Tea and Talk

November 5, 2006 at 9:21 am 20 comments

the-stone-academy.jpgThe Stone Academy in Putnam was the location for our tea with playwrite Raleigh Marcell.  This picture doesn’t do the house justice, but at this time of year, its the best I can do.  The building has an interesting history.  It was originally built in 1809 in a campaign to steal the statehouse from Chillicothe.  When Zanesville was chosen as the state capital the following year, the building was used as a school and public meeting spot.  Its been a private residence and is now a museum owned by The Pioneer and Historical Society.  academy-piano-room.jpgThe Stone Academy is filled with period clothing, fine art, furniture and historical documents. 

Tea was served in the dining room (duh) and we met in the front parlor.  The only ugly room in the place, ugly because it’s empty in order to be used as a meeting room.  Raleigh’s wife, Jamie, is a museum director in Savannah, Georgia.  Their trip served two purposes, Raleigh to meet with writers and theater people, Jamie to tour our house museums and meet with our museum directors.

Raleigh spoke about the burden of inheriting the large, historic homes in the south, before they become museums.  He was charming and interesting, but to be honest, that accent – smooth as butter – sent me back to the best memory of my teen years and I had trouble paying attention.  Afterward we had a rousing discussion of writing, publication, opportunities, the problem with writers, the problems with publishers… all that stuff that gets discussed anytime you put two writers in the same room, which pissed off the theater people who only wanted to talk about his “motivation” in creating his characters.  Is there any question more banal to a writer than “where do you get your ideas?”  After explaining twice that they were compilations of many people he knows that share common characteristics, he answered “magic” the third time and we went off to another room to compare impressions of the various common places we’ve lived.  

After an afternoon listening to that familiar soft drawl of my early teens, I came home to an empty house (Pap and Princess are off doing things that appeal to them and make me want to tear my hair out screaming).  I took a nap and dreamed of moss draped oaks so old their branchs form a canopy over the slow moving sound, sparkling with random moonlight,  that winds through the landscape to the ocean.  Felt the hard wooden seat of a skiff, a wad of fishing net at my feet.  Heard the rusty laughter of the men at the weigh station, the rustle and splash of beaver and an occasional gater sliding from the land into the water.   Tomorrow I think I must write about my first love. 


Entry filed under: Our Town.

Author! Author! Maudlin Monday

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. chaplainandrews  |  November 5, 2006 at 9:25 am

    Wow, I like teas. Although I’ve never been to one. I think it would be nice to just sit an talk about stuff over a cup of tea. Especially in an elegant historical place. Cool.

  • 2. katcampbell  |  November 5, 2006 at 10:04 am

    It is nice! Very relaxing and conducive to solving all the worlds problems! Thanks for coming by and commenting!

  • 3. sunfloweroptimism  |  November 5, 2006 at 10:15 am

    Kat, what a beautiful building – I love the stonework! Your interior shot was startling – my mom has a lamp very similar to the one in the table, only hers has about 7 lamps. Wow.

    It sounds like you spent a lovely afternoon with an interesting and witty man. Looking forward to hearing about some of the memories that his visit brought to mind!

  • 4. DaveM  |  November 5, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    A grand and beatiful house, Kat. I love porches, we dont have them so much here. I often dream of one, sitting out on warm summer eveings with a wine just watching and dreaming. I do that in the garden but its never the same. Be interested in reading about your first love, you dont forget them do you, and do you sometimes like me just wonder how they are, are they well are they happy. We have a website called Friends reunited which has been the cause of many marriage breakdowns as people have got back together with old flames. Never go back look to the future.

  • 5. Velvet Sacks  |  November 5, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Sounds like you had a nice day, Kat. I especially liked your dream imagery, such vivid detail.

    P.S. Janet led me in the right direction to fix the commenting problem (I think). I hope you’ll try it again when you get a chance.

  • 6. katcampbell  |  November 5, 2006 at 10:36 pm

    Thank goodness Velvet! I hate lurking, even when typing I’m a chatterbox!

  • 7. Jackie  |  November 5, 2006 at 11:09 pm

    Kat, the stone academy is beautiful. I so like to visit old buildings. My hubby thinks I’m a little crazy, but I swear that when I touch the walls of an old building, I can feel those that were there before.

    When I bought my first house, my real estate woman was convinced I was more than a little strange. After walking into several homes and turning right around and walking out without looking through them, and telling her that I just wasn’t interested – I finally explained to her that I get ‘feelings’ in buildings – of whether it was a happy place filled with good people, or the opposite. Strange, but true.

  • 8. NMOTB  |  November 5, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    Wow, sounds like you had a right royal time! Hope you are having a great weekend!

  • 9. jay  |  November 5, 2006 at 11:15 pm

    I’ve never been to a tea, never had tea, actually, but if I ever do, I’ll drop you a line and you can set me up with such a date.

  • 10. The Rev. Dr. Kate  |  November 5, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    The pictures are lovely and the idea of tea and talk is so appealing (and so every anglican to my episcopalian heart!
    I am sorry that blogger won’t let you comment on my blog from your new space, but I don’t want to miss your comments. Please feel free to email me at therevdrkate@yahoo.com!

  • 11. katcampbell  |  November 6, 2006 at 3:34 am

    Jackie – I’m the same way! I think all buildings retain a little of the essence of what happened in them and there are happy buildings and sad buildings.

    It was fun NMOTB.

    Jay and Dr. Kate – We’ve got to get you two a tea party scheduled! You just don’t know what you’re missing.

  • 12. Quilldancer  |  November 6, 2006 at 6:12 am

    That last paragraph was pure music. Nicely, nicely done Kat.

  • 13. Claire  |  November 6, 2006 at 6:19 am

    My first love was a blond hair blue eyed southern boy. He had a beautiful voice. I screwed it up badly and have always thought, what if? When I hear a male southern accent it always takes me right back to 1976. I was sooooo dumb when I was young…

  • 14. katcampbell  |  November 6, 2006 at 7:17 am

    Thank you Quilldancer, some things inspire me that way.

    Claire, 1976 must be the magic year, that was my year too. Thanks for coming by!

  • 15. tony  |  November 6, 2006 at 10:09 am

    After our recent visit to Savannah, and staying at a B & B which was built in 1877…I too was interested in buying one of those grand old victorians and fixin it up. When I got home, I looked on the innerneck to find out just what one of those babies cost. I changed my mind.

  • 16. katcampbell  |  November 6, 2006 at 5:37 pm

    I bet you did Tony, these big old houses are money sucking albatrosses. Since you’re a handy guy, you’d probably be able to actually do something with one.

  • 17. mrsjosegoldbloom  |  November 7, 2006 at 1:04 am

    When I visited Dragon in Aug she took me on a tour around town & there was one section where it was nothing but those grand ol victorian houses. They were gorgeous! mrDragon also took her & I to a place for lunch one day. It was a victorian house turned into a tea room I believe the name was “Olde Enzor Lane”. Great atmosphere!

  • 18. hayden  |  November 7, 2006 at 5:32 am

    humm, the first love – I’m pretty rational about mine, I know that it could never have worked and I’d have been the one to mess things up – too young, too wild, too many adventures to have.

    still I remember him, wonder if he’s happy, and even wonder ‘what if?’ of course, the “if” is, by necessity, “if I had been less driven to explore the world. and other men.”

    ah well, the lives we never had.

  • 19. katcampbell  |  November 7, 2006 at 7:00 am

    Hayden, someday I’ll get rational about it. It’s unfinished business, we never had a fight, never broke up, my parents just moved me 3,000 miles away.

  • 20. totouchaunicorn  |  November 9, 2006 at 5:59 am

    The bulding’s history was intersting, the author’s talk was probably encouraging but when you went on your walk down memory lane, all was forgotten and I was sitting on the bayou with you. Enchanting!


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