My senior year high school roommate, Tom Sabga, is turning 50, and his wife, Shelley, asked his friends to get in touch with him on an assigned day. Of course I had to send a gift, and I think it drove Tom a little crazy knowing there was a package from me, but he couldn't open it until today.
It was a green gurgling fish jug from Dartmouth, Devon, England; an object of special significance. We had one in the dorm room. It came from my grandparents' summer home in East Hampton. As an element in the dorm room decor, it was part of our Peddie School experience. Shelley asked if there was a picture of the dorm room, but we didn't have one, so I wrote a description for her:
"Our dorm room was on the third floor of an old house, Rivenburg - we were the Rivenburg "Froggies" - and the ceilings were angled on both sides, so the room was almost triangular. There was a small closet next to the door. We had Indian tapestries on the walls, the kind you might have found at Spencer Gifts, old upholstered chairs, an orange rug from Sears, and bunk beds cutting the room in half, which blocked the view of the seating area from the door. I had a stereo set up with a Pioneer tuner and a Technics turntable, some kind of cassette player and big speakers. Tom found a small, square refrigerator, which we kept covered with something fabric, maybe another tapestry; we used it as an end table. Dresser at the foot of the bed, bottle of Scope sitting right on top in plain view. There were two old brass lights made out of boat lamps, port and starboard, a Stork Club ashtray and the green Devon fish jug. On the far wall in the center of the seating area was the only window. We kept a fan there, to keep air circulating in the small space."
I have collected gurgling fish jugs over the years and knew exactly where to find a green, Devon jug- eBay! Isn't it amazing how a very specific object can transport you to a completely different time and place? I am so happy Tom enjoyed his gift, and the time travel. Happy (early) Birthday, Tom. Ala Viva!