The following is a true story that happened 6 hours after I wrote the previous post 'Oscar and George'.
Daniel and I had been asked to measure some of the beams/rafters on the second floor for the HVVA historical society. They were missing a few measurements for their documentation of our historic house renovation. We are hoping they will publish their study soon. The measurements they were missing were - the number of rafters in both the original (1740) and the new (1765) extension. For those that are interested there are 13 large rafters that span in the original house and 5 in the extension. These rafters are between 7 and 9 inches thick and are spaced approximately every 3 ft. All are held together with carved wooden pegs as was the construction method in that period. (Exact measurements of each are being submitted to HVVA for them to publish).
As we were measuring these beams we opened all the windows to let the wonderful spring sunshine and air into the house. With the front door open too, the warm spring breeze blew through the house, waking up all the good ghosts and spirits. As we opened one of the dormer windows Daniel handed me a bottle that had been on the deep window ledge for a few weekends now. We honestly thought it was some trash left by the builders.
I went to put it out of the way but something about the bottle caught my eye. The bottle had an old postal label that said "Notify sender the parcel cannot be delivered". Thinking this was a little odd, I looked at the label more closely.
The label was hand written and said "To be taken where ever you like Perry. Dr Tschirky".
Daniel thought I was mad. "Tschirky" I yelled.
"It's a prescription from Tschirky... Dr Tschirky... it has to be Oscar Tschirky, Oscar of the Waldorf". It was the link that I had blogged about only hours ago. It was the proof that we had been looking for that George Fiorentino, the previous owner, had indeed been friends with Oscar of the Waldorf who lived just across the river.
"What's Perry?" asked Daniel
"Dom Perignon" I guessed.
After I puzzled for a while I said to Daniel "You know there's a horrible drink sold in the UK that comes in a small green bottle just like that one. It's called Babycham". "I'm sure it used to say 'sweet sparkling perry' on the label."
A Google search revealed that a Perry is indeed an alcoholic sparkling pear cider that was popular in the 40's. Maybe Oscar had a home brewing business of local sparkling cider...It is after all one of the best apple and pear growing areas in the United States.
Chances are that no-one will be drinking Perry tonight at the Oscars.