Sunday, October 26, 2008
An old friend of mine in NYC has started a new blog called Turtle^haus. It’s about real living in spaces we create. She’s a fantastically gifted woman: architect, librarian, translator (mostly movies Italian/English), writer, mom, and life enthusiast.
Her first post made me write the story of my table. (And yes, that's my painting hanging above her table in Brooklyn.)
The oak clawfoot table pictured above was in my grandmother’s childhood home in Fort Wayne, Indiana. When my great-grandparents died, it was shipped out to California, and for years my grandmother served her extended family on it. Later, as she got older, the cooking fell to me, and I loaded it with dishes and then wiped it clean once a week.
It’s both elegant and strangely primitive. The grain is heavy and the color dark. It has several leaves, and can accommodate about 16 people.
When she was dying, my grandmother told me she wanted me to have the table. At first I thought, no, it’s not my style, I like modern furniture. But later I realized, Kloe don’t be stupid, this is such a gift. However, when she died there was no mention in the will that the table was to go to me, and my uncle proposed to sell it. I protested, but to no avail. Luckily, later he got down on his back under it, and found the post-it in my gram’s hand—said the table was mine.
So now I have it, and it serves as a metaphor for my creative projects and family life. We use it as a project table: play games on it, do homework on it, make artwork on it (protected of course). Someday I’ll again use it as my kitchen table and serve pot roast on it like my gram taught me.
It is one of my most prized possessions.