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Loose screw spells end of beautiful relationship

Joyce Walter reflects on well loved dining room furniture
Reflective Moments by Joyce Walter

 There could be no honest rebuttal when Housemate declared: “You have a screw loose.”

There indeed was a screw loose on my side of the dining room table, which also acts as my laptop office and repository for valuable documents that I need close by for future research and reference.

The fact that the chair upon which I sit to do my work and to eat meals had just dropped a large screw had me warily stand in case the chair should collapse before my body was free from potential injury.

Gingerly I looked at the spot where I thought the screw might have been located but none of those screws were loose. But there, right at the juncture where the back is attached to the seat was a hole into which the displaced screw fit perfectly. What a relief to have fixed this ugly chair that has been in our possession since the early 1970s when we frequented auction sales conducted by Art Kell and Vern Brown.

This chair and three like it, plus a chrome table with a wobbly leg was the bounty we purchased at an Art Kell sale and we were delighted and relieved when he offered to deliver the kitchen set to our rental house on Coteau Street East. It sure wouldn’t have fit into our Anglia.

We didn’t notice the problem with the table until we examined it more closely in the comfort of our eat-in kitchen. “Buyer beware,” we agreed, and promptly solved the problem by resting one end on the window sill of the kitchen, the sill that just happened to be the same height of the table. Ingenuity at its finest!

When we moved three years later to our newly-purchased home on Second Avenue Northeast, the chairs went with us, but the table went to the auction house with nary a word spoken about the condition of the legs. Shame on us!!

On that move, we purchased some end tables plus a larger dining room table but on our newspaper wages of the day we could not afford to buy the matching chairs that would have complemented our new furniture. So we made do with the auction house quartet.

But soon we had to dispose of two of them when the chrome legs spread and eventually could not be repaired. But two hung in there, being moved from room to room where we could hide the wear and tear and not acknowledge that they too should have been retired years ago.

It might have been my weighty use on a daily basis but one day I felt myself sinking to a much lower level at the table. Yep, that chair was now a danger to my physical safety. And off it went to never be sat on again, but now holds the indoor recycling bin.

The final chair of that set came out to the table and promptly lost a screw which is sending us a message: “Let the moths out of the wallet and buy some new chairs.”

It will be difficult to say a final goodbye after all this time. However we all know good things must someday come to an end.

The end is indeed nigh, lest my back end suffer damage from the chair losing another, or the same screw. I sense a four-legged Christmas gift in my future. Hint!

Joyce Walter can be reached at

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.