One my parents’ favorite embarrassing stories to tell takes place at Allerton: they were taking turns carrying me on their shoulders and, unfortunately, when it was my mom’s turn, I got sick in her hair. Even more unfortunately, this was in the early ’80s and before resources to clean up were as available as there are now.
We would visit when the bulbs and wildflowers were in were bloom, and then when the peonies were in bloom every year. As a small-town kid, the formal gardens and statuary caught my imagination, and were where I would mentally set the Agatha Christie country house novels to which my grandmother introduced me around the same time.
A little later on, it was my favorite place to take a date, and a little later yet, it’s where I got to watch two of my best friends get married.
In recent years, it’s been a pleasure to come back when I visit my family and see things like the Rainbow Garden and Christmas lights bring new magic. Even though I no longer live close enough to visit regularly, I have a pair of my own foo dogs sitting on the mantle which remind me of Allerton every day.