The amazing umbrella cover museum of Nancy 3
Recently an acquaintance told me about a museum he'd visited that is dedicated to the umbrella cover.
Yes, you heard me right: the umbrella cover. Those little thingees that cover umbrellas. The ones people like me lose almost the first time they use any umbrella.
And where do those umbrella covers go? The way of the single sock and the lost button? No; they apparently find a home at the umbrella cover museum in Peak's Island, Maine, billed as "the world's only umbrella cover museum." I believe the hype; it's hard to imagine that there would be more than one.
The museum's owner, Nancy 3 Hoffman (no, that number is not a typo), is not the sort to lose umbrella covers. Au contraire. She speaks of the genesis of her rather singular establishment:
When asked what inspired her to open such an unusual museum, Nancy 3. replied, "I was cleaning out my house one day, and discovered that I still had all of the covers from all of the umbrellas I'd ever bought (seven or so). That got me thinking. Then one day, around 1992, I was in a dime store and I stole a cover off of an umbrella . . . just the cover. Then I knew I was hooked. After that I started planning the Museum and soliciting donations for the exhibits."
...Umbrella covers currently on display at the Umbrella Cover Museum hail from thirty countries. Regular Museum events include guided tours and the singing of "Let a Smile Be Your Umbrella," with accordion accompaniment.
Accordion accompaniment. Yes indeed, if you're going to have an umbrella cover museum , you must have accordion accompaniment.
Take a look at one of the items featured in the museum's esoteric collection:
What is it? Why, an umbrella cover made of gum wrappers, of course.
I combed the website seeking an explanation of Nancy 3 Hoffman's unusual middle name, but found nothing. It's ignored, as though having a numeral for a middle initial were a commonplace thing, hardly worthy of mention and certainly not worth discussing.
But I have a theory. I think that Nancy 3 might be a Tom Lehrer devotee. Having been raised on Lehrer myself (see this), I recognize a possible allusion to Lehrer's intro to his classic song "We Will All Go Together When We Go:"
I am reminded at this point of a fellow I used to know whose name was Henry, only to give you an idea of what a individualist he was, he spelled it H-E-N-3-R-Y. The three was silent, you see.
Nancy 3 is certainly an individualist, as well. As is her museum.
And all of this is just a complex segue into my announcement: today I'm on my way to Seattle for a vacation. That's why I've got umbrellas on the brain. My plan is to continue to blog while I'm away. So, I'm off!