One Man's Folly : GIVE AWAY

It has long been a dream of mine to have a place to put all of the things I collect. It is a dream, and yet perhaps it is best left a dream. As I get older, I find I just want to get rid of things. They seem to become less pleasing and entail more I dream of picking up and starting over with less....less of my own things, but more in the way of seeing everyone else's. Because every thing worth having contains a story.....and I have always loved a good story. Perhaps that is why I am drawn to countries a bit older than ours. There is more "story" there....and after all, other places are where many of the stories of our own "melting pot" country began.

After that little digression.....I must say I do have great appreciation for those who collect lots of things, and do it well with love, interest and curiosity.
 I grew up in a house with a mother who had that indefinable knack to put things with stories from all eras together, and in the process, creating our own story. Perhaps that is why Furlow Gatewood's story appeals to me so much. Enter the new book, ONE MAN'S FOLLY: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood by Julia Reed, Rizzoli New York, 2014.

Furlow Gatewood is a man who loves good things and loves the hunt. It seems he has always done so. A true sountern gent, Mr. Gatwood has been building enchantingly charming structures on his property located in Americus Georgia for decades. Some of the buildings were already on the property but on death's door until Furlow administered a bit of CPR to bring them back to life, along with the help of the many craftsmen who collaborated with him over the years. Others of the structures began with a window or door that Furlow brought home during his forays into the adventures of antique hunting, often in the company of John Rosselli, legendary antiques dealer,  and/or Bunny Williams, iconic Interior Designer. Speaking of Bunny Williams, she describes her long friendship with Mr. Gatewood in the book's forward, and also in the last chapter of the book.

ONE MAN'S FOLLY is divided into chapters based on each of the buildings....or "follies".... and described with great passion by the author, Julia Reed. She describes her first foray into Furlow's world, even as to finding the address as being "Peacock Alley" which did not show up on her iPhone's GPS. She describes Furlow's background and family as he grew up in Georgia and his move to NYC in his thirties. This is where he met and became partners with John Rosselli.....and where they became lifelong friends. This is also the time where he developed his passion for collecting antiques for the antique shop he and John owned, and for himself. He has been doing so ever since, and at 94 is still going strong back where his story Georgia.

So here are some of my favorite images from the book. They come from all of the outbuildings known as The Barn (the previous carriage house and Furlow's main residence), The Peacock House (which started as a winter plant house with dirt floors, but became a proper house built around a set of French Doors) , The Cuthbert House ( a house scheduled for demolition on a church grounds in Cuthbert, Georgis, and so transported to Furlow's property to be reborn), The Lumpkin House (which was owned by a cousin and moved to Furlow's property from Lumpkin, Georgia, providing ample opportunity to house more of Furlows abundant collections), and then there is a chapter all about other various outbuildings and the beautiful gardens. But one cannot forget a chapter about all of the collections Furlow has amassed over a lifetime of hunting and gathering.

For anyone who loves a good story, there are page after page of visual fairytale adventures captured at every turn.  There are Peacocks and secret gardens, fabrics from around the globe but never too precious for dogs and cats to feel right at home, gingerbread trim and hydrangeas spilling out from enormous terra cotta pots lining the lane, walking sticks and pagodas, fountains and boxwood topiary. One might never see such splendor that shouts so loudly of "home". Fortunately, we now have this book, this lovely book to inspire us all to make our own little wonderland in whatever way that might be.

So....on to the "good stuff".......


And for one of you it would be so very easy a thing to do! For, you see, in the tradition of acquisition, I am lucky to have found myself with an extra copy.....thanks to the kindness of the wonderful folks at Rizzoli. And I am saving it for one of you. For what good is collecting beautiful stuff if not to share it? is what you must do:

1) Click on the "comment" link at the bottom of this post and leave a comment. I would love to hear your thoughts about ONE MAN'S FOLLY .
2) Make sure I can contact you by including an email address, or make sure your username has a link to a contact email.
3) The Cut Off date to enter is April 26th 2014 ,  at 5:00PM PST. (Tim's birthday! Presents for him, presents for you!) I will announce the winner the next day,April 27th, life permitting!


Stunning images by photographers extraordinaire: Rodney Collins and Paul Costello