Many of us know well traveled people. Perhaps they spent a year studying abroad, or a month rambling across Asia, backpacking across Europe, or working in an orphanage in South America. Maybe — as is the case of one red chair — they are slowing checking off every state in the union. The Red Chair, a wandering dump swap salvage that started its journey in 2011, has come all the way to Homer.
The Red Chair began its journey at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod when a photograph of it on a frozen pond produced a huge splash on social media. Beth Colt, the owner of the chair, and also the owner of Woods Hole Inn, was surprised by people’s response to her photograph. Later on, a professional photographer staying at Colt’s inn requested the use of the chair for the weekend. Though somewhat baffled by the request, Colt allowed it, and a month and a half later, a breathtaking photo of her red chair arrived in the mail.
Due to the chair’s impact, less than a year later, it began being passed from one bed and breakfast to the next on Cape Cod, and then all over New England. Connected by the simple Red Chair, a photo story emerged capturing the essence of the region.
2013 marked the beginning of the Red Chair’s cross-country travels, and as of June 2016, the chair has visited 25 states, and British Columbia, staying in numerous inns at each location. Now, the Red Chair has come all the way to Homer, at the absolute opposite end of the country from which it started. Hosted by Homer inn, Halcyon Heights, the chair was escorted to different sights of the town, including the scenic lookout on Skyline Drive, and the Homer Spit. There it caused a slight stir among Land’s End Resort guests, who wondered what locals were doing carting a red chair around the beach, said Halcyon Heights co-owner Juxia Scarpitta.
“I think we add a layer of memory for those visitors,” Scarpitta said of this experience.
Scarpitta, who will be responsible for moving the chair to its next Alaska location, was upbeat about the Red Chair and its visit to Homer, saying that it spreads a positive energy.
“The chair is a symbol, it’s a happening, it’s a companion,” she said.
That echoes back to the chair’s origins, and the poetic words of its owner, “The red chair became a symbol, a metaphor for connections made across invisible boundaries. … It is the beckoning hand of civilization, marking the edge of the wildness of nature. It is the dialogue between artists and innkeepers, dreamers and shop-girls, lost travelers and those that welcome them into warm beds.”