Tell me about the genesis of these objects.
I’ve always been interested in trees. I don’t know why, maybe it’s an aberration in my genetic makeup. As a child, I lived in a wooded area in Massachusetts. I had a tree-surgery business as a kid. In the summers I took care of people’s trees. Actually, when I had my Harvard interview, the Dean of Freshmen was F. Skinny Von Stade, and we talked about nothing but chain saws for the entire interview. It was late in the day. He’d been interviewing preppies all day long, who’d been telling him rather predictable things. When we started talking about trees it turned out he himself was about to buy a chain saw. All we talked about was McCulloch chain saws versus Homelites. I knew I had a good interview because he was really interested.
So I got into Harvard because I knew a lot about chain saws. When I came to New York I was rather mortified that there were no chain saws and no trees. But near my office down on Re…