In Case You Were Wondering
Yes, that is my house on the cover of this month's CountryHome magazine. I'm not kidding, it really is. There is an even better picture of the picket fence my wife built on the table of contents page. It stops there, though, there is no spread on the interior. The photographer happened to be scouting our neighborhood in search of Halloweenish-looking Victorian houses (i.e. not too cutely or sparklingly maintained) and liked what she saw with our house, I guess. The pictures were taken in May, I think. The leaves and pumpkins and so on are all their props. The photoshoot crew were evidently straight from the New York magazine world, or were familiar with its culture. They projected great artistic confidence and authority, which I assume comes from being paid well, or at least consistently, or maybe they just knew they were super good. I don't know. It seems like kind of a silly magazine really. Also I don't exactly live in the country, but on the outskirts of a small city of 40,000 or so people, though I know that especially for purposes of selling books and magazines everything north of Boston is considered to be rural and salty. We did not actually know they had chosen the pictures of our house to be in the magazine until my wife, past whom I am increasingly convinced it is impossible to get anything, spotted it in the checkout aisle at the grocery store.
Nor is this entirely the first instance of our casually finding ourselves connected with a mass market publication. In the edition of the Yale Guide to Baby and Child Care or something like that (it's a big reference book) that came out around 2002, Mrs S and I are depicted in the illustration on page 38 looking in a store window at baby toys (we are supposed to represent the as yet childless but idealistic and dreamy young couple--which I think we still were at the time). I am actually shown as having three hands in this drawing, but that is not the case, it was an error on the part of the artist and the editors that the mistake made it into the book. The illustrator lived in the area, and, like Norman Rockwell, though not quite as memorably, liked to use his neighbors as models.