Monday, July 21, 2008
ARRIVING AT THURBER HOUSE
We made it! From Montreal - by way of Ann Arbor, Michigan (great to see my old friends and their wonderful kids!) - then 3 hours drive south and I arrived right here at the Thurber House, smack dab in the middle of Columbus.
I have to admit - crossing into Ohio I got all goosey in my gut - most likely from the anticipation that in 2 short hours I'd be arriving at the Thurber House (and not because my friends and I barbecued tons of ribs and chicken the night before!)
You have to know - I lived in Columbus many years ago (I do mean "many" - trust me - a lot of you weren't born yet)! So as I drove closer the memories of being at my first job and making my first out of college friends and the whole experience of being free and employed in a career you know you're just beginning - all that just bombarded me (and still does each time I see something that springs a memory on me like a mousetrap!).
But my memories of Columbus are for later - THIS post is for saying what a wonderful feeling it was to drive off the highway and onto Jefferson Avenue - the quiet "U" shaped street lined with leafy trees and old Victorian houses with the white gazebo in the middle. And then I pulled up to #77 - the house I've been staring at on the postcard by my desk all year. The photo above is my grin at arriving - and Milo's glee at finally getting out of the car where I chose all the music.
Pat Shannon, Director of the Thurber House, met me and gave me the tour, room by room - my mouth was still grinning like a madman - so in awe was I to be staring at Thurber's artwork, old photos, his bedroom, in fact all the rooms described in "My Life And Hard Times" and so much more!
After dragging my stuff up to the attic apartment and getting my own set of keys - I was left alone in the house at 77 Jefferson Ave. James Thurber's House. It's almost a guilty little feeling inside me that shouts and squeals that "I am so lucky to have this honor and opportunity!"
I quickly set up my workspace and my photos of home and some toys and gadgets which helped me settle into the idea that I am here and ready to write, draw and teach....oh, and explore Columbus too!
And then there's my first encounter with the famous Thurber House GHOST....but more about that next time.