Tuesday, March 01, 2005


Often when Donica is away on a business trip, a package comes to the house. Later, while on the phone with her, I'll tell her about it and, if she can't remember what it is, I'll ask if she wants me to open it for her. This happened last week and I was like a kid at Christmas when I opened to Gates' merchandise of notecards, thermal mug and book. Donica is one of those givers who always nails it. And what timing as I grieve over the dismantling!

On the very first page of The Gates' book, I read that Frederick Law Olmsted was one of the two landscape architects that created Central Park during 1858-1861. I knew that but had forgotten. Aha--first connection.

For his life and work in landscape architecture, Olmsted was commemorated on a 1999 USPS stamp that hangs on our clip-art wall. Second connection...

...because of the Biltmore Estate, the last of his great projects, on 120,000 acres near Asheville, NC. We love that place--the four-acre house, America's largest, boasting 250 rooms, 65 fireplaces, an indoor pool, bowling alley, priceless art and antiques--and the grounds surrounding it. It's well worth the visit, especially for the candle-lit Christmas tour. Third connection.

The other connections are numerous, including our own Druid Hills community here in Atlanta, Stanford University's campus, where I visited Mary Jeanne years ago, the US Capitol grounds, and on and on. Since I've been to Boston and Chicago, I probably also ran into him there, unknowingly, and who knows where else. Want the master list search result? It'll blow you away.

No wonder they made a stamp commemorating him!


  1. How cool.

    And is there anyone more generous and thoughtful than Donica? Good night!