Appalachia

Rockin’ Chairs

rocking chairs and swing on porch

“Uncle Billy McCoy, who counts his years at two past a hundred, figures there’s nothing like a rocking chair for making a body feel good all over.

“Why, I wouldn’t trade a good rockin’ chair for all the fancy settin’ chairs that’s ever been made.” He smacked the arm of his old rocker with a gnarled fist. “No sir. That I wouldn’t. The older a body gets the better a rockin’ chair feels. I just couldn’t get along without my rockin’ chair. It brings me a heap of comfort and joy. Why, it’d be a heap sight easier to give up smokin’ and chewin’ than to part with my rockin’ chair.”

—John Parris “Give Me a Good Rockin’ Chair – Gold Mine Creek”

—-

Like Uncle Billy, I sure do enjoy sitting in a rocking chair. My only problem is finding the time to sit in one.

A friend of Miss Cindy’s gifted The Deer Hunter and me with the two rocking chairs on our front porch when we first moved into the house over twenty years ago. They’re good rockers.

Granny has a small rocking chair that’s been around as long as I can remember. Its small size makes it rock faster than our two on the porch and it has a lovely creak that sounds with each rock.

When my nephews were little they loved to rock…only they didn’t have any rocking chairs. They’d sit on the couch and rock back and forth as hard as they could go. It was sort of a funny sight until you got used to it. I suppose the elder brother taught the younger to rock on the couch. Once their little sister came along she picked up the habit too.

Tipper

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17 Comments

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    August 11, 2019 at 10:37 pm

    Uncle Billy McCoy really was my great uncle and I remember him. I love rocking chairs too, and I would love some for my porch but they are expensive. After my first child was born my mother-in-law would rock him in a straight chair! The jarring and bouncing always put him to sleep. I guess if you don’t have a rocking chair you do what you can.

  • Reply
    Aaron Patterson
    August 10, 2019 at 3:52 pm

    I am fortunate enough to live in an old house with a wrap around porch (1888). We have 7 rockers out there and could accomadate that many more easily. Some we ordered special from Vermont; but the best two were purchased on sale at Fred’s for $59.00 ! There is an old Civil War home across the way with a wide front porch , but somehow it doesn’t feel just right for a rocker. Next to it is an old hotel/funeral home that was turned into a private residence and it too doesn’t seem friendly to rockers. Next door is another Civil War era home and the owners will readily tell you who has the best sitting porch on the neighborhood!

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    August 10, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Tipper–Lots of fond memories for me wrapped up in this offering–stringing and breaking beans, peeling and quartering apples, shelling crowder peas, or just sitting with family on the porch of an evening in rocking chairs. I reckon my sister spent a good ten percent of the warmer months of her youth in a rocking chair, singing as she rocked. Best of all was Grandpa’s tales delivered from his throne–one of two rocking chairs he used.

    The only thing which improved the mix was rain falling softly on the tin roof covering the porch.

    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    Annette Casada Hensley
    August 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm

    I guess if there’s anything special my family will remember about me, it’s my love for rocking. After about a week spent in the first grade, my teacher asked me how I was liking school. My response was typical: “I’d like it just fine if I could bring my rocking chair!” Nothing has changed about my love for rocking!

  • Reply
    Garland Davis
    August 10, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Thirty years in the Navy with twenty-five of them served in ships, I experienced all the rocking I’ll ever need during a few Pacific storms.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    August 10, 2019 at 10:51 am

    When you can’t find time, you make time! You owe it to yourself!

  • Reply
    Allison B
    August 10, 2019 at 10:18 am

    I remember when Papaw had a nearby relative bring a couple of rockers to him from Abingdon, Virginia. They sat in what was called the front room of their house. I would sit in one and warm my feet in front of the wood stove when I’d visit. Now it sits on my little back porch, and that’s where I sit when ‘I have the time’. It’s usually good for slowing down my mind and making me take notice of the good things around me.

  • Reply
    Dee
    August 10, 2019 at 10:02 am

    The best rocking chair I can remember was at my grandparents. I loved to sit in it when we visited at Christmas and we would sit around the fireplace and listen to one telling stories. Years later I would visit in the summer and sit on their big porch enjoying how easy that little rocking chair would rock.

    Of course, nothing beat a rocker to rock my babies back to sleep and just a couple years ago my one son bought me a rocker from Cracker Barrel but it can’t beat my grandfather’s little rocker that I have. Come to think of it I guess that is what I like about Cracker Barrel, I can sit out on the porch and rock before and after I go in to eat.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    August 10, 2019 at 9:36 am

    Tipper,
    After Supper Mama use to sit and swing on our Porch Swing. I can still hear the sound of Mama swinging, listening for the nightingales. One time the Fiests were Sleeping on the swing, waiting on the School Bus and one jumped off. This started the swing to commence moving and before you knew it, they all jumped off, except Jack. His little leg went between the cracks and there he was. The other dogs heard him hollering and turned on him, trying to shut him up. By the time I got there (I hadn’t started to school yet) the damage was done. I put him in a box and the other dogs laid down beside him. A few days later he was alright. I think that’s where the expression came from, “crookeder than a dog’s hine leg.” …Ken

  • Reply
    Jackie
    August 10, 2019 at 9:12 am

    I spend a lot of time in my rocker/recliner nowadays. I rock until I get sleepy and then use the recliner feature. When I bought it I had been to about five stores and sat in probably 30 chairs until I found what I wanted. Some I sat for a few seconds, some for a few minutes. This one I sat in for an hour and decided it was the one.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    August 10, 2019 at 8:54 am

    I love my rocking chairs, but I must love my swings more as that is where I end up sitting when I’m outside.

  • Reply
    PinnacleCreek
    August 10, 2019 at 8:14 am

    I wish also, Tipper, that I had more time to sit on the porch in a rocker. I pass people casually sitting on the porch, and I always think what a pleasant thing to do. Maybe I need to do like Miss Cindy and set one in living room, because I do spend time there at end of day. As a former nurse, I personally think a rocking chair may be a good smooth exercise for muscles and bones, and it probably improves the circulation. Just a thought, as you always make me think!

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    August 10, 2019 at 8:03 am

    A good rocker is special. But there are many more poor ones than good ones. There is a ‘sweet spot’ in rocking chair balance. I don’t know the secret but it is somewhere near the back legs, maybe just under them. A good rocker will rock in a breeze (and start ghost stories). It will also rock for some time by itself after someone gets up. A poor rocker, on the other hand, is a job of work to rock in and is not at all relaxing. We had one of those once and it was not used much.

  • Reply
    Gayle Larson
    August 10, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Doesn’t everyone have a rockin chair??? I can’t imagine living without one.

  • Reply
    Ed Karshner
    August 10, 2019 at 7:51 am

    When we bought our house, one of the main features was a nice front porch. I have a nice rocker out there and we do pass the summer days on the front porch.

    I love a rocking chair.

  • Reply
    aw griff
    August 10, 2019 at 7:25 am

    I don’t have a good rocking chair right now but my neighbor threw and old one away and I’ve been working on it.
    One thing that struck me was Uncle Billy’s smokin and chewin. Seems like some people can do almost anything that is bad for most people and get by with it. Smoking kills most people way before 102. I have seen a lot of old tobacco chewers but not smokers.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    August 10, 2019 at 6:41 am

    Tip, I have a nice padded rocker in my living room that I sit in all the time, it’s actually the only place I sit. We got the rocking chair for my mother when she went to the nursing home but she didn’t use it so I got it and I’ve been sitting in it every day since I got it.
    There is nothing like a rocking chair!

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