March 28, 2002 - Kenyon Collegian: At Home With: Kenyon Writer-in-Residence Palau RPCV P.F. Kluge

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Palau: The Peace Corps in Palau: March 28, 2002 - Kenyon Collegian: At Home With: Kenyon Writer-in-Residence Palau RPCV P.F. Kluge

By Admin1 (admin) on Sunday, August 17, 2003 - 1:54 pm: Edit Post

At Home With: Kenyon Writer-in-Residence Palau RPCV P.F. Kluge

At Home With: Kenyon Writer-in-Residence Palau RPCV P.F. Kluge

At Home With: Kenyon Writer-in-Residence P.F. Kluge
By Amy Bergen
Staff Writer
Thursday, March 28, 2002

Amy Gallese
Kluge and Hollie’s Ward Street home reflects their shared love of travel, as well as the particular tastes of each.

“Your stuff expands,” said Writer-in-Residence P.F. Kluge when asked why such a large house is necessary for two college instructors who travel frequently.

Kluge and his wife, Pamela Hollie, have indeed filled their space in their home on Ward Street in the former College Orchard rather pleasantly. Passersby will recognize it as the white house with a wide, inviting porch and an orderly row of trees. “I think my wife fell in love with the house and I fell in love with the grounds ... That continues to this day,” Kluge said.

One of four dorms built by Kenyon’s founder Philander Chase in 1827, the house represents a permanent settlement for Kluge and Hollie in Gambier. “It scared me to own a home,” admitted Kluge. “I thought it would be an entanglement ... and a lot of that is true.” He added, though, “The house is an acknowledgment that Gambier is home.”

Kluge and Hollie have restored the porch, added a sunroom and grown a garden, which is Kluge’s pastime when the weather is nice. “I enjoy my garden,” he said. “I like taking a shower with my garden hose in the summer.”

Hollie, a professor and endowed chair in journalism at the Ohio State University, confessed a love for the interesting and international. “Not much of our furniture is from the U.S. ... Most of it comes from Asia,” she said. “Some of the furniture I designed myself. I love design and architecture, [although] it isn’t something that I intended to do.”

Hollie lived in the Phillippines as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times and brought the influence of Filipino design back to Gambier. The house’s sunroom is her own particular project, with furniture “as close as I can get” to the Balinese style. Meanwhile, her husband’s 35 years in Micronesia are reflected in photographs and decorations around the home. “My tendency tends to be more Chinese, Balinese and Filipino,” said Hollie. “We don’t try to mix the rooms up.”

Both avid travelers, Kluge and Hollie have collected, among other things, a dining room table and a birdhouse from the Phillippines, New Guinea statues, a Balinese door and an axe from Fiji. Their home is animal-less, but plants abound. “I love plants, especially tropical ones ... I like unusual things,” Hollie said, admitting that the house is still very much a work in progress, and a work she enjoys.

“I don’t know how people have decorators,” said Hollie. “The whole joy of putting a house together is finding things ... finding something in a ditch and figuring out how to get it home.”

Hollie’s future plans for the house include renovating a room upstairs into a “boxing room” with memorabilia from one of their favorite spectator sports. “Our first date was to a boxing match in L.A.,” she explained. “We watch Friday Night Fights ... we like boxing.”

Also upstairs is Kluge’s “chaotic closet,” with his books and manuscripts, which he describes as “the closest I come to having a personal archive.” His library is more organized, with his books along the walls in alphabetical order, including the complete journals of Captain James Cook, a fellow world traveler. Kluge claims many of the more mundane objects in the house as his own: “the books, the beer steins, the ashtrays.”

Travels and books aside, the humble town of Gambier is very much a part of both of their lives. They welcome visitors to their front porch whenever they have time to be home. “We like to think we’re always reporters, always journalists,” said Hollie. “We like to engage with people.” Kluge is a self-confessed “front porch kind of guy ... I like to sit on my front porch smoking a cigar.” He added that Gambier is “a company town ... It’s good to leave, but it’s always a pleasure to return.”

Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Kenyon Collegian

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Palau; Writing - Palau



Add a Message

This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.