Ray and I looked like this 47 years ago when we made our first visit to Hinkle Chair Company.
That time we were engaged and in need of our first table and chairs. My Aunt Nan and Uncle Jerry had recently purchased an unfinished oak pedestal table and ladderback chairs from Hinkle. We liked theirs so much that we decided to do the same thing. In the summer before Ray went to graduate school at the University of Kentucky and I completed my last semester at Middle Tennessee State University, we finished our new table and chairs in my parents’ basement. Ray moved it to Lexington and I joined him and our table and chairs there after our wedding on December 27, 1974.
Our porch swing finally bit the dust last summer, so I looked online for a new one. To my surprise and delight, I stumbled onto a beautiful one made in the USA by the Hinkle Chair Company. Rather than purchase it through the big home improvement store website where I found it, I went to the Hinkle website and called to order it directly from them. When I found out that we could pick it up already assembled at the factory, we decided to make the two-hour trip to get it.
As time drew near, we got excited about the thought of returning to Hinkle 47 years after our first visit.
Hinkle is nestled on the outskirts of the little town of Greenbrier, only ten minutes from Springfield where I was born and where my mother and daddy began their romance that resulted in a marriage of 50 years and the birth of my brother and me. It had been so long since we had been to the factory that neither Ray nor I remembered how to get there. We were surprised when we arrived at its unassuming entrance and Ray’s maps app announced: “You have arrived.” Puzzled, I said to Ray, “Maybe it’s up this road.” “There’s no way that’s it,” he said.
To our surprise, the large Hinkle Chair Company operation is indeed at the end of that little drive.
You know those beautiful rockers on the porches of Cracker Barrel restaurants? Those are Hinkle rocking chairs. The company supplies products to Lowe’s and Home Depot, too. They have certainly grown since their beginning in 1832!
After completing our paperwork in the office, the lady there instructed us to drive over to the loading dock to pick up our swing. However, before we even got into our car, an employee was coming toward us carrying it!
He said he decided to bring it to us. I asked him if he had been at Hinkle long. “Forty years,” he answered. He graciously loaded it into the company van.
Ray and I drove back down the little drive and took some photos and videos at the entrance.
While we were there, a man pulled into the drive, stopped, rolled down his window, and looked at us quizzically. “Do you work here?” I asked.
“I’m the owner,” he replied. I told him about our 47-year-apart trips to Hinkle and asked if other family members work in the business. He said that they do, that it is still the same family, and that the youngest family member who works there is from the sixth generation.
Sticking with it for six generations—that’s the kind of legacy you and I want for our families. Jesus once talked to His mother about being about His Father’s business. It is your prayer and mine that our families will be about our heavenly Father’s business to the sixth generation and to every generation after that.
Your name, Lord, is everlasting,
The mention of You, Lord,
is throughout all generations.