Yet, the tale of the Red Chair started from a simple photo and painting, and yesterday we learned that it’s story took a strange twist. It came to my attention that our friend and artist, Julie Cromer, who so beautifully originally captured the Red Chair in her photo, was arrested in Santa Barbara for elder abuse. We are shocked to learn this news, and saddened to think that such a talented person is now in such trouble.
Julie is the photographer whose striking original photo of the Red Chair at Nobska Beach in Woods Hole first got me musing about this simple chair, ruminating about it’s poetic power, and blogging about random connections made over the internet (http://bit.ly/1TRtzRz).
From Julie’s original photo, and the power of the Red Chair in making connections, an amazing movement has grown. Joyous visits to extraordinarily beautiful places, photo opportunities with local celebrities from sea to shining sea, and the broad smiles of innkeepers who often meet face to face for the first time to advance the journey of a celebrity chair have been the legacy of the Red Chair. The Red Chair movement has grown far beyond these first photographs and taken on a life of its own. It symbolizes the best of hospitality, the adventure of travel, and the beauty of local places across North America.
We are shocked and surprised to hear this news about Julie’s unfortunate situation. The details of her legal situation are blurry and I am sure we will never know the whole story of which there are always two sides. But this cloudiness is not at the essence of what makes the Red Chair great, so at this juncture, we feel we must sever our official ties with her while also wishing her well.
As in life, and any journey, the Red Chair is moving on to greener pastures, bluer seas, and fabulous, welcoming B&Bs. Tune in for the next adventure.