Beguiled by Thom Nickels frozen idyll in Lapland, I remembered how I turned Finnish at 18. It was from visiting Cranbrook just outside Detroit where architects Eliel and Eero Saarinen actually did for design what the German Bauhaus only tried to do. George Booth, idealistic publisher of the Detroit News, designed it to combat the Nouveau Ritziness of the innocently ignorant new automotive elite.
And, Thom, the Finns were not taciturn--they were frozen silent! In the summer of 1970 I took my son Tim there to celebrate his 16th birthday at a Leeds masseuse's family farm outside Helsinki. (She had taught me for the first--and, alas, last time! how a fuckless rubdown is one of the deep joys of life.) And she babbled nonstop. Since I was flying Time-Life's colors to film how Marimekko fabrics were made, there was no dearth of invitations full of chatter, as at Ms. Marimekko's Gulf of Finland sauna for the weekend. She even mailed a sheaf of my favorite fabrics, gratis, to Philly.