Skip to main content

Oscar speaks - "Where ever you like Perry"

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.


  1. OH.MY.GOD. That is incredible! (And btw I could've told you that about perry, because I used to run the Babycham business at BBH in London way back when....)

  2. This morning before i wrote the other blog entry I searched news, google books and all sorts of other sources to find out if George Fiorentino and Oscar Tschirky could be linked anywhere. I must have spent several hours on that this morning. You can guess my excitement when i saw that name on the bottle. I've checked the writing against other signatures of Oscar of the Waldorf and although others are a little more flamboyant it is clearly the same penmanship.

  3. George obviously read your previous blog and decided to help : Hope you let the good spirits in :-)

    Great story - what u going to do with the bottle?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Paradox farm

If you wander along Springtown Road, past DeJoux House, you will see our mailbox opposite the front door.  It's not especially distinguishable except it is rather large and sits on an old tree stump.  It's a rusty old thing but it seems to have survived the snow plows and drunk drivers of Springtown Road. It has always bothered me that on the side of the mail box you can see the vague outline of the words "Paradox Farm" which was clearly a name that DeJoux House was more recently referred to.  Occasionally when wondering the fields I would stumble across some incongruity and wonder if that was indeed the "paradox" that the farm was named after. Yesterday morning, for some unknown reason, I decided it was time to resolve the paradox.  I sent a quick email to the previous owner June Finer to see if she knew anything of the Paradox Farm ghost on the side of the mailbox. This was her reply: once upon a time we, (myself and russell gilmore---my ex), met a

Inspiration for the future look

Daniel has found some wonderful reference materials for keeping the history and character yet not making it a museum. I love the big kitchen table plan for the kitchen inspired by Lutyens and some "behind the scenes" pictures of victorian kitchens. He also showed me some country houses from Axel Vervoordt that I really love. Simple, authentic yet modern. We discussed putting a full length plate glass window in the old hay loft window on the end of the house. Wow. I can't wait.

A long silence broken

It has been over 18 months since I posted an entry on the DeJoux House blog.  Why? I'm not sure. The renovations were held up for a while as we enjoyed a working, if unfinished house. Looking back there was frankly very little news of note. Lots of socializing. Lots of enjoying the bounty of the land. Lots of swimming in the pond and Ice Skating...but you'd seen all of that in the old posts. Today, I am inspired to write a post because I have uncovered some news about the history of the house.  Since we bought the house we have always been told that the house was built in 1740.  That's what the town of New Paltz have in their records. That's what the previous owners told us and well, we had little reason to disbelieve it. However, we have very little proof of when the building of DeJoux House started. This puzzle was further heightened when a gentleman from North Carolina contacted us with the following request. Mr. Flebut - I am a professor at the University of N