After flying back from my talk in Cleveland for the Kirtland Country Club on Saturday June 1, I barely had time to drop my suitcase and change my clothes before heading out to be one of the Library Luminaries featured by this annual fund raising event for our marvelous local library, The Gunn Memorial Library in Washington Ct. Here I am in front of the original portico of the original building, before a major modern addition was tastefully added to serve the community with the latest in library technology. My grandchildren are frequent visitors to their marvelous children’s library. The evening began with cocktails at the Library for a gathering of all who had purchased tickets for the event, after which this large group divided up into smaller dinner parties each featuring one of the Luminaries and hosted by generous supporters of the Library all around the neighboring countryside. Below I am at the cocktail reception with Vicky Ward, another of the Library Luminaries who happens also to be a friend of our son, Torrance and his wife, Laurel Watts; in fact she came to their wedding at Brush Hill twelve years ago this month.
My hosts were the renowned French designer, Robert Coutourier and his partner Jeffrey Morgan shown below. I am sitting next to Robert who was completely charming and had the most wonderful laugh. Robert and Jeffrey have built a beautiful house overlooking a lovely lake with formal gardens perfectly maintained. What a lovely venue for me who is always happiest in a wonderful garden. Our group enjoyed a welcoming drink in a free standing classical style building adjacent to the main house that was their library — so fitting for the event — and blessedly air-conditioned on a hot, humid night. I noticed the front door had been left wide open despite the air conditioning, but when I asked Robert if he meant to leave the door ajar, he laughed and said, “Absolutely! I love to do that!” Then the twelve of us went upstairs to a handsome dining room for a delicious and intimate dinner full of lively conversation. I was grateful not to have to speak formally, but just gave a few remarks, ending Rosemary Verey’s fundamental lesson of “It’s a sin to be dull!” That meant I should stop talking and allow the group to enjoy each other’s conversation. I am still dreaming about the superb chocolate dessert I didn’t mean to finish but couldn’t resist.