The Patio - 1977

Carrying the formal patio look a bit further required the touch-o-elegance sliding glass door seen on the right and the installation of carpet squares on the concrete slab. Mom selected an odd combination of solid and antiqued gold squares (they went with the avocado ceiling!), and here we see a snapshot of her friend from across the street helping her to glue them to the slab with spray adhesive. (Video here.) With temperature changes and dampness it was inevitable that the spray adhesive never quite kept the carpet tiles firmly on the floor so in a year or so we were kicking 'em around.

Past the open door of the den was one of our most notable possessions, the bellows coffee table. According to lore there was only two of them manufactured; a doctor owned one and my Mom bought the other back in 1970 or so. When Mom retired and left Burbank she gave or sold it to some people across the street, who in turn gave or sold it to some other people across the street. In August 1998 during a visit back to Burbank I managed to track it down and photographed it for posterity.

As you can see it is truly notable: it's a Formica-topped coffee table in the shape of a bellows. (The Formica top was certainly easier to live with than the epoxy resin-topped ship's hatch). Dad hated the table to no end because he used to jam his shins against the handles and the tack heads that encircled the edge of the top. (The people across the street had the same complaint, which is why they got rid of it!) In his defense I have to admit that it was an awkward shape for a coffee table. Also, dust, dirt and a lot of dropped food collected in the Naugahyde folds of the bellows; you can see it's quite dusty here. It was very unpleasant to clean out (when it got cleaned out) - I used to find doughnut fragments and powdered sugar in the folds.

If you want to see another bellows table (is it the other one?) and you have the videotape of Ron Howard's wonderful film Apollo 13, you can see it in the family room of Marilyn Lovell's house. When they're all watching television she's leaning against one. (Frankly, I think the set decorators went overboard in their zeal to recreate the Seventies here - I bet the real Marilyn Lovell didn't really have one.)

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