New ‘Big Chairs’ Pop Up Around Kingston

Doug Woodside, builder of the Big Chairs of Kingston
Doug Woodside, builder of the Big Chairs of Kingston

“It makes me feel like a child again!” Susan Rodgers smiles as she talks about sitting in one of the big Adirondack chairs that seem to be multiplying around Kingston. You can’t miss the “Big Chairs” if you walk off the ferry or just come by the waterfront for a stroll.

Big Chairs of KingstonIt all started with two chairs that Susan Rodgers had borrowed from their creator, Doug Woodside, also a Kingston resident, who had originally built them for a parade. She used them to perk up the outside of her property at Cleo’s Landing.

The first time she sat in one of them, people waved at her as they drove by and she waved back, feeling no self-consciousness at all, just a delighted, carefree, uncomplicated connection — like when she was a child.

Big Chairs of KingstonSince then, 10 more chairs have been added around Kingston. Four of them are in the marina grounds, already a favorite place for visitors and residents alike to gather.

One couple I found sitting in two of the big chairs that overlook the ferry dock had come to Kingston for a first get-together after meeting on a dating website.

Kim Rindahl is from Lynwood and Tom, who wanted to be known as the Hummingbird Holder, is from Port Townsend. Both said that the chairs were surprisingly comfortable. A passerby noted that the design for the Adirondack chair is an old one and that they were made to be comfortable.

Both Tom and Kim said that sitting in them made them feel like a kid. Kim added that it also made her think of Lily Tomlin when she used to do her impersonation of a little girl sitting in a chair just like these.

Later, I noticed Austin Kentner taking a photo of Miriam Robertson in one of the chairs. They had come from Indianola because Miriam had seen a picture of a friend in one of the chairs and wanted one of herself.

Big Chairs of KingstonAfter her photo, she lingered, commenting that the chair would be a “comfy reading nook.” Austin soon joined her and they allowed me to take a picture of the two of them.

Adults want to relax and feel like a kid in the chairs, while it seems kids want to use them as a jungle gym. These five darlings were visiting from Seattle when they discovered the Big Chairs on the stage at the marina. They did a great job of holding still for the moment it took to take the picture.

I couldn’t resist trying the chairs for myself. As soon as I sat, I slid back and my feet went off the ground. I was surrounded and, indeed, I did feel like a kid. Cares and thoughts of what needed to be done just fell away.

Big Chairs of KingstonSomeone passed by, smiled despite hurrying and said with a chuckle, “That chair is too big!” I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to go back to the grownup world. I couldn’t stop smiling.

Jerry and Toni Chumbly, from Kingston, shared the chair next to me and asked if I wanted them to take a picture of me in the chair, so we took pictures of each other.

Big Chairs of KingstonOf course, the sun was shining and a cool breeze wafted by, which would make anyone feel good. But it’s the chairs that invite you to stop, to put away the sad face, to talk to the person next to you, to laugh with a stranger.

See for the five locations in the Kingston area where you can relax in a Big Chair, then come on over and spend some time relaxing and getting in touch with your inner child.

Too many people drive off the ferry, frustrated at the line of cars they’re in as they rush off to other destinations on the North Kitsap Peninsula. They miss completely what Kingston is now… a place to come and stay a while.