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From the Founders I

Of Parties and Paintings



By Bob Capazzo

Welcome to March, the month fraught with floods of melting snow and a frenzy of tax work. But the snowdrops pop up, Saint Patrick brings us the luck of the Irish, and this year the Easter Bunny hops onto the scene with all his jellybeans. So we have lots to look forward to.

On reflection, 2008 was off to a lively start for us Mofflys. Boring old January suddenly became memorable when, in order to help SoundWaters raise funds for environmental education, Jack and I stood before the grand staircase at Richards and withstood the barbs, arrows and occasional kudos from a half-dozen erstwhile friends who had come to roast and toast us.

Said Harpoon-meister Bernie Yudain: “With Porricelli’s moving out of Cos Cob, you’re about the last mom and pop operation left. Just promise you won’t sell out to CVS.” And one of his sharper thrusts: “I wondered why this event was held at Richards until I realized that Jack would feel so much at home with all these other empty suits.” Strumming his guitar, Ted Yudain sang a historic parody about GREENWICH Magazine to the tune of “Ten Minutes Ago” from Cinderella. Among the verses: “It was then one Donna Moffly/joined as staff writer for the Review/and I guess she must have liked it/she’s still there telling Jack what to do.” Thanks to the couple of hundred revelers in attendance, SoundWaters raised $40,000 for its noble cause that night. Afterwards a gentleman said he wanted to talk to me about playing the role of the mother in a movie he was making — a sort of irreverent woman. I’m only sharing this with you because if I get really, really famous in a new career, you’ll know where it all started.

And what sparks a story idea? In the case of our main decorating feature this issue, it was a visit to Laurie and Randy Atcheson’s lovely home for a Greenwich Historic Trust benefit last May. Built for himself by the architect/artist J. Alden Twachtman in 1911, the house and its setting fairly glow with Greenwich history.

A surprise pièce de résistance: Over the mantel hung Greenwich Garden, a late 1890s painting by his famous father, John Henry Twachtman, who had purchased the original Round Hill Road property. J. Alden’s signature in one corner suggests he may have finished the canvas after his father’s death. Anyway, it was on loan for the occasion from Spanierman Gallery in New York. We could have picked it up for a mere $700,000 but were too busy sipping wine, listening to Randy at the piano, admiring the décor and chatting with Jane Henson who had lived with the late Muppet Man in another Twachtman house. ’Twas a memorable evening.

Happy reading — and have a marvelous March. — Donna Moffly

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