May 25, 2014

Rod McPhee’s Chair

I have been thinking about writing a blog about Rod McPhee’s chair for so long, I don’t know if I have already written it.  I have been sitting in this chair, Rod McPhee’s chair, for about eight years.  This chair has seen Brand Strategy Group work, Lanikai Bath and Body work, payrolls, emails, facebook posts, bank account checks, blogposts and more.

The chair is a Herman Miller Aeron chair which used to sell for $1000+ new and I had been jonesing to have one for years.  My alert friend Liz Howard told me that Sharon McPhee was selling an Aeron chair and Mark and I popped up to her lovely home to drive it away.

I bought his chair from  Sharon in 2006, and she told me he’d barely had a chance to sit in it.  This may be the reason that my hopes and dreams for Rod McPhee’s chair have not come through.  He didn’t sit in it often, or for very long, so I guess it is not surprising that I don’t remember names better.  This was one of Rod’s standout features:  once he met you, he remembered your name.  Not me, and its not getting any better.

It’s also not surprising that none of his hearty, hale fellow well met attitude has rubbed off on me.  After all, he didn’t sit in it often, or for very long.  I’t's not surprising that I have not become more gracious, as he was, because after all…

It’s not surprising that I am probably not among the names to replace Jim Scott if he ever leaves Punahou School.  It’s not surprising that I am not a good fund raiser, and that I never got to know all of Honolulu’s movers and shakers.

Most of all, it’s not surprising that David McCullough will not come to my retirement party and take his pants off while giving a speech about what a great man I am.  After all, Rod McPhee did not sit in this chair very often, or for very long.

The main consolation is that I have gotten to sit in Rod McPhee’s chair for eight years, without paying $1000+ to do it.  The provenance of my chair is quite wonderful.  Now, Aeron chairs go for less than $600.  Just think:  I would have had to wait eight years to sit in a Herman Miller Aeron chair, and it wouldn’t even have been Rod McPhee’s.


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Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

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