Mary Randolph Carter and I sort of met on the internet. I'd received a review copy of her book, A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life, loved it and wrote about it. She wrote me back.
We've exchanged a few emails since then. It was in an email that I asked her to pass along a compliment to Joan Osofsky for whom Carter had written the forward for You Should Love Where You Live. I told Carter that her short piece of writing at the beginning of this very good book made me think that if circumstances were different that she and I would be friends.
She emailed me back and said, "The circumstances are right and we are friends." So I should not have been surprised when I asked her recently if she wanted to have coffee when I was in New York and she emailed back, "Why don't we have coffee at my apartment?"
Should not have been surprised because no one feels more than I do that there is often an immediate connection between people and sometimes things. Should not have been surprised when she greeted me with a hug and invited me to sit at her kitchen table and have a bagel with her husband, Howard.
Should not have been surprised as this is exactly how I would have welcomed her here given the chance. And just as she did, I would walk her around the house and show her all the crazy things that make sense to nearly no one else that she would surely understand.
I know that she would, as that is what she has done with the homes of some very personal collectors in her new book, Never Stop to Think…Do I Have a Place for This? The best thing about Carter's books is that they tell a rich story of people, and ultimately it is the passion of the collector that gives the collection its life.
You can find links for Never Stop to Think... Do I Have a Place for This? here.
Never Stop to Think…Do I Have a Place for This? by Mary Randolph Carter, Rizzoli New York, 2014. Photography, Carter Berg.