28 February 2009


My sister Candace has recently told me that she has been reading this Blog. She is three years younger than I am and she has helped me to remember details long forgotten.

I am not sure if she was as aware as I was of the next thing I will write about. There seemed to be a theme of "furniture" that ran through our family, especially on my father's side.

Most of our relatives lived in houses that were built sometime between 1905 - 1920. These houses had many similiar details that I later found out were representive of the "Arts and Crafts" design.

Both my father's mother, Lois Peery, and her brother-in-law, Frank Wire, worked at a large furniture manufacturer business in Portland called Doernbecher's. I have looked up information about this company and they often had over 1,000 employees.

Doernbecher's was functioning for many, many years in Portland. My grandmother worked as a payroll clerk and my great uncle as one of the managers. I can remember meeting Lolo at the furniture plant when I was young. It was located in a gully near the neighbourhood that she lived in.

The family on my Dad's side talked about furniture a lot: the names of various types, the manufacturers, the quality of various pieces - on and on. I can still remember the name of the importer of the carpets (Khartojian or something like that - I can pronounce it but not spell it!) they had on their floors - there were large Persian rugs in all of the rooms of the houses.

Another furniture topic was upholstery - who did the best job, where the fabric was from - I was often taken to furniture sales and displays. My great uncle would let the family know who was having a sale in Portland - we would go to it....just to look. These were boring Saturday mornings for me but I knew that if I behaved, there was a piece of pie and a coke waiting at the local café, later.

My grandmother and her sisters lived in Laurelhurst in Portland. My grandmother's house was the first one built in that neighbourhood. I learned this from looking into the history of the area. There is a large park near one of the boundaries with a small lake. We spent a lot of time at Laurelhurst Park.

Well, enough of that for now, but I have always retained a real interest in furniture - at least browsing on ebay and dreaming :-)

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