Sunday, February 15, 2015

1925 Rolls Royce

1925 Rolls Royce

Back in November, I visited a friend in Bethesda, Maryland. As part of our sightseeing tour around the area, we went to visit Hillwood, Marjorie Merriweather Post’s estate (now a museum) in northwest Washington.  Quite a fascinating place.

It wasn’t until I got home that I remembered that Mrs. Post GAVE my father a car, a 1925 Rolls Royce Town Car.  He wrote about it in his memoir of car collecting Bright Wheels Rolling.  [I do intend to contact a curator at the museum to see if there is any information in their archives about this gift to my father.]

Here is what he wrote in the book:

“Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post Davies owned this Twenty Town Car, and believe it or not, she gave it to me. Not only did she give it to me, complete with solid ivory interior fittings, but she put brand-new tires on it first. And when I said I would send a man for it, Mrs. Davies said certainly not, she’d send it to me. And she did!”

And there’s another connection (tenuous as it may be). Mrs. Post’s first husband was Edward Bennett Close, who is the grandfather of my Rosemary Hall school mates artist Tina Close and actress Glenn Close.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Apologies! and a nice story...

Apologies for the six months hiatus. In October, when I retired, after 26 years at Dartmouth College,  I thought I would have much more free time.  I seem to have less.  Or is it just less self-discipline?  At any rate, for what it's worth, I'm back on track.

Here is the most recent James Melton legacy story:

When I was in Maine last August, doing the reading from my book at the Seal Cove Auto Museum, I was reunited with Tina Weeks, who is the daughter of Richard Paine, whose antique car collection is the museum.  One of the cars in her father’s collection was once in my father’s collection. (A 1913 Peugeot.) See September 6, 2014 blog post.   In between my father and her father, the car was owned by Dr. Sam Scher, a plastic surgeon in NYC.  He was a good friend of my father’s in his later years. Well, Tina had somehow contacted Dr. Scher’s grandson, Bernard Shuster, and urged me to do likewise.  So I did, and sent him a copy of my book.  Some weeks later a large box arrived from Dr. Shuster.  In it was a hat that had belonged to my father! (Barely worn, Knox, with my father’s name stamped in gold on the inside band.)  Also included was a very nice note that his grandfather had owned the hat, and that he—Bernard—had hoped someday to repatriate it to a member of the Melton family!!  Isn’t that amazing. I mean, my father has been dead for 54 years! (Dr. Scher died in 2000.)