A Rod on a River
August 27, 2022
The West River House is a moveable feast. I whet my appetite to the rhythm of the Grateful Dead and graze on life-sized post-modern art. Tonal, abstract pieces hopscotch with vibrant oils, and they all speak with fervor. I start to meander like a river from room to room; my thoughts feel sublime by a spirit connected to the divine.
What’s so moving about this place? Why do I feel so well-fed by its glass walls, grey limestone, and lonely grace? And ironically, why do I feel zapped by its life-giving energy?
As I keep moving, even a bathroom is complete with a Rauschenberg, Picasso, and one of Kurt’s (the owner) original oils lounging together. The house entices and lures me on with slim peaks into the next room. It sounds strange, but I can’t not look; can’t not go. Stairs act like tributaries that feed delightful touches of Ming dynasty horses, Persian carpets, and Brazilian-wood balconies. High, white ceilings in the back of the house dance with no ceilings. In the front; the triangular roofline of a majestic wooden bridge pays homage to the Dummerston bridge over the West River in Vermont. So, “a river runs through it?”
Now I’m dangling in the game room with a hawk-eye view to the living room below; soothed in the luscious, minimal bedrooms with spa baths, and winnowing balconies; and awed in the kitchens with sleek state-of-the-art appliances, art instead of cabinets on the walls, and best-of-all, Kurt’s serialized drawings of the beautiful, natural deterioration of an orange.
But the long dining table is the real connector: a bridge over water, a rod on a river, a fish caught by the life-like fly.
I listen and contribute to stories emerging hour after hour with the architect, the owner, a neighbor, and my husband while the table, bathed in black walnut tung oil, silently conducts our satiation of food and thought. And then it moves. Or did I have too much to drink? The table moves again and gently glides closer to those on the opposite side. I subtly pull it back. Everyone notices this table may be silent, but not still. The table, like the house, ebbs and flows with surprises. It’s Kurt’s pre-patent-pending idea that a three-year-old can move a mountain with a pinky. Totally awe-inspiring.
As the Texas heat and white light subside on the Guadalupe River, the West River House warmly glows from within. I walk across the front lawn into the night and feel I’ve kayaked all evening around surprising bends in a river. I gaze back at the dynamic display of life-giving art still carrying on a conversation around the long table. A rod on a river.
Carole Folbre Ph.D.
"My wife and I wanted to do a cheap wedding in the park but restrictions kept piling on, no glass containers, no open flames, no noise above a certain decibel. So, in less than three weeks, we had to find a new venue. It was well worth the money. There are a lot of other venues in the area but neither of us wanted to get married in a barn. The venue is on the smaller side, but that's exactly what we needed for our small wedding. Our guests loved this venue. We kept getting compliments about how nice it was. You must see it in person for yourself to get a feel for how modern and sophisticated it is. You can really tell the owner spared no expense. The host told me that ours was the first wedding at this venue… The Day Of can only be described as perfect. It was the happiest day of my life. We had so much fun and so did our guests."
– Jack Le