Life of a Stool
© Copyright 2023 by Abbie Creed
Photo courtesy of the author.
My life in Louisville, Kentucky began in the warehouse of the Belknap Company where Mike and Ruth Creed were employed. They were a young couple who became engaged and were happily married while being employed there. It seems that employees received a nice discount on anything they purchased from the company. What a blessing!
They purchased an unfinished kitchen table and chairs for their future kitchen even before they tied the knot. Mike was quite the handyman, so he spent many nights sanding and painting the table and chairs. Ruth had seen me in the catalogue and knew right away that she wanted me for her kitchen. But times were difficult, and they could not afford that luxury.
Ruth was short in stature, and I was perfect height for her to sit on when she cut up vegetables, and I even have a back to make me more comfortable. She dreamed of using me to sit on when she would do the weekly ironing. Everything in those days had to be ironed because there was no such thing as Perma press or nylon material. Ruth had to have me!
She must have made a pretty strong case for my purchase because not long after they married and moved into their first home, Mike bought me as a surprise gift for her. It was a luxury to purchase anything except absolute necessities at that time, so I am sure Mike did without other things to purchase me.
I proved my worth! Shortly after they married, Ruth was pregnant and being able to sit and do household chores was a blessing. When Ruth’s first baby, Patrick, was 3 years old she was pregnant with her second child, Daniel. And when Daniel needed to sit in a highchair, my job changed and I became a “Big Boy Stool” for Patrick, so Daniel could have the highchair. I was so proud of that title and Patrick, and I became good friends.
Fast forward, Ruth’s boys were now grown. Mike and Ruth built a new home on Watterson Trail and when they moved into the home, I was moved to the basement where I was used by Ruth for her ironing routine again. I stayed down there for quite a good while. Until…..
Daniel married Abbie. They lived in Mississippi for 3 years. But when Daniel was discharged from the Air Force, they moved back to Louisville and stayed with Mike and Ruth for 6 months. Oh, Happy Day! They had two children. The oldest was Kathy and the little boy, Reilly, was using a highchair, so I became the “Big Girl Stool.” Kathy and I became good friends, and I even got a new painting job. She liked pink!
There was to be a big change coming at the end of those 6 months. Dan and Abbie moved into the house that Pat and Dan had grown up in. They had 2 more children while living there and I became the “Big Boy Stool” again. We lived in that home for about 5 years. I moved again when they bought a home in the Highlands. However, when they had 2 more children, their 5th boy. I kept my title. As each boy outgrew the highchair, I became their stool.
With 5 boys needing haircuts, Dan bought a Haircutting Kit and learned to cut hair. At that time, I had a new job to do, I was also the Hair-Cutting Stool. I was so proud when each of the kids hopped down with a fresh haircut. As each boy hopped down, Dan shook out the cape that Abbie had made to catch the clippings. Dan put powder on a special brush and dusted the boys off, so they wouldn’t itch. I think hair cutting day happens about every three weeks, so I was kept busy with that job and was still the seat at the big table for the smallest child.
When all the children grew up , I lost my jobs and retired to the basement. That is until those six kids began to marry and have children of their own. Abbie gave me a fresh coat of paint and each time the grandkids came for dinner, I was brought out of the basement retirement center and used again as a seat at the table. Even when the grandkids grew up and married and started their own families, Abbie continued to bring me upstairs and I became the “Big Kid Stool” for the great-grand kids. At times I was painted green, turquoise, yellow, and even blue.
Times have changed and I was again retired to the basement. Until I heard Abbie say to her daughter-in-law Mary, that she would be glad to let her take me to Georgia to become a “Big Boy Stool” for her great-grandson, Oliver, so he could sit at the kitchen table with his family.
Abbie hated to part with me, but she knew I was needed and that with another coat of paint, I would be good as new. I was so sad to leave my home on Winston Avenue. That had been my home for such a long time, but I am also very excited to be moving so that I can be useful again. Sitting in a dark basement was not good for me in my old age but believe it or not, I am feeling young again!
Abbie made Mary promise that if I am no longer needed in Georgia, that I would stay with the Creed Family wherever they may be. I happily moved to Georgia. It was a long trip, but it was a rewarding one too! Oliver was so happy when he saw me, and I immediately became known as Oliver’s Big Boy Stool!
Written by Abbie Creed for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all who have been friends with the “Big Kid’s Stool.”Mike and Ruth married in 1925. I don’t know exactly when he bought the stool, but soon after they married. We have personally used it in our home for 68 years. My guess is that it is now close to 100 years old.