The Dining Room Table

I’m looking now at the dining room table I bought in Chicago fifty-four years ago. It’s made of cherrywood in a style called “Queen Anne,” indicating its oval shape and curved legs ending in carved “feet.” With both leaves, the table can seat ten, even though I have only eight matching chairs so that I use two other armchairs to accommodate a group of ten diners.

It struck me a few days ago that the table, since 1970, has seated dear family and friends for many breakfasts, lunches, teas, and dinners to the sounds of lively discussions and the percussive clicks of silverware against plates and saucers.  Recollections of my grandparents, fellow teachers, and dear friends along with many other guests are still vivid in my memories, so that even the gentle sounds of silverware clicking against the dishes can summon pleasant memories of all those who, over many years, have sat around that table, chatting, eating, and enjoying themselves.

Sometimes it seems that eons have passed, and at other times, the memories come back in a way to make me feel as though those wonderful times were just yesterday and that somewhere, if there is a heaven, there will be a very long table with many “leaves” and chairs necessary to accommodate, once again, the hundreds whose voices, eloquence, humor and joy can once again be enjoyed in a reunion that is an essential part of my ideas regarding what heaven might be.  JB

About John

About John John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BS and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado, where he resided for ten years before moving to Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth book is, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014. John’s most recent book is a novel titled Resisting Gravity, A Ghost Story, published the summer of 2018 View all posts by John →
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