Tanks a lot
Tuesday July 08th 2014, 11:50 pm
Filed under: Friends,History,Life

Get your name listed privately with the auctioneer, now you can buy your very own.

The guy inherited a fortune.

The guy liked tanks.

And so the guy collected…tanks.

And the guy built a house that had clearly been designed to mimic a very spacious one.

And he built a room (to use the word expansively) off that house with a huge pipe organ in it and seating for a crowd. He invited our friend Jim to play it–the former-world-traveling-concert-organist music professor who helped a Catholic priest brush up on his skills because he was going to go play for the Pope. That sort of thing. (Jim also taught our son Richard, who would go on to minor in organ performance in college.)

Jacques Littlefield invited the Boy Scouts to come tour his tanks and listen to Jim play.

I remember staring at Jim’s email and thinking, he wants to show us his…tanks? Like, real, TANKS? And he has them HERE?!

But so we did, and we got a tour with the enthusiastic owner himself. Each tank had a history to it that Littlefield knew well. They were still functional, too, all or most I don’t remember, although the town required him to have them disarmed before they could come.

There at the end of one driveway was the propeller from the Lusitania.

Turns out the man found out he had cancer not long after that day that we met him.

Reading about the breaking up of Littlefield’s collection after his passing, that building, we’ve been there. There were certain tanks that all those young boys were allowed to climb into to check them out as the guy grinned.

He told the tale that Hollywood had come calling, wanting to have such a perfect period-specific prop in their movies. They set a bond in case anything should happen–and then they blew the dang thing up and happily paid up, having planned to do just that all along.

It still stung and he never allowed it again. Let them find their own $@# tanks if they couldn’t respect his.

There will be a museum now in Massachusetts. And some will be sold.

Y’know? My collection of wool and silk and baby alpaca yarn and fiber? I mean, to each their own and that’s fine, but I think I get to feel supremely reasonable about it all.

And it would be a darn sight easier to give away.

Oh wait. Post-assembly, I already do. Knit on, then.

4 Comments so far
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It would be nice if the tank collection could stay together.

Your collection, on the other hand, is meant to go in different directions.

Comment by lynnM 07.09.14 @ 12:18 pm

My organizer, who was lovely, could not understand I have so much yarn, surely there are places to give it away. LOL!
I feel exactly like you do about the yarn, I will knit it up and THEN give it away.

Comment by Renee 07.09.14 @ 12:50 pm

So, there are these two goldfish in a tank and one says to the other, “How do you drive this thing?”–from my teen-aged daughter

Comment by LauraN 07.12.14 @ 7:32 pm

As it happens, we just visited a brand-new tank museum on Long Island. It’s the “Museum of American Armor,” and it just opened last month. It makes an interesting contrast to it its neighbor, the 19th-century Old Bethpage Village Restoration, but they’re both well worth a visit!

Comment by Virginia 07.15.14 @ 10:06 am

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