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My Space

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Continuing our series on Tucsonans’ favorite spaces, historic preservation expert Demion Clinco tells the story of a 1940’s armchair.

Photo by Gillian Drummond

“I bought this chair in Sedona, from a vintage store. I’m guessing it’s from the 1940s. It was in the middle of winter and it was snowing and it was my aunt’s funeral. There were histrionics. Her ex-lover turned up. And in the midst of it all I was like ‘Oh my God, I have to have this chair!’

“Getting it back to Tucson was quite the production. My family and I had driven up there in a Volvo sedan and I was all for strapping it to the top of the Volvo and hoping for the best. In the end the ex-lover drove it to Phoenix, although he didn’t do it for a few months, so the chair and I didn’t see each other for some time.

A Picasso bowl – another secondhand find for Demion. Photo by Gillian Drummond

“I have a rule that if I buy something I get rid of something. When I do buy I much prefer to buy vintage. It’s green, and there’s so much more value to it. The ceramic bowl by the chair is by Picasso, from an antique shop. I’m pretty sure the owner didn’t know it was original.

“I bought this house, just south of Armory Park, in 2007. It was falling down, but I really wanted to be in an up-and-coming neighborhood that needed an advocate. I also wanted to be close to downtown Tucson and it’s close to the Mexican food district. If there was something original I could keep, I did. We restored the wood floors and door frames, and I had the kitchen cabinets repainted. There’s even a chandelier still hanging that looks like it’s been there since 1924, when the house was built.”

Demion Clinco is CEO of Frontier Consulting Group and president of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation. You can see his History Moment series on KUAT Channel 6.

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