(That's the water tower on the left.)
But I was posted -- imagine me, a blogger, posted -- in the interior, so let's go in:
Yesterday's post has one picture of the interior, showing the fireplace, which has a space above it where the current owners have painted a line from that Robert Frost poem "The Road Not Taken." Here's a closeup of the inscription:
I showed many people through the room, and I always had to say that it was the original fireplace, but the line was not there originally, as, indeed, it could not have been -- unless, as I said once, "Frank Lloyd Wright was unusually prescient" -- because it had yet to be written in 1901 when the gatehouse was built. So I had some interesting conversations with visitors about the line. Would Frank Lloyd Wright have approved? He took the road less traveled, but the road that consists of loving that poem is very well traveled. All these people enamored of a line about nonconformity -- it's ironic. Most of the people I talked to wanted to take the road less traveled and reject the poem.
Let's hear it read by R. Frost:
One visitor said that Wright and Frost were contemporaries and that there's a good film clip out there of Wright interviewing Frost. "That should be on the internet," I said. I'm not finding it, but there sure are a lot of student films using "The Road Not Taken." Sample:
Now, when I see that line -- "I took the one less traveled by/And that has made all the difference" -- I think of the documentary "Grey Gardens." Little Edie, truly a nonconformist, treasures the old line. Part of what is so poignant about Little Edie is that she feels so deeply about some terribly shallow things, like astrology, scarves, and the VMI fight song. And so, that poem...
I'm frustrated that YouTube doesn't seem to have the clip of Little Edie reciting Frost, but I did find this video of Rufus Wainwright singing his song "Grey Gardens":
[Speaking of feeling deeply about terribly shallow things, I'm remembering the Rufus Wainwright line: "There's never been such grave a matter/As comparing our new brand name black sunglasses...."]
And then, if I may bring this meandering post in for a crash landing, I found this clip of Christine Ebersole -- who plays Little Edie (and the young Big Edie) in the Broadway musical made from the documentary. She's struggling to answer the question why gay men love "Grey Gardens." At one point, her answer seems promising, but then it devolves into typical showbiz political talk about Republicans:
No, let's not end there. Let's get back to the real feeling of Little Edie:
"I always took French, but nothing ever happened there."
ADDED: I did not know when I wrote this post that there had been a terrible murder in Delavan the night before I was there. MORE: Actually, the murder was the night after the tour:
Six people, including twin infants, were shot dead Saturday night inside an apartment house. The shooting also wounded a 2-year-old girl, who was still fighting for her life Sunday....The helicopters to the hospital fly over my house. I heard a helicopter in the middle of the night last night.
The wounded girl was flown to the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison.