12 July 2008

[Your Name Here] Memorial Post

We met a friend in the city today and checked out Hillwood. It is a former home of Marjorie Merriweather Post and features her various collections of fabulousness. In fact Hillwood's slogan is "Where fabulous lives" and the web-site doesn't really scratch the surface when it reads:

Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens has one of the most comprehensive collections of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Russian Imperial art outside of Russia, as well as an extensive collection of eighteenth-century French decorative arts. Highlights include a diamond crown worn by Empress Alexandra at her marriage to Nicholas II; Beauvais tapestries designed by François Boucher; two Imperial Easter eggs by Carl Fabergé; La Nuit by William-Adolphe Bouguereau; and a collection of costumes and accessories worn by Mrs. Post or her family.

We enjoyed the tour and the cafe and, even more so, the 13 acres of formal gardens and the greenhouse with all kinds of orchids and ferns and such.

Seeing all that opulence in the mansion got us thinking about collections. We all agreed that if we had that kind of unfathomable wealth, we would likely not collect the things she collected... Do you want a jewel encrusted chalice? She did.

Although, having your name on a concert venue as nice as Merriweather Post Pavilion (in Maryland) would be a good thing, indeed!

So, I guess it begs the question... you can't take it with you... what do you invest in that you'll be pleased to know bears your name after you're gone? Making your home and gardens into a museum beats having a highway named for you (people would curse your name every day) or a sewage treatment plant (they'd hold their nose when they passed your legacy). What would you want your name on?


Bilbo said...

Because we have an overabundance of memorials in DC (I think the only one still missing is the monument to the Left-Handed, Vegetarian, Cross-Dressing, Eastern Orthodox Veterans of The War of Jenkins' Ear), I think it would be appropriate to have my name on a space-saving monument to all the other monuments: something like, "The Bilbo Memorial Obelisk of Monument Remembrance." It would just be one large monument (with an appropriately heroic image of myself, of course), with small brass plaques for each other person/war/awful event/ethnic group/etc to be memorialized. Think of the space it would save on the Mall!

Tina said...

As long as I leave my "name" with my children (and not in any Mommy Dearest style remembrances) I think I'd be content. Not much ego in that respect - plenty in others though.

BTW - I found it an interesting contract to read about Nikita Khrushchev crying over our orgy of available food in the comments to one post and the opulence collected from Russia in another.

Capitol Hill 20210 said...

I would like a University building that had parties so people could have conversations like "Zipcode's building always has the best parties"

AbbotOfUnreason said...

I think you under-rate sewage treatment plants. They're somewhat permanent, not likely to be overwritten by a corporate name (like a stadium might) and the effects are felt so much farther afield (via the magic of odor migration) than just the local visible impact.

Me, though, I just want a marble bench on the rocky coast of Maine or Scotland to help weary widows rest while pining for their lost seafarers.


lacochran's evil twin said...

Bilbo: If we did that, just think of all the space we'd have for Starbucks and Walmarts!

Tina: Interesting observation. Nikita was long after the opulence period. Meriweather post collected from the Tzar era.

CJ20210: I like it! You would be legendary!

Abbot: I still don't want anything stinky named after me. Not even the stinkflower at the National Aquatic Gardens. The marble bench sounds nice, though.