Those of you who have been reading awhile have surely noticed the photo at the top of the page. This same photo serves as my WordPress icon which appears in truncated form whenever I leave a comment on some of the blogs that some of you write. Why on earth would I choose this picture as the face of my online presence? Well, as my Grandma used to say, it’s just like this . . .
The picture is of the door knocker that adorns front door of my house. I had sort of forgotten about it until my blogging friend Heidi featured some door knockers which she has so beautifully photographed during her travels in Paris.
I chose this photo as I was in the process of getting this blog started. I needed a photo of my own, something that would not get me in trouble with the internet copyright police for some kind of unauthorized use. Nothing would be worse than going to internet jail because of an innocently appropriated photo. Which presented a problem for me.
Most of the pictures I take involve two subjects: members of my family and random old cars. Neither of which was really suitable for the front door of this blog. Not that I am ashamed of my family – we are all reasonably photogenic people and I am quite happy to be associated with them. But this blog was not going to be about my family life so much as about other things.
The cars would not work either. I have written fairly extensively about old cars over at CurbsideClassic.com, and if I were going to write that sort of thing here one of my car shots would have been perfect. But that was not going to be my focus either.
Once I decided on the fabulously original blog title I had to start thinking of an image that would somehow work with it. My idea was to find and photograph something that belonged to J P Cavanaugh. But what? Then it finally hit me – the knocker on my front door.
You can be forgiven for wondering what the knocker on my front door has to do with a blog. It does to me, and here is why. First, I see the lead photo on my blog as a virtual front entrance that is meant to invite you in. I love it when you visit and what better than my own front door to serve as a way to welcome you here.
Even better, it is engraved with my last name. And by a most peculiar accident, the engraved name works perfectly because of that maddeningly inappropriate apostrophe. For those a little rusty on their grammar, recall that Cavanaughs would identify more than one of us. Cavanaughs’ would indicate that something belongs to more than one of us. But Cavanaugh’s fairly screams that this door knocker and all that is attached to it is MINE, ALL MINE! There is a story here.
The door knocker was given to my Mrs. and I on the occasion of moving into our present home. It was a gift from the couple who had introduced us a few years earlier. It was a beautiful brass door knocker and our generous and thoughtful friends had it engraved with our name. “Cavanaughs” was the intended engraving, so as to indicate the name of the family who lived beyond the door. Unfortunately, the engraver had not absorbed enough from his middle school english classes and added an apostrophe so that it read as “Cavanaugh’s” I am quite sure that the placement of the apostrophe was not the doing of our friends, as both of them were literate. Highly literate, even.
My Mrs. and I briefly discussed what to do about this unfortunate mistake. Not a typo, exactly, so perhaps an engrave-o? We thought about not using the door knocker. Because errors of this sort bother me. We decided, however, that because our friends had been so thoughtful with the gift and had gone to the effort to make it personal that we should mount it to the front door and enjoy it nevertheless. Which we did, and it has been there ever since.
Our knocker has always conveyed to me a sense of dominion, but unfortunately, not a shared dominion. It has always given me a chuckle, making me ask just which Cavanaugh is in control of the door knocker. Or of the house. Although I think all of we married men know the answer to these questions. Oh well, I usually enter the house through the garage entrance anyway.
But for a blog that would be all mine? A door knocker which conveyed my singular lordship over this little electronic corner of the blogesphere was absolutely perfect. No need to specially commission a brass engraving for the occasion, one had been hanging on my front door for years. A few quick photographs and there we were.
The weathered patina of the brass knocker reflects my life in many ways. My Mrs. and I are approaching our twenty-eighth year of marriage and we have lived in this house for nearly twenty-five of them.
And as for this blog, a little patina seemed appropriate to give a new venture a sense of establishment, comfort and welcome that was probably more hope than reality at that early stage of things. We (how much fun it is to use the Royal We) are in our third year of weekly postings (without a single rerun, thank you very much) and so a certain patina now seems appropriate and fairly earned.
The picture I used is also a bit off center. I will let you draw your own conclusions about the mental state of the author here, although the technical reason for the angle was because the name was not readily visible in a straight-on shot.
So there you are. There are so many mysterious things to ponder in God’s universe. And now that you know the story of my door knocker and why it is the face of this blog there is one fewer. I cannot promise that you will find one of the answers to life’s great questions here every single week. But for today? I am happy to do my part to make this complex and inscrutable world just a wee bit more comprehensible.