Gibby Shelter

Driving home from school yesterday the eldest Blandings boy said somewhat out of the blue, "I'm thinking since I like math I will either be an architect or an engineer."  Architect, hooray, engineer, hmmm.

The middle responded, "I thought you were going to be a movie critic."  "Oh, yeah, I'm going to be a movie critic at night."  I chimed in, "I could be wrong on this, but I think movie critics have some kind of training.  A degree.  Work experience.  Something.  You can't just be a movie critic."

The middle, again, "I'm going to be one of those guys on cooking shows who says if stuff is good or not."  "What?"  "Yeah, you don't have to go to college for that."  He doesn't want to go to college, you see, as word has leaked that you have to leave home to do so.  "Actually, a lot of those guys, most, have been to culinary school.  Which would be awesome."

"Then I'm going to go to culinary school for just one day and learn to make really excellent cookies.  Then I can be the cookie judge."

"I," declared the youngest looking out the window resolutely, "am going to be a night watchman.  At the Nelson."

Really, who am I to judge?  I went to school to learn to boss people around behind the scenes of television new shows and have spent the last thirteen years honing my skills at crocodile stuffing and macaw manufacturing.  I have seen enough school productions to qualify for critical review, though I generally share these insights only with friends in the parking lot.

Some of us get side-tracked.  Take T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.  He went to architectural school and wound up hawking knock-off chairs uptown.  Oh, and he was also a critic.

All images of Robsjohn-Gibbings's designs from House & Garden, June, 1991; photography not credited.

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