cousins’ discovery of how laughter improved his life, my search for contagious laughter began. The notion developed about my preceding interest in boomerangs. Enthralled with their history, the mirth memory of a Far Side cartoon surfaced. While pondering the cartoon frame featuring Mr. and Mrs. Boomerang, I felt a smile and giggled.

In the lone cartoon frame, Mrs. Boomerang stood in the open door of their home while Mr. Boomerang walked away from the house. He held a solitary piece of luggage. Her words were few but the sentiment was clear. “Go ahead and leave. You’ll be back in 10 to 15 minutes, just like all the other times.”

It’s been more than a few years since an acquaintance had given me an Authentic Aboriginal Boomerang crafted by Wungella Artifacts in Australia. Several days ago my eyes rediscovered printed directions for the correct way to throw it. On the reverse side, a narrow rectangular sticker displayed the “How to Throw a Boomerang” instructions:

1. Throw at 45 degree angle away from wind direction.

2. Flat side away from wind or away from body.

The thought struck me that it was time to photograph the boomerang. It also seemed imperative to immediately complete the task since the New Year had just begun.

My goal was to understand how to correctly throw a boomerang. However, I received a greater appreciation for the meticulous design of the Australian boomerang.

Although throwing my boomerang produced a different result than the results featured on a YouTube video, it was easy to understand that practice is required to successfully throw a boomerang that returns.

Before throwing my Australian treasure again, I decided it was time to frame and exhibit the artifact in my work area. The frame shop guy I spoke with said this would be the first time he’d ever framed a boomerang. His finished project produced a stunning presentation of the painted kangaroo on the boomerang.

We smiled. Both of us enjoyed the boomerang challenge that incorporated humor, art, history, geography, and accuracy.

Boomerangs will return when correctly thrown; however, correctly framed boomerangs will tell stories that families and friends can throw and enjoy for countless years.


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