A Squeak of Reassurance
As young professionals drawn by their careers to Washington, D.C., Karen and Steve settled to start their family in an Alexandria, Virginia townhouse. It was during the process of learning their surroundings that they first encountered Thos. Moser furniture. They liked what they saw and made an informal commitment to remember the brand when their means and their situation allowed them to purchase new furniture.
The opportunity arrived when they learned they were expecting their first child. In the process of outfitting their future daughter’s nursery, they purchased a New Gloucester Rocker. When their daughter was born, the rocker quickly assumed its role as the go-to chair for Karen to spend time with her newborn. Rocking together, Karen soothed her daughter and formed the foundation of their lasting bond.
But while the rocker was serving its intended purpose, Karen became aware of a nagging idiosyncrasy: it squeaked. With each of the thousands of rocks she shared with her daughter, Karen heard it. A quiet, subtle noise she now relates to the sound of rubbing saddle leather. As a lifelong Utahan, she knew the sound well. But the squeak, she felt, was native to a saddle – not a rocker.
“It was roughly thirty years ago on a cold winter’s morning when I finally decided to call the Moser showroom about the squeak,” said Karen. “The woman on the phone was terrific. She said she’d send someone right over, and she did. A few hours later, I heard a knock at my door. When I opened it, the gentleman on my step introduced himself as Tom Moser.”
As Karen recalls, it wasn’t a typical customer service visit. “Tom was engaging and interested in our lives. It was important for him to understand the role his furniture played in our household,” Karen said. “He was drawn to a leather trunk we had inherited from a close family friend. The friend – I thought of him as an uncle – had been disaffected by an event or relationship when he was young and spent lots of time riding the rails. He finally settled in San Francisco, where he took a job as a steelworker to care for his daughter. He was a very good person. At some point, he had restored the trunk, and because it reminded me of him, it was very special.”
Tom agreed. He was captivated by the trunk, and about what it had experienced during its travels with my uncle. He was affected by its relevance to Karen’s family history. For Tom, the trunk had taken on a life of its own through its travels and associations. It was more than an inanimate object. Karen put two and two together and realized that Tom wasn’t there to fix a rocking chair. He was there to make sure that the piece his craftsmen had produced would live up to its role as a vital part of her family’s life.
Then, faced with the option to replace the squeaky rocker, Karen took a pause. “I suddenly had a change of heart,” she said. “I realized I didn’t want to forget the time I’d spent in the rocker with my daughter. I wanted to remember every squeak. I wanted to remember the snowy day when Tom Moser came to our home and shared his time and his interest in our lives.”
“To this day, the rocker still makes the same squeak. It’s low and comforting – a peaceful punctuation to silence,” said Karen. “Now, decades later, my daughter is grown, and in medical school, so I know what I didn’t know as a nervous, uncertain, first-time mother: everything would work out right. The rocker is a beautiful reminder of the time when, early on, it was the most meaningful way I could engage with my daughter. The New Gloucester Rocker has been part of her entire lifetime, and it’s been present through all of life’s ups and downs. The anxieties I felt as a young mother weren’t unusual – and they certainly didn’t play out.”
Eventually, Karen and Steve found their way back to Utah. As they settled into their new home – situated on in a picturesque spot near Salt Lake City – they continued to bring Moser furniture into their lives. Over the years, they added a Pencil Post Bed, a cherry side table, and several other items that spoke to their aesthetic and their appreciation for fine craftsmanship.
“There’s a universality to Moser furniture,” said Karen. “I can visualize it everywhere. I love that it’s not overdone. It complements its surroundings – it’s not simply an eastern aesthetic – and the pieces we’ve collected remind me of settings I recall from my childhood. My grandfather and father built a cabin together, and I always admired their attention to detail. I see that same dedication in Moser furniture.”
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