On Saturday July 6th, the situation reached a boiling point. A man sat in one of Spate’s chairs in Madison Square Park, and he absolutely refused to pay the five cents that Spate’s man Thomas Tulley demanded. Finally, Tully pulled the chair from out under the man and bedlam ensued. An angry crowd surrounded Tully and began shouting, ”Lynch him! He’s Spate’s man!” Tulley fought his way through the crowd and sped across the street to the Fifth Avenue Hotel, where he rushed upstairs and locked himself in a room. The crowd gathered in the hotel lobby for about 30 minutes, when policemen arrived and escorted Tully from the hotel to wherever he called home.
Folding chairs really are one of the most practical inventions of past centuries. Wherever you need a space-saving solution whether in the garden or in the home, some great looking folding chairs can help. Of course, it is not only in the home where you will find such chairs; public halls and conference rooms will have hundreds of chairs neatly folded away for important functions.
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Carefully check and inspect the materials used for the chair. Mesh is quite popular today for the standard chairs while leather remains the top choice for executive office chairs. The kind of chair you buy depends on how you are going to use it but always make sure you have the information on the materials used, how durable the wheels and other bearings are, and ask how much the warranty covers. If you can, make a research on the top companies who make office chairs. More likely, these are the companies who would use only top grade materials for their products and even provide a great warranty to go with it. And after you have made your purchase, please take care of your chair and maintain its tiptop condition. After all, you paid a lot for this investment.
Spate also told the reporters he was doing the city a favor, since charging for the chairs would keep the undesirables (read – the poor) out of the parks, thereby keeping the parks sparkling clean and free of loiterers who leave a mess in their wake. The outrage from the New York City press and from philanthropists came swift. Randolph Guggenheimer, the president of the Municipal Council, said he ”saw no good reason for allowing private parties to occupy park grounds and make money through a scheme like this.” The New York City Central Federated Union sent a statement to the press denouncing both Spate and Clausen for their ”hideous actions.” The New York Tribune wrote in an editorial, ”This is only another instance of the hopeless stupidity of the present Park Commission.” The New York Journal also wrote an editorial defending the ”rights of poor people to sit in public park.” However, the New York Times saw no problem in what Spate was doing, as long as ”the prices were regulated properly.”
As I reflected on this pastor’s statement, a couple of thoughts came to my mind. One is that his statement was a very personal one that indicated a preference that was important to him and was a value I needed to honor. An additional thought though was about what actually makes a chair a ”church chair”. Here is an expansion on those thoughts with three observations as to what really is needed for a chair to be labeled a ”church chair”.