Monday, July 7, 2008

Inside James Thurber...well, his house anyway.

The first day we went to the Thurber House it was closed due to the holidays, so we went back on Sunday.  The nicest man and his wife were volunteering and giving tours and it was on this day that I sort of fell in love with James Thurber.  I mean, he was tall, lanky, had a glass eye, LOVED dogs and had an insane mom and grandfather.  

The inside of the house was SO cool and I am really glad we made the time to get a guided tour.  All the walls are covered with Thurber's Dogs, pictures of Thurber and his family, and other New Yorker-ish sketches.  

I learned that in addition to Thurber's glass eye, he also started to go blind in his other eye later in life.  The HUGE goggles that he wore while sketching were on display, next to a picture of him wearing them.  Even when he went blind, he would still write by memorizing his stories and then dictating them to a secretary.  

Thurber also has a short story called "The Dog Who Bit People." The dog's name was either Muggs or something else like Alex?  I forget now.  Anyway, the picture of the actual dog "who bit people" was on display and at the Thurber house you can also purchase a Muggs mug, with his picture on it. 

Another really interesting part of the day was seeing the car that was parked outside the Thurber home.  It belonged to the wife of our tour guide and it was completely plastered with cartoons, funny pages and the like.  You can see this in the picture above.  Even inside the car, the seats were covered with blankets that depicted "Calvin and Hobbes" type cartoons.  It's nice to have such passionate and interested people running and working these types of sites.  

Thurber's grand daughter still comes back to the Columbus home regularly and Thurber's older brother is the one who gave all the advice on how to recreate the inside of the family's house.  

Visiting the Thurber home was a great experience...and I found my new literary soul mate.  

1 comment:

MarSue said...

I love bringing out-of-town guests to the Thurber House, whether they want to or not! On one of our most memorable visits, an elderly volunteer invited us to sit in the living room while he tried to read us a Thurber story. I say "tried" because he had a cold and had to pause every sentence or so to cough, clear his throat, apologize, etc. His wife, a sweet little lady, kept nudging him, offering to get him a drink of water. He'd shake his head impatiently, cough, apologize, read another sentence or two. It was getting rather tedious. Once again, she offered to bring him water. "How many times to I have to tell you, NO?" he hollered. "Fine," she said. "Choke to death, you son-of-a-bitch. See if I care."