Laurie Gene Mygatt
The Chapin School, New York City
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July 1, 2002
Glenburnie-on-Lake George, NY
This house which holds my collections is known as "the spoils of my divorce." When we first built this house, my husband was appalled that people brought house warming presents. They expected you to display these right away, like macrame' plant hangars. I asked a neighbor how you got them to bring wine and cheese instead . "You have collections, and people bring you things for your collections." That explains houses full of frogs, mallard ducks and foxes. He said," I don't want a house like the Stevensons, where a bunch of raccoons stare at you all the time." So we said we collected whippoorwills because we thought they were rare. The strange thing is that people do find whippoorwills to bring you, and soon you have an amazing collection.
When my nephew, McKenzie was three he liked to talk to the Indian salt and pepper shakers in the front of this showcase. When dinner got too long, he'd have them talk to each other. I decided to collect Lake George Indian souvenir memorabilia which was made in Japan—although the red, white and blue pitcher is from Dresden. I have hundreds of Indians that just accumulated like they were breeding. I have deer antlers that seem to have moved in in the same way. I put an old copy of The Last of the Mohicans in here because James Fenimore Cooper set a lot of the action in his novel on this lake, but the characters are fictional like my Japanese Indians. In this edition, the famous N.C. Wyeth drawings of Mugwah and Uncas feature the same models he used for Kidnapped and Treasure Island. I just went to a movie where the best line was "People don't know how difficult it is to invent a tradition." I think my collections do that.
I could fill another vitrine.