Sunday, November 16, 2008

Lou Lou's House of Christmas

My Mom took part in the Bay Village "Homes For the Holidays" tour yesterday. The Plain Dealer, Cleveland's last daily, ran a nice story on the tour earlier this week, focusing on my parents house. That's my Mom sitting in our living room. You can read the article here.

This is our dining room. My Mom and Christmas have a long and fascinatingly complex history. Entire rooms in the basement of this house are filled with holiday decorations. I used to warn my Mom that come the following Christmas I would be discreetly placing price-tags on each of these decorations, taking out an ad in the paper and working a cash register in our kitchen as I opened the house for retail sales.

That's our house. Well, my parents house. They moved there a few months shy of my second birthday in 1973 which means they've lived there for close to 35 years now. I haven't lived there since the summer of '93 or '94.. But I love the house deeply. My interest in family folklore, in the idea of place and in first wave suburbs (built after WWI and before WWII) all stems from this house. In fact, my very idea of home, or the one I'm trying to create with Cathy and Abby, finds its roots in this home.

I'm the second caroler from the left.

Here's my favorite quote from the Plain Dealer article:

Mary Lou is not the only one with a hobby that will be evident to tour-goers. There's the little matter in the living room of the 7-foot-high, 7-foot-wide 1916 Wurlitzer band organ, acquired about 12 months ago by Art Breitenbach, a collector of such musical instruments.

Band organs most often were found in the center of carousels, providing the musical accompaniment to carnivals and amusement parks.

"There's no volume control," said Mary Lou, a tad dryly. Art, sitting near the meticulously restored organ, just smiled.

1 comment:

Dennis Huston said...