Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine

Readers share fond memories of family heirlooms, offer travel tips, air privacy concerns, and more.

Family Treasures

I read Caroline Woodwell’s article (Connections, September 15) with great interest as I, too, have such a rocking chair. It belonged to my late mother. Unfortunately, I know nothing more about the chair. I found it in a sad state in the basement of a barn where she stored things. I had it restored and now it graces a bedroom. I love the uniqueness of the piece and, from time to time, allow my imagination to fill in the lapses of where and when. I do know that she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Connecticut before she and my dad were married in 1921. Maybe she sat in the chair to ponder the lessons for the next day?

Jane Smith Lynch


I have owned the same rocker for more than 30 years. I also obtained it at an auction. It was upholstered the same way: hooked rug with a flower motif on the back, seat, and arms. I had it reupholstered in striped velveteen.

Marlene E. Johansen


Woodwell captures the way certain pieces get “under your skin” and insist their way into one’s life. Mine is not so ugly, but whenever we discuss downsizing, my husband teases about my grandmother’s dining room table. It is massive even when all the leaves are out. But the idea of leaving it behind is unthinkable. It’s so much more than a piece of furniture. It’s New Year’s parties and crustless sandwiches, piles of unread cards and bills, the obstacle around which we ran in circles.

Ellen Sturgis



Woodwell’s essay made me think about a decorative chair that I inherited from my mother. It was a diminutive chair in my mother’s living room in our family home in the 1950s, so all of us kids always played on it. Eventually my mother reupholstered it for a Florida house. It was in much disrepair when my mother went to assisted living but I claimed it for its family and personal history, and spent a ridiculous amount of money to refurbish it. I am very happy to have it in my own living room.

Beryl Jupiter


Asheville Attractions

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Jon Gorey (“Fall Travel: Blue Ridge Serenade,” September 15) paid due homage to Asheville, North Carolina’s artsiness, hipness, wonderful restaurants, brew pubs, etc., but there were two glaring omissions: the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the Omni Grove Park Inn. The former, in the historic district downtown, was built by Rafael Guastavino, a Spanish architect working on the Biltmore Estate, in the Romanesque style common to northern Spain. As for the Grove Park Inn, that is a luxurious hotel in a spectacular setting. Even if not staying there one should visit it.

James McGowan

Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Very cool place to visit. We’ve been in the Asheville area the last two years for a few weeks and still have a lot left to see. The Blue Ridge Parkway is downright spectacular in this area, hitting some of its highest points (and keep a lookout for bears). Get out of the car and do some hikes — Mount Mitchell is right there. West Asheville is the cool, trendy place now. The area south of Asheville, around Brevard, is a destination mountain bike area.


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Protecting Privacy

Leah A. Plunkett is right to object to parents who violate their children’s privacy by posting potentially damaging information about them online (Perspective, September 15). But children are hardly the only family members whose reputations can be impugned by oversharing. Every time I read online (or, for that matter, offline) about a writer’s sick or disabled old parents, often complete with intimate details, I wish someone would speak out against the cruelty of these violations of privacy.

Felicia Nimue Ackerman


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