The Strong Museum Trustee
We had the neighborhood over for our barbecues, and my dad would borrow folding chairs from the local church where he also worked as a handyman. The chairs would be lined up on the grass in the yard, and because the surface underneath was uneven, it made the game more fun, with the chairs teetering when you tried to swoop into one. My dad would run an extension cord to accommodate our Symphonic record player on which he would play a variety of top hits from the 50s (45’s of course). My parents’ favorites were Perry Como and Pat Boone, while my idols were Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. I can still hear “All Shook Up” and “Johnny B. Goode” blaring as my friends and I ran around the chairs, lingering momentarily in front of one in case the music would stop. Dad would pick up the needle to stop the music and whoever was left without a seat was out. Chairs were removed one by one, until only one chair was left. The winner got a shiny Jefferson nickel and bragging rights.
Music continues to play an important role in my life. Being in the house even more lately, I find myself listening to “Alexa” and sometimes asking her for songs from the 1950s. It takes me back to my musical chair days and, as I write this, Chuck is twanging in the background. I think when I’m finished, I’ll move to another chair.