Thursday, June 23, 2016

Pretty In White

Jada lined up with Miss Emily's famous white dress

Call me a history geek but I couldn't think of a better way of spending Fathers Day than walking around Amherst town center with my girls, having lunch at the Taste of Amherst, and then hanging out at the Amherst History Museum.

I am always a little amazed to be able to amble up close to the last remaining article of clothing worn by our most famous resident, Emily Dickinson: A simple white dress.

Like Miss Emily must have appeared at first glance all those years ago. Simple on the outside, but pricelessly complicated on the inside.

And I'm even more amazed the Strong House History Museum, one of the oldest wood structures in Amherst, has no sprinkler system in case of a catastrophic fire.

Town Meeting recently approved $390,000 for just such systems at The Evergreens and First Congregational Church which are of course historical treasures.

Amherst College owns both The Evergreens and the Dickinson Homestead and they matched the $190,000 Town Meeting approved for The Evergreens ultra fancy fire suppression system.

The Dickinson Museum has a copy of the white dress on display but the original remains at the nearby Strong House.

The proposed Jones Library expansion renovation will create 1,000 square feet of new climate controlled, sprinklered space for the neighboring Amherst History Museum to use for public display, which I would assume means the priceless white dress.

Hopefully before the unthinkable should happen.

Kira at age 14 is already taller than Miss Emily

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Were she to live today, Miss Emily would be labeled "Mentally Ill" and her brain fried with psych drugs.

Anonymous said...

2:18pm, it is partially true that she'd likely be diagnosed with mental illness, but her brain wouldn't be 'fried' by drugs (goes to show you the cynicism people have when talking about treatment). She'd probably have been helped through therapy and maybe drugs, sure. Would she have had as much an output? Who knows. But she almost certainly would have led a better life. What's more important?

Anonymous said...

Better HOW???

She would have been coerced into the "healthy" norm of the time -- Married, barefoot & pregnant, taught to please a man she might not even have liked let alone loved.

That a "better life"-- for HER?

Clearly society was wrong then -- how do we know we aren't wrong now?

Anonymous said...

Clearly Emily's parents were not the sort who would have forced her into anything so she might have been happier. But it is a stupid thing to argue about

Anonymous said...

her brain wou;d have been fried with psych drugs.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely irresponsible to keep the dress in that tinderbox. It belongs in the Smithsonian.
Dickinson had no more mental illness than most of the folks you see in Amherst on any given day.

Richard Marsh

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

The dress is beautiful. I can't believe how big your daughter is now. They grow up so fast!

Anonymous said...

Being 3rd gen Amherstian, I wonder if one of your (adorbs) daughters will remain in town as you did. That'd be nice huh? Maybe she can start her own blog (on whatever newfangled media there is 20 years from now - Amherst Holograph News?).

Anonymous said...

Larry - You have two very beautiful daughter who are clearly your pride and joy. I really mean not harm but my second observation, but I can't help wondering how someone can love their children so much AND still be the host of a blog that is mostly, mostly, about hate and negativity. I wonder how the children of the people attacked on this blog feel about all of the venom and I wonder how your girls will feel if/when they read the comments about you. What is that saying about what we put out in the universe, comes back to us 10 fold? or something like that.

Larry Kelley said...

Unlike you EVERYTHING I say has my name attached to it.

So I never say ANYTHING that I wouldn't say to someone's face, or worry about if it were to suddenly appear on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

Anonymous said...

Larry, you are being naive about your daughters and the impact of your blog. One day, I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you in person. But, until you set reasonable boundaries around respect and professional communication for people on this blog, that can't happen. Unlike you, I do worry about what my child or family could or would read about me one day because this venue does not value truth, respect or reality.

Larry Kelley said...

Well unless you get arrested, run for public office or do something else (stupid) to make yourself a public figure you will never have to worry about your name appearing in my blog, CAN.

Anonymous said...

Always nice to see the youth at the museum.

Anonymous said...

It is so nice of everyone else to worry about Larry's daughters. I'll leave that to him and just note his forum is about free speech and I think those values will serve his children well.

Larry Kelley said...

Hell yeah.