Monday, March 2, 2015

AKSARBENT reluctantly confesses to a grudging admiration for the filthy rich who are loyal to their servants staff

The most elegant of the summer "cottages" in Newport, Rhode Island, The Elms, was built for coal baron Edward Julius Berwind, in 1901, its design a ripoff of the Château d'Asnières in Asnières-sur-Seine, France.
     Unfortunately, because the carriage house was built for horses, whose future as transportation was dim in turn-of-the-19th-century America, it soon needed a makeover.
     After the stables and carriage house were converted to an automobile garage, the head coachman was allowed to keep his job by becoming the family driver, but he could not, according to Wikipedia, ever learn to back up.
To a family of lesser means, retaining such a retainer might have become an insurmountable problem, but the Berwind family easily solved it by resolutely waving their checkbook at the dilemma, causing an enormous automobile turntable to appear inside the garage.
     More evidence that the appallingly rich (like Mitt Romney, whose cars don't have a turntable, only an elevator) are not like you and me, and neither are their problems.
     Or, as we would refer to such trifles were we both gay and rich: problemettes.

Photo: Preservation Society of Newport County
Incidentally, that humble stable conversion was later replaced by a more suitable structure, a "purpose built, two story 125-foot (38 m) × 70-foot (21 m) building of limestone. Constructed beginning in 1910, it was the largest private garage in America, and featured a central indoor track, and two integral gas tanks."

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