2019 Life Logs, Day 312: Field Trip to Edward Gorey House
Date: Friday, November 8, 2019
Weather: Sunny, Windy, Cold; High 49, Low 25 degrees F
Location: At Home in The Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
At 8 Strawberry Lane on the Yarmouthport Common is a 200 year-old sea captain’s home. It was purchased in 1979 by eccentric American author, illustrator, playwright, and set and costume designer, Edward Gorey.He was known for his “arch humor and gothic sensibility” and lived and worked out of the house in Yarmouthport until his death in 2000. After his death, the house became a museum that is dedicated to sharing Gorey’s life and work with the public. And today the Newcomer’s Teacher Group toured the home. I have to admit that I had never heard of Edward Gorey, but when I went to pick up Sam this morning and take him to his before-school Environmental Club meeting, I got a complete overview. When I told Sam where I was going today, he beamed and started telling me everything he knew about Gorey and his work. And he knew a lot. His art class studied Gorey at the beginning of the school year and after a great deal of detail, Sam summarized by saying, “Basically, his work was ‘gorey’. No pun intended.” Sam also told me that Gorey’s illustration were all black and white drawings, that his writing was nonsensical, that he was a man of habit that ate the same thing at the same restaurant every day, and that he had at least 17 cats. Sam also told me about Gorey’s alphabet book where 26 children meet their untimely deaths. He gave me a very concise and accurate pre-tour in the 10 minutes it took us to drive from home to school. Well done, Sam! But still, I was taken back a bit when at the start of the tour there were the legs of doll peaking out from under a rug. That was George from The Gashlycrumb Tinies book. “G is for GEORGE smothered under the rug.” But then I realized why Sam was so taken with Gorey. The alphabet book appeals to middle school humor the way Dr. Seuss books appeal to very young children. Gorey was quite accomplished. He won a Tony Award for his Broadway production of Dracula, did the animated drawings that were used to introduce Masterpiece Theatre’s Mystery! series, and wrote more than a hundred books. After the tour, we had a great lunch at Oliver’s and Plank’s Tavern.
When I got home from the field trip, I went to work rearranging the small bedroom that Ollie claims to make room for a puppy play area. We are all going to meet the puppy on Sunday and and I think I will be bringing him home next weekend. Lots to do and learn to get ready! And as the temperature continued to plunge during the day, it reminded me that I needed to get the storm windows for the big windows in the living room in place. I went to the basement to get them, but came up empty handed. I can’t find them anywhere. Heather and boys came over to help me look, but they couldn’t find them either. Where or where did I put them? We gave up the search and went out to dinner. No cooking today!