Aunt Ronnie, wife of Uncle Art, was a tiny, wrinkled woman who collected glass paperweights and made insanely complicated quilts. Her butter to broccoli ratio was on point. Roughly 1:1. A few years ago, I learned that Aunt Ronnie was a hardcore mushroom forager. She was a traveling nurse, and knew all the good foraging spots around the state, somehow able to scope a potential patch of 'shrooms from a car going 45 mph. Art and Ronnie were incredible canoeists, fast, completely silent. Candice and I have their old Mansfield canoe, wood and fiberglass laid up in northern Vermont in the late 60's.
Aunt Ronnie's house was rad, but it had never been updated since Art built it 60 years ago. Everything was original: drapes, recliners, sofa, the works. It was like walking into a time capsule.
In her later years, Aunt Ronnie spent most of her time in her recliner, listening to the radio and quilting.
A year ago Thursday, I embarked on sesquipedalian, multi year search for the manufacturer of the recliner. So began an odyssey that involved tracking down the current recliner owner using a pet psychic (couldn't find a recliner psychic), a trip to Jamaica, Vermont, a slow speed car chase and a fake HGTV film crew. Eventually I found the recliner, languishing in the moldy cellar of a truck stop preacher named Fred. Having distracted Fred with a pair of white woven leather Yves Saint Laurent shoes, I peeked under the lid of the recliner. The label read: Montgomery Ward. I had to find this mythical Montgomery. Was he still alive? Did the factory still exist? So began a search that continues to this day.
I contacted an astrologer named Zenith Panda, who told me that the factory making the recliner fabric had burned in 1979. Cause of fire: Alfie, the factory DJ who was hired to play Donna Summer's 'Hot Stuff on repeat to 'motivate' the workers, ashed his Kool 100's into his can of Schlitz, which had been surreptitiously filled with kerosene. The resulting fireball caused the panic'd Alfie to throw the flaming can onto a nearby pile of rayon fabric scraps. Although no one was hurt, the factory burned so completely that the only identifiable object found by the police was the stylus from Alfie's turntable.
Running out of leads, I send a letter to a noted geomancer. I brought Sadie (her card read: Geomancy and House Sitting) to the site of the old factory, where she had me grind up the long cold ashes of the factory and toss them into to northern sirocco blowing off the shimmering parking lots of the nearby Walmart. Sadie consulted the ash pattern while inhaling deeply on an unfiltered Pall Mall. She coughed, and consulted the spit. The afternoon glare caused sweat beads to form under my eyes. Sadie's left eye twitched. Then she flared her nostrils and said: the owner of the factory had once had a dog named Reggie. He was quite gassy, she added.
I was at the end of my tether. I paid Sadie with my last twenty and walked off into the weeds to take a leak and gather my frayed wits. There, right in the path of my outgoing stream, was a weathered, faded catalogue. Curtailing my current, I reached down and picked the catalogue up. Flossy's Fine Fabrics. I dialed the number.
Today, I bring you Aunt Ronnie's Authentic Recliner Bar Wrap, made to the exact patterns, and on the same machines, as her original recliner's fabric. Although the original recliner was a fine puce color, we have taken the liberty of adding a few additional colors to the mix.
5 out of 5 of the last paragraphs are mostly made up.
Bar wrap isn't bar tape. It does the same thing, but no sticky tape back. We have a youtube video on how to wrap it. It's easy with a bit of practice. You need no more practice to wrap this tape well than you do cork tape, and this tape is 128 percent more forgiving of first timers.