One of my roles on this page is occasionally filling a void when I find one. In all my historical research, I find no mention of recliners in any back issues or in new media.

Nothing above the fold or below. No drilling down on recliners.

Groundkeepers like recliners.

Just like the ancient lobster between the rocks, each human has a comfy chair which suits our fancy.

Growing up, my father always had a recliner in the living room. I had a swivel rocker next to his. When he was gone, I moved over to the recliner. Then, as now, Dads are synonymous with recliners.


When I went away to college, there were no recliners. The dorm lounge may have had one or two and a TV, but I never hung out there. All that time; no recliner time. I was busy with many other things.

Those college years, during my summers in Boothbay Harbor, the apartments I rented also never had recliners. Instead, I had big armchairs and shacked out couches; arraignments that suited groups of friends.

After college, my rentals in Saint George and Clark Island were more of the same. Recliners were not on my mind.

Then I met Joanne and moved into this old house. I got my first recliner of my very own. A recliner made of big, overstuffed fabric; it was big enough for me and two cats (one weighing 25 pounds). I have had a recliner ever since. I believe I am currently on my third.

My wife’s family are not recliner people. They do not indulge. They are not anti-recliner; their perspective is just different. When they come to visit, they may try it out, but they usually prefer the couch. (Sometimes they sit in the recliner inadvertently.)


I have, on a couple of occasions, experienced my recliner falling out of favor here at the old house. It does not matter to me what the recliner looks like, as long as there are no springs poking into my backside.

I came home one day a few years back to find my recliner gone and a new “fashionable” one in its place.

It was a “surprise.”

I did not see it that way.

After a day of touchy negotiations, I got my chair back. Order had been restored.

We now have an additional recliner. I call it the museum recliner. It does not look like a recliner. It looks like a very traditional wingback chair with a hidden recliner mechanism; no stick-shift on the side. I begrudgingly admit that it is comfortable and sit in it from time to time.


Because I do business with furniture stores on a regular basis, I am abreast of all new recliner developments.

These newer models eschew the stick-shift for push button controls, activating an electric motor deep inside the chair to move you through the three recliner positions, which are:

First Position – Upright for conversations; polite company.

Second Position – Half back; footrest up for watching TV.

Third Position – Sleep/Coma mode.

In addition, there are options for heat, vibration, expanding lumbar support and motion headrest. Some of these are manipulated by a remote control.

I am somewhat of a purest on these new chairs. Give me the big lever on the side. What if the power goes out or the motor dies, and your chair gets stuck in “coma mode?”

Rest easy, my friends.

Glenn Billington is a lifelong resident of Rockland and has worked for The Courier-Gazette and The Free Press since 1989.

Glenn’s recliner. Photo by Glenn Billington

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