Monday, March 29, 2021

Something About the Color Purple

Flat Tyre.

Most fans of the Lewis Barnavelt series of books will quickly pick-up on the favorite color of neighborly witch, Florence Zimmermann.

Purple wasn’t just Florence’s favorite color, it was also the favorite color of Milwaukee, Wisconsin resident, Mary Zimerman. Bellairs met Mary in the early 1960s while in the city for the wedding of a friend. Dale and Marilyn Fitschen were there, too, and Marilyn later remembered the house’s singular shade:
"There were purple perfume bottles, purple nosegays, purple soap dishes with purple soap, and purple bathrobes. There were purple window curtains in the purple bathroom. The other bedrooms were all in purple. Finally coming down to breakfast Sunday morning, we realized that everything in the house was purple. What can I say? The woman loved purple, and she loved to collect stuff. We were all enthralled with this house and went back to Chicago telling everyone about our purple experience."
Bellairs seemingly adapted the name and color choice for his character, and Florence indeed has been shown to have an amazing collection of her own. I mean, I already pointed out her autographed purple painting from Henri Matisse - that's fairly impressive, yes? We even were once told of a purple house in Marshall.  And then there's that purple fish I've wondered about.

I’m curious: who else is a big fan or all things purple – and why? “Why not”, I an obvious answer, I suppose. Anybody have anything outrageous in their purple collections?

1 comment:

Jean said...

I grew up in Santa Maria, CA, on the Central Coast. SM has nothing special about it, but we had Jean Rath, the Purple Lady! She was a lovely person, always worked the election polls, and was well-known about town. Her house, car, calling cards, and person were always purple, and even her husband wore purple in the spirit of the thing. I once saw her being filed by a French film team. She's gone now, but here's an LA Times story about her: https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-2001-apr-01-tm-45265-story.html She is easily googleable.