Friday, August 13, 2010
An article about fourteen historical man caves both inspires me and brings back fond memories of the three-bedroom house we rented for next to nothing back in our Houston days.
In particular, the fact that Mark Twain appears on the list twice made me smile. Included are his descriptions of each of two different man caves of his -- a free-standing writing studio (for summer visits with his sister in upstate New York) ...
It is the loveliest study you ever saw ... octagonal with a peaked roof, each face filled with a spacious window ... perched in complete isolation on the top of an elevation that commands leagues of valley and city and retreating ranges of distant blue hills. It is a cozy nest and just room in it for a sofa, table, and three or four chairs, and when the storms sweep down the remote valley and the lightning flashes behind the hills beyond and the rain beats upon the roof over my head -- imagine the luxury of it.... and a billiards room in his Connecticut house. (I think I now have a day trip to suggest to Mrs. Van Horn. We can try the steamed cheeseburgers here, while we're at it, too.)
There ought to be a room in this house to swear in. It's dangerous to have to repress an emotion like that ... Under certain circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.Both are pictured within the article.
Twain's two man caves reminded me of the two I had in the Houston house with similar purposes -- a small study for my writing and research, and an odd room between the kitchen and the back porch, which we called the "poker room." My roll-top desk and barbecue supplies lived back there, along with a small table for poker and a couple of cabinets containing most of my tools including, of course, ashtrays and other poker supplies.
Also -- how could I forget? -- I had a small beer refrigerator back there.
We had to cut things to the bone on the move to Boston. I do have a man cave up here -- a small study I now have a standing order in my mind to improve. And the kitchen has become a de facto second man cave. It's not perfect, but it'll do until we get back into a house.
And, if we remain in New England, that means one thing: I'll have a basement. Nice.