I just heard about a new book about which I could get pretty excited. My dilemma is whether to go ahead and order now it or hope I get it for Christmas.
It’s called Let’s Bring Back: An Encyclopedia of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful, Chic, Useful, Curious, and Otherwise Commendable Things from Times Gone By and it was written by the Huffington Post’s Lesley M.M. Blume.
By how you know I am quite nostalgic; just the mention of a blast from the past lifts my spirits.
According to the product description on Amazon.com, the book “invites you to consider whatever happened to cuckoo clocks? Or bed curtains? Why do we have so many “friends” but have done away with the much more useful word “acquaintance”? All of these things, plus hot toddies, riddles, proverbs, corsets, calling cards, and many more, are due for a revival. Throughout this whimsical, beautifully illustrated encyclopedia of nostalgia, Blume breathes new life into the elegant, mysterious, and delightful trappings of bygone eras, honoring the timeless tradition of artful living along the way. Inspired by her much loved column of the same name and featuring entries from famous icons of style and culture, Let’s Bring Back leads readers to rediscover the things that entertained, awed, beautified, satiated, and fascinated in eras past.” Are you aquiver?
Learning about Let’s Bring Back reminded me of another book that evokes similarly fond memories.
American Greats was edited by Stanley Marcus (of Neiman Marcus) and Robert A. Wilson. It too revisits innovations and events that made a significants on American life. For example, the Corvette, the ticker tape parade and Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, among 280. American Greats is more of a coffee table book, which makes leafing through the photos and commentary all the more fun.
Stanley Marcus has since passed away, but I’d like to share a little story about Robert Wilson, if I might.
Bob Wilson and I worked for the same company about 20 years ago, though our paths crossed only a few times. He was far more senior than I. I admired him as one of the brightest and most creative minds in the company–and one of the humblest. Ten years later, in 2000, I was delighted to have our paths cross again. We had both gone in different directions but found ourselves working on a video shoot for a day. At the end of the day, I was driving him to the train and was looking to make polite conversation. I had remembered he had young children when we knew each other before. So I asked, “How are your boys doing?” Bob replied, “Very well, thanks. Luke and Andrew just finished filming Charlie’s Angels and Owen is in a movie called Meet the Parents.” It didn’t compute.
About a week later, I received an autographed copy of American Greats, with a note thanking me for my work on the project. It wasn’t until I was watching the closing credits of The Royal Tenenbaums—starring Owen Wilson and Luke Wilson and co-written by Owen–that it clicked.
Serious digression, I know. The point was to do three things:
- Tell you how intrigued I am about Let’s Bring Back
- Encourage you to pick up your own copy of American Greats
- Ask you, what treasures or American greats would you like to bring back?