I saw a friend Saturday, a handsome devil, and we reminisced about our first meeting. It was at a lovely dinner for a dreary out-of-towner and he pulled up a piano bench by my chair and we were, instantly, friends. A few months later I put him to my left at a dinner party at my house. Late in the evening someone mentioned his birthday and I realized our age gap was greater than I had expected.
"I don't know if I can be friends with someone ten years younger," I told him.
"It's too late," came his quick reply.
Some connections are like that. Love at first sight, even when the love is platonic. Such was the case as I met Furlow Gatewood through the pages of his book. Mr. Gatewood lives as I aspire to live: sure of his taste, comfortable in his skin and with a steady flow of creativity.
This connection is strengthened by Mr. Gatewood's love of old things, worn rugs, quilts, Chinese porcelain and dogs. And, at home, he sits sideways in chairs, legs thrown over the arm as I do.
The images in the book offer delight and inspiration, but it's Mr. Gatewood's devotion to his Americus, Georgia home, the tale of the moving of buildings and their restoration and decoration that is the real appeal. That the story is told by Julia Reed is a wonderful bonus.
If you like anything here, if you ever feel we would be friends if circumstances allowed, you will surely like One Man's Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood. I know I'm hoping to someday have the opportunity to drag a piano bench closer to his chair and lean in.
All images from One Man's Folly, The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood, courtesy of Rizzoli. Photography by Rodney Collins and Paul Costello.