About 20 years ago I was on the Main Line Delaware Committee for The Philadelphia Orchestra. At the time I was younger than all but a handful of the women by at least 20 or 30 years. There were three of us who were the youngest and they referred to us as the “working girls”. Yes, truly. They had no idea what they were actually saying when they said that – what they meant is that we worked. The majority of the rest of the members did not work. A few were high powered executives, but the majority of the ladies did not have to work.
So they planned this car rally fundraiser for the Orchestra that ended at Granogue, home of the gentleman photographed above, Irénée du Pont, Jr.
He was fascinating to meet and so nice to us. He showed us his home, his greenhouses, his collection of cars, and the water tower on the estate which has hands down the best view of the Brandywine Valley.
I never forgot meeting him or climbing to the top of the water tower. (And I said at the time if I ever had the chance to go up to the top of the water tower again, I would bring a camera!)
Flash forward a couple of decades and I get go to another event on Granogue. This time I climbed the water tower with a camera (photos soon!) and I had the rare second opportunity to meet Mr. DuPont again. Now well into his 90s, he and his wife have been married over 70 years! He is still an old school gentleman with a love of family, nature, people, and cars.
I think he is a really cool person. Very humble and so bright, yet utterly down to earth. It was such a great experience to have the opportunity to meet him again and climb the water tower again too!
Here is an interview he gave in 2014 to The Voices of the Manhattan Project: