Friday, June 22, 2007

Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Today would have been the birthday of Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

Lindbergh used to vacation in Lee County, Florida, and while on Captiva Island, she wrote her most famous work, Gift from the Sea. When I was the library manager on Captiva, I was lucky enough to know the woman who owned the house where Anne Morrow Lindbergh stayed when she was on the island. The house had been sold, and was going to be torn down. I was allowed to go through the house by myself before it was razed. There was nothing special about the house. It was just an ordinary island cottage, but it was magic to me since Lindbergh had stayed there.

I met Reeve Lindbergh a few years later. Reeve is Anne Morrow Lindbergh's daughter, and an author in her own right. She wrote the most beautiful version of Johnny Appleseed that I ever saw. In fact, my mother made me a wall hanging based on the illustrations from that book. Reeve has written books about her parents, but, in my opinion, the most beautiful one, and one I used for a book discussion, was her novel, The Names of the Mountains. It's a poetic, loving novel, based on her mother's last years. It's a book I treasure.


Kay said...

What a nice post, Lesa. A very dear friend gave me a copy of "Gift from the Sea" inscribed by Reeve Lindbergh for Christmas last year. It is a prized possession.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Kay. And, if you ever get a chance to pick up a copy of The Names of the Mountains, it's beautiful. It's so loving.

Nan - said...

I found your blog via a mention on Kay's blog. When I saw you had a post on Anne Morrow Lindbergh, I had to read it. Aren't you so very lucky to have visited that cottage! I have a picture of it in my mind, of course, and of the beach but I'd love to have seen it. Too bad it was torn down. I bet a lot of women would have visited, had it been made into a little museum or something. I re-read the book each year: actually I listen to the Claudette Colbert version, which I love. And I think Reeve is just about the kindest, most gentle author writing today. You're right about the "Mountains" book. It is so touching. I also like her non-fiction; Under A Wing and No More Words. I have a treasured picture from the local paper of my son at around two with Reeve autographing The Midnight Farm.

Lesa said...

Thank you, Nan.

I agree with you. Women probably would have flocked to the cottage. But, in the years I was out on Captiva, it was just a part of life there. Adlai Stevenson stayed there. I knew a woman whose family helped to finance Lindbergh's flight. Jean Shepherd (A Christmas Story) came in and told me stories one day. The library threw a birthday party for Patricia Neal. Captiva in those days was just a magical place. I wouldn't trade my years there for anything. Now, as so many other places, the cottages have been torn down, and mammoth mansions built. I'm glad I'm gone. I think I had some of the best years on the island.