Monroe House

The wedding that my family and I attended on Sunday was held at a president’s home in Charlottesville. No, not that one. The other one. Ash Lawn-Highland was the home of James Monroe.

Ash Lawn-Highland - My daughter tipped me off to the presence of a fig tree near one of the houses on the property. Inside the home, there were artificial figs and other fruits on the table, made to look like Monroe was about to eat dessert.

In the drawing room, a tour guide named Brittany told us about an unnamed painting by a Flemish artist. It showed a dark scene along a river. I suggested “River of Phlegm” as a possible title.

Ash Lawn-Highland - The first thing I spotted in the gift shop had a familiar size and shape. I asked a clerk named Lindsay if I was looking at a Monroe Doctrine Mad-Lib. She loved the idea and said that I should make one. Okay!

Our policy in regard to [foreign place], which was [past tense verb] at an early stage of the [plural noun] which have so long agitated that quarter of the [place], nevertheless remains the same, which is, not to [verb] in the internal concerns of any of its [plural noun]; to consider the government de facto as the [adjective] government for us; to cultivate [adjective] relations with it, and to [verb] those relations by a frank, [adjective], and manly [noun], meeting in all instances the just claims of every [noun], submitting to injuries from none.

Ash Lawn-Highland - In Monroe’s day, people used a “cup plate” to sip their hot beverages. It’s a small saucer that is about the size of a coaster. One showed a happy couple on their wedding day but their smiles turn to frowns when you turn the plate to see the caption, “three weeks later.”

Ash Lawn-Highland - The presidential Pez collection at Ash Lawn-Highland was limited to the first five presidents. As Pez creates dispensers for the remaining presidents, I dread the JFK Pez dispenser which might open “back and to the left.”

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