In the house my family lived in for the first nine years of my life, Daddy built a booth in a corner of the kitchen. I remember that it was hinged at the wall so that when Mama needed to sweep under it, she could lift it up against the wall, sweep and then put it back down. The seats were padded and covered in red Naugahyde. I can still remember the kind of “plasticy” smell of the Naugahyde when I would lie down on the seat sometimes.
Martha Lou doing her homework in the booth.
When Daddy’s brother Uncle Jim lived with us for a while, my two oldest sisters were already out on their own, so the six of us fit in the booth for meals just fine. I remember that Uncle Jim liked to stir the food on his plate all together before he ate it (or maybe he did that just to entertain me and tease Mama), but Mama wouldn’t let me do that with mine. I also remember that Uncle Jim had a certain way of saying “One meat ball, pleeeeese.” (even when we weren’t having meatballs) that would always make me giggle. He was such a fun-loving man. I think my fondness for him may be the reason that I have always loved to laugh too.
I think I’m probably not alone in feeling that many of my best memories happened while my family sat around the kitchen table — or, in this case, in the kitchen booth!