The Swingin's Mutual!

An obvious choice for a fan of mid century modern furniture, but this also happens to be a great musical album.  Of the many 50s-60s jazz albums, I listen to George Shearing the most.  One of the things that makes his music so much fun is that he often got together with popular female vocalists of the time to sing on the record. 

In this case, Nancy Wilson sings standards with him on a few tracks while he tickles the ivory on others.  What makes this record unique is the visual appeal of the chairs by Herman Miller (which are credited on the bottom of the cover).  If you like to dance with someone, put this record on and dance.  If you like mid century furniture, frame it and hang it in your media room.


The Dalles

I will continue the music posts, I promise, but my turntable stopped turning on so I need to replace the switch or something.  In the meantime, let me share with you the house that my great grandmother left to our family when she died. 

The house was built in 1955 and a lot of the furniture was purchased around that time, namely the RCA television that sits in the rec room in the basement.  We have left the house basically unchanged as it is comforting to know exactly what to expect every time we go up.  Since we live about 3 hours from the house, it is a nice place to escape to and it is only an hour from Portland where we can go to vintage stores or soak up some culture. 

The house has three bedrooms, two kitchens, two bathrooms, a workshop, a single car garage, and a rec room.  My grandma and grandpa both lived there for short times while my grandmother was pregnant with my dad, and my parents lived there for a short time while my mother was pregnant with me.  So needless to say, we have a lot of family memories there since 1955. 
This is the kitchen where many holiday meals have been prepared.
Looking from the kitchen to the living room, the original drapes and furniture that has been accumulated over the years but is basically my dad remembers it from his childhood.
This guestbook has everyone that came to the house from 1955 to 1979, and then beyond until 2008 it is a bit more sparadic. My great grandfather died in 1979 so he must have been the dilligent one about signatures.

Typical pink bathroom of the 1950s complete with spage-age aluminum tiles around the tub.  As you can see, the tub was rarely ever used.  The closet style shower was used daily however, and the tiles were replaced a couple years ago.

The small basement kitchen was used by my great great grandmother for the short time that she lived in the house in the 1960s.  The stove was probably used three times and is in mint condition.  The fridge is used currently but is also in great condition.

The basement rec room has a full size pooltable from 1889 that was found in a barn and purchsed in 1960 for $300, and it is quite the pool table indeed.  The home's original tv can be seen here, and although it doesnt work it was so expensive in 1955 that my grandmother could never throw it away.  For as long as I could remember growing up, that chair was always under a cover so it too is brand new. 

As a way to cut cost in building the home, my great grandfather built most of the cabinets and built-ins himself using plans that are still in drawers in the house.  When I was a kid, I used the workbench to make wooden swords.

Right now the house belongs to my grandmother.  There is a potential that the house could be sold in the near future and will become a devastating victim of the current financial crisis. Another option is to "renovate" the home so that my grandparents can live there full time but I cannot see the metal edge counter tops and pink bathroom surviving.  Despite the fact that everyone in the family appreciates the home's history and sentimental value, my grandfather sees it as "an old house that has a lot of issues". 

Amber and I have discussed purchasing the home along with my parents as we use it the most out of our entire family.  We also committed to paying to store the furniture should they decide to move there full time, but it is just sad.  In the meantime, keeping the house has been a great way to remember my great grandparents and their hard work over the years and hopefully it stays that way.