Toot Your Own Horn

Forgive me while I boastfully toot our own horn.

First, a bit of trivia before I talk about the beautiful furnishings we showcase in our two stores in Wichita and Overland Park, the fine service, the historic neighborhood locations, the great employees, and friendly atmosphere, but first, a word of explanation about the origins of the phrase “toot your own horn.”

Tooting one’s own horn

Proudly, America can claim this idiom as its own.

Toot your own horn,” originated in Colonial America about 1776. We proudly presume as a “declaration of our self-independence”. No more marching in step with a British band. No bending of knee to the British Crown. No proclamations from a bewigged foreign parliament.

We stand on our own.

The self-assured words appear in the “Warren-Adams Letters”* as “I think modesty is highly overrated as a virtue — my motto is ‘Toot your own horn lest the same never be tooted.‘” Sometimes we like to say “Beat your own drum,” that fits in nicely with the well-known painting by A.M. Willard, The Spirit of 76, better known as Yankee Doodle, that shows two drummers and a fife leading a column of patriot soldiers after a bitter fight. This painting was made on the centenary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

We here at Traditions Home in Wichita and Overland Park like to “Toot our Own Horn.” We carry the finest American manufacturers like Stickley, Vanguard, Sherrill, Century, and more. Beautiful furniture makes beautiful homes. Backing this up is the friendly, knowledgeable staff that will help you find the perfect sofa, table or bed for your home.

Traditions Home, tooting its own horn since 1984.

Closed Sundays and Mondays, because we can.

  • Warren-Adams Letters, 1767-1822, — letters between John Adams, Abigail Adams, and Samuel Adams; plus Massachusetts legislator James Warren, and author and historian Mercy Otis Warren. Correspondents include Governor of Massachusetts James Bowdoin, statesmen John Dickinson and Elbridge Gerry, generals Henry Knox and Arthur Lee, and George Washington. The particular author is not identified.

Chesterfield – Tuxedo, what’s the difference?

Is there a difference between a Chesterfield sofa and a Tuxedo?

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Often the two are confused. But, the luxurious Chesterfield sofa is usually noted by its beefy rolled arm that sometimes curves out from the sofa. Like the Tuxedo it has the same arm and back height. The Tuxedo’s straight arm is perpendicular to the floor, and it is usually, but not always a little cleaner, a little slimmer. Both are known for their button tufted backs.

The lore of the Chesterfield is that it was invented when the fourth Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope (1694-1773), commissioned a similar sofa in the mid-18th century. The fullness of the sofa, the labor intensive tufting suggested to anyone that saw the Chesterfield that it was only for the upper classes. So popular among the Lords of England it became standard in London’s elite gentleman’s clubs.

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The Tuxedo appeared in the 20th century at about the time of the Great Gatsby. It takes its name from the village of Tuxedo Park in upstate New York, yes, the same place that inspired the formal suit that once was de rigueur for banquets and still appears at the Oscars each year. Notable residents of upscale Tuxedo Park included Emily Post, the grand dame of good manners. Its clean lines and simple shape, proclaimed that modernism was on the way.

See it now

Hold your horses

There are teaching moments in everyone’s life.

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hold your horses

Fresh back from the Atlanta and Dallas Markets, we have time to reflect on all the great things we bought for spring.

And all the things we didn’t.

“Hold your horses” – a phrase that comes to mind when I am about to buy something but don’t.

The phrase comes from times when people rode the stagecoach, when ma and pa used a wagons to get to town, when courting meant going for a buggy ride.

It took on added importance when the new-fangled automobile shared the road with the horse and buggy. Mark Twain used it from time to time, and one can imagine Will Rogers throwing a “hold your horses” into his comedy routine while he was spinning the lariat.
A horse was a slower way of gettin’ about than an automobile, but it was a mite bit quicker than walking. Now, hold your horses, I am gettin’ to the point, I just happen to be takin’ the long way about.

If you were in a hurry or a new-fangled automobile was sputting by, a driver needed to keep them horses under control. Literally, one need to hold the horses and keep them from running. It is akin to, but opposite of saying I am “off to the races.”

It is suggestion of caution, like be cool, chill, relax.

Today, it’s a colorful way of saying “slow down” or “stop” when somebody is too hasty and a wiser person says “Hold your horses!” in the hopes of making them stop and think.