My First Memory (of Librarians)
By Nikki Giovanni
This is my first memory:
A big room with heavy wooden tables that sat on a creaky
A line of green shades—bankers’ lights—down the center
Heavy oak chairs that were too low or maybe I was simply
For me to sit in and read
So my first book was always big
In the foyer up four steps a semi-circle desk presided
To the left side the card catalogue
On the right newspapers draped over what looked like
a quilt rack
Magazines face out from the wall
The welcoming smile of my librarian
The anticipation in my heart
All those books—another world—just waiting
At my fingertips.
We had a very nice Sunday and got a lot done too, which always makes it feel more accomplished than if we just sat around enjoying the weather. After morning laundry and post-trip chores, we went to the Hillwood Museum & Gardens, which was having a Fabergé Egg Family Festival -- the museum has two Faberge eggs and many other items by Fabergé in its Imperial Russian collection, and a costumed actor playing Peter Carl Fabergé explained the production of the eggs and why he thinks he was a better jeweler than Tiffany or Cartier. There was also Russian folk music, costumed Grand Duchesses and Tsar Nicholas II, and the opportunity for kids to make their own "Fabergé" eggs. We only visited part of the house -- we skipped the closets of Marjorie Merriweather Post's shoes, though we did visit the special exhibit on her fancy ball costumes in the dacha -- but we walked through most of the extensive gardens, including a French Parterre, a rose garden, the Lunar Lawn, a Japanese garden and a large greenhouse.
Marjorie Merriweather Post accompanied third husband Joseph E. Davies to the Soviet Union when he was appointed the U.S. ambassador. While there, she collected Russian decorative arts. Long after they divorced, in 1969, she had a dacha -- a one-room Russian summer home -- built at Hillwood.
No photos are allowed inside the mansion, so I have no pictures of the two Fabergé eggs on display there.
But I do have photos of the eggs being made by visitors to the Adirondack cabin on the estate.
The eggs were decorated with glitter, rhinestones, stickers, plastic pearls and other items that could be stuck or glued on with hot glue guns.
This is Adam's "Fabergé egg" -- very elegant, if I must say so myself!
We missed the Sakura Festival parade downtown, but we did not have to miss seeing cherry blossoms.
In fact, there was evidence of spring all over Hillwood's Japanese garden.
While we were looking at the orchids, I got a text message from Daniel that his bus from New York would be arriving at his high school early, so we left in a hurry to retrieve him. Then we rushed back to pick up Adam's Bar Mitzvah invitations, which we'd been planning to get at the time we arrived at the high school. We had dinner with my parents, then came home for the new Simpsons episode and the first two episodes of The Tudors -- officially the season premiere was Sunday night, but the second episode is already available On Demand -- which remains historically distorted and very, very pretty. It's nice to have a would-be-feminist Jane Seymour, and a pleasant change from most fictional accounts to have an attractive, sharp-witted Mary Tudor. Plus I can now watch Dangerous Liaisons with my kids since they've heard everyone's favorite Latin terms uttered on Showtime. *snickers* I am sure their primary interest in the series is not the history but the naked women, but if that gets them to pay attention to Cromwell and the Dissolution of the Monasteries, fine.