Thursday, January 11, 2007


Stanley's Apartment -2

Above : Stanley 4 January 2007
Above and Below :Stanley 25 October 2006

Last week Stanley called me to tell me that he had something that he had found while cleaning out his overstuffed apartment that he wanted me to have . I asked him what it was and he told me that it was the story of the Collyer brothers in the Times . Remembering Stanleys apartment ( see" Stanley's Apartment" on this blog) and its very special quality of being stuffed with a great deal of "God -only -knows-what " , I assumed that he had found something from the time of the Collyer brothers and their infamous overstuffed townhouse .

The Collyer brothers whom Stanley often referred to as sort of kindred spirits ,ones who would have understood his need to stuff an apartment to the ceiling with just "stuff", were two scions of a well -to-do family that lived their lives in a Harlem townhouse stuffed with , in the end, it is said 180 tons of stuff . The brothers died in their townhouse full of stuff , lost to the world .To find the lost brothers the police department looked far and wide over the city and then finally came to the townhouse in Harlem and began removing tons and tons of stuff before uncovering the missing brothers bodies . The effort by the police department and other agencies took weeks and was the source of the still widely known legend of the Collyer brothers .

Stanley's gift wasn't quite what I had expected , being only a New York Times article from 26 October 2003 on the Collyer brothers and their lives of collecting and not something from the earlier actual time of the brothers . None-the-less Stanley was moved by his discovery of this record of the Collyer brothers from among all there is in his apartment ,wonder that it is , and I was honored that he considered me the one to hold the uncovered record of the lives of these kindred spirits of his .

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