After I was diagnosed with cancer, sitting easily became something of a quest. Upholstered furniture didn’t give me the support that my unstable back required. Lying on a sofa or in the bed was not approved SeizeTheDay behavior. I couldn’t be trusted on a high, backless kitchen barstool.
Mary suggested getting the Brumby Rocker back home from its latest duty at my parents’ house. I believe that it had been sent to Duluth for active convalescent duty with my father, Bill Green, after his hip replacement of 2008. It had served him well. The hip replacement had been very successful in helping PawPaw return to a high level of functioning. The old Brumby could deploy to Milton, Georgia for active duty with me. I am enjoying a great working relationship with the veteran rocker.
The Brumby is a robust rocking chair. It does not look shy, but gives a look of permanence and strength. There is beauty in the deep finish and graceful runners. Sitting empty in a room, it invites you to come introduce your body to a very commodious chair. A six footer, weighing over 200 pounds has ample room for a pillow or two to aid in his rocking, sitting, or nodding-off comfort.
We acquired our Brumby rocker before Evan was born in February of 1984. Mary’s mother, Sara Donley, gave it to us, since she thought we needed a good rocker to rock babies in. I am positive that NaNa was well-versed in just what made a good rocker succeed. It has served us well through Evan and Will’s babyhood, quieting our boys and their rockers about equally, I’d guess. I remember waking up in the chair with a sleeping baby boy, snug in a blanket, on more than one occasion. Fortunately, I do not recall awakening while baby boy crawled on the floor as Daddy took his repose in the Brumby.
The Brumby Rocker has a distinguished past. I believe that President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalyn Carter required the comforts of Brumby Rockers in the White House. Mr. and Mrs. Carter must have been keenly aware of the need for active deployment of Brumby Rockers for stress reduction in that hot box of politics.
The Brumby Chair Company, founded in 1875 in Marietta, Georgia, is the exclusive handcrafter of the Brumby Rocker. The rocker has been described as “an authentically American, yet distinctively Southern, collector’s item.” The rockers began to appear in post-civil war homes around North Georgia. Although, we no longer have it, I can almost swear that I heard my grandmother, Nellie Mae Mills Liddell, refer to the old painted white rocker on the screened porch of the new house, as the Brumby from the old plantation house that had been torn down.
The Brumby rocker became known worldwide. It was all about the quality of the design and manufacture. All of the rockers have been handcrafted for generations from Appalacian red oak and are famous for their durability. The company has a web site for further information. Here are some images from the company and from me.
September 11, 2011