The notes I’ve taken about my research have become as valuable to me as the information I’ve found about Emilie Loring. In this entry, I meet her grandson for the first time.
July 14, 2003
“Yesterday afternoon, I took the train to Lexington–a subway stop with the interesting name of “Alewife”– and Selden Loring came to pick me up. He said he’d be in a beige Mercedes station wagon, and I wasn’t sure what the Mercedes ornamentation was, so I wandered up to some other man driving a beige wagon first. I just don’t get around enough in automotive circles.
“At any rate, he picked me up and took me to his home in Lexington. He, his wife Tuulikki (from Finland), and I started right in visiting. Before I came, they had wondered what they would have to show me, but soon they were running upstairs and down, bringing in piece after piece of Emilie’s things, showing me picture albums, framed pictures, statues, and all manner of memorabilia. For my part, I was able to tell them lots of things they didn’t know before.
“Selden showed me his pool and gardens out back, Tuulikki and I found common interests in Scandinavia, art and design, reading, and collecting rocks on our trips. They shared pictures of their home on the shore in the Bahamas and told lots of family stories, not all related to Emilie.
“One cute story: Emilie had a pet duck, and it was trained to do its business on paper when in the house. Emilie was having a card party at her home, and when one of the ladies dropped her card, the duck walked up and pooped on it. I’m sure a fresh deck was quickly procured.
“We hadn’t planned on dinner, originally, but after we had talked from 3:00 to 6:00, we decided I’d stay on. Selden drove me to see Emilie’s old house in Wellesley Hills (where she raised her family) while Tuulikki made a wonderful meal of salmon and various salads. We ate, drank wine, and visited until after 10:00, when the two of them drove me all the way back into Boston to my hotel, so I wouldn’t have to take the train at night.
“It was a very successful evening! One big mistake on my part: I didn’t bring a tape recorder, so I had to write furiously and then add on when I returned to my hotel room. I have a little one which I took to Sweden, but I think I’ll shop for a better one to use as this project continues. I wish I’d thought of it earlier, but I don’t think I expected much in the way of in-person interviews here.
“Selden says his siblings want to talk to me, too, so I’ll be giving them a call. They don’t live close, so I’ll probably try them when I return home and can call at will. His brother lives near Long Beach, so I see another California trip possibly in the offing. An excuse for one, anyway.”
I did make the trip to California, where I met Victor Loring, Jr., and I returned to Lexington many times over the next dozen years. Selden and Victor are gone now, which makes these memories all the more valuable. I often wish that Emilie had kept a journal, but then I remember that her books were her journals, and I return to sleuthing.