Don Hill: Have a seat, sit a spell


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May 24, 2023

Don Hill: Have a seat, sit a spell

Don Hill Speaking of chairs … Oh, I thought we were. Anyway, I have this great

Don Hill

Speaking of chairs … Oh, I thought we were.

Anyway, I have this great recliner, but it has one fault: When I sit down in it, I go to sleep.

With that in mind, I looked up the history of the chair. Seems things developed from stools, benches, thrones to chairs. And it goes way, way back.

Well, of course, all of us guys know about the bar stool. You know, the one that Norm sits on in "Cheers." They are dangerous, of course. Sometimes, you fall off of them. My dad milked the cows with a one-legged stool. I guess he could move around better with it. And then there is the three-legged one that always sits level.

And the bench, well, it's where many of you athletes ended up. I wasn't even good enough to make the bench. But any coach will tell you the importance of having a strong bench.

There is the pew at church that you all sit on each Sunday. Actually, seating in churches didn't really become a thing until parishioners got bored enough to wish they were sitting down. That was about the time of the Protestant Reformation. Still no backs until much later.

I’m sure you don't remember the courting bench. They were made as two seats side by side; however, they faced away from each other. That way, you could face each other and have a conversation without sitting close together. I doubt if it worked, but anyway, it later changed to the love seat made for two people.

There are couches of all types, some that make into a bed, some come in sections and various lengths. They’re also good for napping.

The term "sittin’ on the throne" is used by many who may think they are kings but are not. The real thrones were usually very ornate, some even made of gold. The Greeks envisioned their gods sitting on thrones. Then it was used for any royalty who was in power. It always sat higher than any other seats in the room.

But let's get back to my original thought — the chair. Maybe before the fancy recliners that we have today, there was the rocking chair for comfort. It was good for rocking the baby and for sitting on the front porch watching the world go by. JFK had a nice rocking chair to help his bad back, nice padding and all. FDR served four terms as president in a wheelchair.

Speaking of babies, there are highchairs and car seats. Did you ever sit in a beanbag chair? Did you have to call the fire department to help you get out of it? There are the folding chairs, and of course, the cheap red molded plastic chair that Bobby Knight threw across the gym floor when he had a slight disagreement with the referee during a Purdue game back in 1985.

You can "chair" a meeting if you are the chairman. In the past, you could "get the chair" if you murdered someone. That was shocking. Ever play musical chairs? You know, running around trying to find a chair before the music stops. It was fun, but I liked spin the bottle better.

Some chairs swivel, some have wheels, some have cushions, some have woven cane seats, others are wicker, but however they are made, they all serve a good purpose. They keep us from sitting on the floor. Thankfully, because I have a problem getting up off of them. So have a seat, sit a spell.

Don Hill is a resident of Seymour and a longtime volunteer for Southern Indiana Center for the Arts. Send comments to [email protected]