Carving Out New Friends

Mr. and Mrs. J. Watson Webb

I realize that most of us had to stem our woodcarving budgets to almost nothing under this economy. But back in 1946, when James Watson Webb and his fantastically-named wife, Electra (which is more fun to say than Alexa) sat down in their posh residence on the North Shore of Long Island, only the most desirable location at the time, trees were plenty, and money was no object.

JW was no commoner, no basic blogger like you or I. Nay, he was born into greatness. His mother was a Vanderbilt, his grandfather an ambassador to Brazil under Lincoln. So he did things neither you nor I could do: graduate from Yale, found a brokerage firm, play on the American polo team, serve in the House of Representatives. Do you feel like a loser yet?

Electra herself was the daughter of a sugar tycoon, and she spent her days on buying sprees, snatching up bits of Americana and brilliant craftsmanship (like those above) to add to her collections. Everything from paintings to quilts to New England furniture. At the tender age of 18, she bought a wooden cigar store Indian for $25 and named it Mary O’Connor after one of her favorite family servants. What others at the time would have called tobacco store junk was art in the eyes of Electra.

The year after the above shot was taken, she established the Shelburne Museum, a home for her treasures, and became a pioneer in preserving remnants of early Americana. It houses the SS Ticonderoga, a passenger steamship, an 1890s rail car, a light house, and various sleighs and carriages. Aren’t the grounds lovely? They even have an apothecary shop!

shelburnemuseum. org

Mary O’Connor eventually wound up on the other side of the country, in the California home of her son, J. Watson Webb, Jr. As he had no children of his own, one wonders where Mary is now. The museum?

Mary O’Connor herself https://www.vermontwoman.com/

Thanks For Your Support

Brassieres are not like other clothing. They are crazy expensive, especially sports bras, which generally run north of $50. They chafe, the underwire leaves red marks, and the straps create deep indentations in your shoulders for the rest of your life. And the inconvenience! When you get an MRI, you have to remove your bra due to the metal in the hooks and wire. Off, on, off, on. And when they have finally run their course, you can’t hand them down or donate them to Goodwill because gross. But today I learned you can do this:

ebaumsworld

Who knew? For those of you who take the time to remove hooks and mail them with actual US postal stamps, your benevolence will be appreciated. Granted, the recipient himself will never know whom to thank, but you can identify as a testudophile from now on.

It really is a thing!

Matador Network
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