Saturday, July 6, 2013

This Old Couch

The Porch Couch

The old piece of furniture has a history and I'd like to review it here today. This metal contraption once belonged to my husband's mother and originated some place in Ohio. When the family relocated to Summit, NJ, it was moved there.  When the family later moved to Morris Plains, NJ. it went along to be placed on the front porch. This was when I first saw it. This is when I first sat on it with my wonderful new mother-in-law and several of our 6 kids in 1961. I was made to understand that it was "special."  When my mother-in-law was aged and her eldest son convinced her to move - AGAIN! - to Michigan nearer to his family, the old metal couch was given to us. We had no place for it in Ironia, NJ, but we knew just the right place for it to settle in. Yes, it went to Cabin Tranquillity, my parents' summer log cabin and lake retreat in Pennsylvania. The year was around 1965.  The porch on the cabin was just right for a swing couch to be placed for relaxing views of the lake and for an extra place to sleep. 

I was married previously to a fellow from Cedar Knolls, NJ. His parents were friends of my parents and they, too, had a place at the lake in Pennsylvania just down the dirt road from my parent's cabin. His mother did upholstery and sewed new covers to put on the new foam seat and back of the porch couch. My mother had picked out the fabric. It was chosen to be durable, and needed to be of material that would dry quickly because of wet bathing suits with kids inside them who would soak the covers. The probable spills of soda and picnic foods were considered as well. She wanted a tough and washable fabric, not plastic; plastic sticks to bare legs. Those hand-made covers and the innards have lasted for over 45 years! 

We moved into the seasoned cabin in 1997 and soon after we bought a new weather coverup for the couch that would withstand the winter months better than the old flimsy plastic one. That coverup is still used and in good shape after 16 years! It goes on every autumn and is taken off every spring. BUT...the cushion upholstery is shot! In addition, the springs had been wired to the frame by my husband after the original clips rusted about eight years ago. They were SAGGY!

Yes, I know the seat cushion is on backwards, and that is because the front is VERY worn!

Today he had a piece of plywood cut to fit just right over the springs and to rest on the frame. Yea! Now to have new cushions made. I have a friend who does upholstery and she is talented and reasonable. Lucky me, eh?

By the way, my dad painted the metal framework many years ago and it is still fairly presentable, so we'll leave its character as is. After much research to determine its actual age I simply cannot find another like it on the internet. I am so happy to have a "one-of-a kind" survivor of comfortable porch sitting and swinging! 

To be continued.... after new cushions are made.

I am reminded of a song published by Stuart Hamblin in 1954 and made popular by Rosemary Clooney about an old house, so I snatched and changed some words to fit my couch:

This ole couch once knew its children
This ole couch once knew its life
This ole couch was home and comfort
As it fought the storms of life
This old couch once rang with laughter
This old couch heard many shouts
This ole couch is a-gettin' shaky
This ole couch is a-gettin' old
This ole couch lets in the rain
This ole couch lets in the cold
This ole couch's not afraid of thunder
This ole couch's not afraid of storms
This ole couch just groans and trembles
When the night wind flings its arms
This ole couch is gettin' feeble
This old couch is needin' paint

And.... Just like it - we're tuckered out!


  1. That is a wonderful story and a wonderful porch couch!!! You are so wise to have hung onto it all these years! I can't wait to see it with a new cushion. Love the Rosemary Clooney song...glad I hadn't heard it the day I sent my two couches for the dump truck to pick up. I would have cried more. :) Hugs.

  2. A great story of an old couch.

  3. You could have a show on PBS. This Old Couch.