Monday, August 22, 2011

The Cane Man

Our small antique family here in Michigan mourns the loss of two of our members; Dane (54) and Polly Frost (55).
They went to meet our Lord Sunday morning in a freak car accident and will be missed by all who knew them.
Dane was a craftsman who in my opinion was the best dang chair caner I had ever met. For those of you not familiar with the art of caning, another word for this is called seat weaving.  See example below.

Polly was usually seen by Dane’s side on weekends, but worked for the town of Sandusky as their finance manager.
Bob and I first met Dane and Polly at an antique show held in Sandusky Michigan three years ago. I was fascinated by his caning technique and kept watching him throughout the weekend as our tent was set up in front of his area.
I went over and talked to him and he gave me some of his business cards and I told him that I would put them in the store and recommend him to everyone I knew who needed any caning done.
That entire 2 day weekend, Dane would work his magic weaving patterns and designs into many chairs…making them come alive again, while most people would have just thrown them away…including myself.
 Bob and I last saw Dane last three weeks ago at the Civil War Days at the Sanilac County museum. He was working on a chair as usual and explaining to folks what materials he was using. He even had a bucket of wood strands in water within reach as he said these had to remain pliable until they were used. I stood there again watching him create his own type of magic.
Again, I saw Dane two weeks ago on my weekend antique trail hunt. He was set up on the grounds of another antique dealers shop along with Polly. I waved to them in passing as they were talking to another customer and I told Bob when I got home that weekend, that the next time we see Dane that I wanted to have him fix my great grandmothers caned chair that I have stored in the attic as it needed to be re-caned.
Unfortunately, this will never happen now….and it saddens me to think that two wonderful folks are no longer here with us anymore.  

This is one of the good chairs from my great grandmother. Circa 1875. 
The one that needs repairing will remain in my attic now.

I guess God needed you more than we did down here, cause now he has one of the
Until we meet again Dane and Polly.

Take care everyone,
Life is so short.


  1. Janice,
    Hugs and Prayers for you and the families that lost their loved ones , may God grant you all peace in happy memories in the coming days! Its so hard to lose so those we care about and the stories and skills they share! Hugs lil raggedy angie

  2. OMG this is so sad.
    (((((Big Hug)))) and I am so sorry.

  3. I'm so sorry for the loss of your friends. Dawn

  4. So tragic and sad....Now we know there will be wonderful chairs in heaven....So sorry for your loss and praying for comfort for his and Polly's families....Big Hugs ~ Robin

  5. Way to young, Janice. So sad. Peace be with you ~*~Lisa

  6. I visited my parents this past weekend and my Mom had a chair to cane. I hope she gets to do it. She's getting older and I know it's hard for her but she loves it. Thanks for the memories. God bless the family and friends left behind.


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