Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day, 2012 (and a reader's personal letter from E.B. White)

Earth Day, 2012

Note:  This entry received this comment, including the reader's personal letter from E.B. White, that is worth highlighting.

This piece on E.B. White in today's Sunday Book Review seems just right for 'Earth Day':

It reminded me of this letter that White sent to my grandfather. By the way, I don't know if, "Sorry to hear that you are a dropout..." refers to a dog owner event or the fact that my grandfather graduated from Yale. Maybe it was just a dig from a Cornell man.


E.B. White
North Brooklin, Maine 04661

March 20, 1974

Dear Mr. ________:

Sorry to hear that you are a dropout but am grateful for your letter and glad you can still read. Wish I could still write.

My Norwich Terrier will be seven in May. His Club name is Jaysgreen Rusty (United Kingdom), and he was sired (it says here) by a dog named Hunston Horseradish. He is known in this house as Jones and is seldom found more than six feet from where I am. He is neurotic---scarred as a puppy by being shoved into a crate for a plane trip from England, then another plane trip from Boston to Maine. I think somebody along the way must have hit him with a stick, because even after all these years with me, I can’t pick up a fly swatter without his cringing. I got him from Sylvia Warren, and he almost never made it up out of his bed of neuroses. But he and I are enough alike that we get on well, and I can’t help being touched by his loyalty---which I think in his case is simply insecurity. He would never take a prize at a show. Neither would I, come to think of it.

I have another terrier---a West Highland White, or Off-White, named Susy. She is as open and outgiving as Jones is closed and reserved. Everybody loves Susy. Everybody tries to like Jones. But Jones takes his guard duties seriously and has made several attempts to kill people he thought were intruding. He particularly distrusts women in trousers, drivers of panel trucks, small children, and stray dogs. He has hunted squirrels for six years without bagging one. Susy is quicker than he is and once nabbed a barn swallow on the wing. Sometimes I dream of owning another Norwich---one that looks like a Norwich and behaves like one. But I am known for my outsize dreams. Meantime, I am grateful for small favors, like the little brown one over there on the sofa.

E.B. White

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pilgrims in Mayne


“We might have had ye Pilgrims in Mayne, but we didn't want them.”

- Sir Ferdinando Gorges (1565-1647) as quoted in Inside New England

Spring Dishes

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Museum at FIT will present "Ivy Style"

The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City will be hosting an exhibition called Ivy Style that will run from September 14, 2012-January 5, 2013.  Given the dream team assembled, including the substantive involvement of both Richard Press and G. Bruce Boyer, the presentation and study of classic menswear should be pitch perfect.

Funnily enough, this may also be the last ever, original collection curated by first-hand, non derivative authorities of the golden age of this style. This moment in time, far enough for perspective yet close enough to draw real accounts, makes this event (and this word is seldom used seriously on this blog) important.

 Patricia Mears, Deputy Director of The Museum at FIT (on the left), and Colleen Hill, Assistant Curator of Accessories (on the right) .


Patricia will be writing the main essay for the book (also called Ivy Style) which will be published by Yale University Press.

Another Sail Loft

Monday, April 2, 2012

Newburyport, Massachusetts

Newburyport can be described by some general terms that fit at least a dozen other regional spots. The architecture is beautiful; there is a maritime history and the town is in great shape.  But the downtown area is shaped by and for tourists.  Buildings are obscured by the throngs of humanity.  Parking is a blood sport.  Advice to anyone who wanted to go would be to arrive far off season or to stroll the streets between 5 am and 7. It is more more resort than village.  In short, Newburyport is a "Black Dog" town.

Still, it has been revitalized and is a good place to walk.

The Custom House Maritime Museum is definitely worth visiting, very striking and interesting, but does not allow photos to be taken that will be published.

Boats were being readied.

The best part of Newburyport is the architecture, both on some of the side streets, and especially on Rt. 1A (High Road) going toward Newbury, where there is a seemingly endless line of truly beautiful, historic houses.


The array of doors is wonderful.











At least fifteen of the first settlers listed here are direct ancestors. (There is no inbreeding like New England inbreeding!