Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Close Encounters with History

Last weekend I had the privilege of meeting Elsie Henderson, the longtime cook for Fallingwater's Kaufmann family. One of the few Fallingwater "originals" still living, Elsie recently wrote a cookbook with recipes and memories of her time spent there.

To my surprise, she lives in my neighborhood--literally blocks away from me.

Not to my suprise, she speaks fondly of her time at Fallingwater and kindly of the Kaufmann family who employed her. In fact, the Kaufmanns helped to give her her "big break" as a cook, and she later went on to work for the Kennedys--although she said she always preferred the Kaufmanns.

While we are decades apart in age (she was born in 1913, me in 1976), Elsie and I actually have a lot in common. We both fell in love with the same place, and like so many others who have spent time there, it continues to have a hold on us.