“On that which is well built…”
Even though my grandfather David Augustus passed away when I was three weeks shy of my sixth birthday, I’ve always felt a particularly strong affinity with him—and not just because I’m the only one of the four boys in my family to be given his surname as my middle name. Born in 1907, he studied law at Benjamin Harrison Law School in Indianapolis but couldn’t afford to take the bar exam. The son of a carpenter and cabinetmaker, he built his first home for his wife and baby daughter in 1938. He spent the rest of his life building fine homes in and around Indianapolis and in 1958 leased the abandoned Monan Railroad Station in Broad Ripple and converted it into a “sausage and cheese shop,” which my grandmother Lee ran for the next 25 years. The more I discover about my grandfather, the more I find we have in common. For instance, after returning from a visit to The Roycroft Campus in East Aurora New York decades ago, I was telling my parents about the Arts & Crafts community and its charismatic founder Elbert Hubbard and my mom went to her bookshelf and pulled out my grandfather’s copy of Elbert Hubbard’s Scrapbook. Inside the front closet of every home my grandfather built, he placed an engraved brass plaque that reads, “On that which is built well I will proudly put my name.” That’s the same way I feel with every issue of Country Gardens.