Monday, January 17, 2011

Dec. 30, 2010: 40 years of Doll Houses You Can Sit On.

This December my partner and I traveled to the Adirondacks to visit my fabulous lesbian aunts who I love so much. I'm so lucky. I'm going to open a file on them in the Lesbian Herstory Archives in Brooklyn. I'll tell you more about that some other time.

Right now I need to tell you about Norman. He's an amazing woodworker. I'm going to back up my storytelling a little bit. We took a very early greyhound bus on Toronto to Syracuse. Elizabeth and Marybeth (the dream aunts) picked us up and informed us we were going to Marybeth's Christmas family dinner, and off we went. I'd never met any of Marybeth's family before.

We arrived at the house. All the streets in the neigbhourhood were named after fruits. After consuming adequate amounts of coffee, we settled into a gift giving frenzy which was really interesting because I was meeting all these people for the first time. There were three very cute dogs shuffling around. Gifts everywhere, lots of excited voices, and Norman, Marybeth's dad. He was sitting next to us, and then he disappeared for a few minutes, and returned with a plastic container with homemade wooden pens in it. We're allowed to each pick one. He has another of container of wine stoppers and ornaments. We're invited to take one of those too.

Norman has made different family members mini wooden replicas of buildings that have been significant in their lives. Buildings where they work, places they used to live, bars they frequented. They're great.

After most of the gifts were given out, Norman showed us two doll houses that he has made for his daughters. He's been making doll houses for 40 years. Initially, when Norman started talking about the doll houses and showing them to us, I asked him if we could do a radio interview right at that moment, and he said yes, and I ran out to the car to find my audio recorder.

The interview is what happened after this moment.

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