Sunday, May 06, 2001

Pineapples always welcome in her home

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

        Who: Nancy Landry of Loveland, design assistant at the Silky Way in Montgomery Square Shopping Center, mother, grandmother and collector of pineapples.

        Where: Throughout the condo she shares with son Tim Jr., when he's home from Boston College, and a very smart parakeet named Ernie.

        On display: Close to 100 pineapple-shaped and pineapple-motif items tastefully worked into the decor of her home. Mrs. Landry's collection includes pineapples made of materials as varied as crystal, brass, plastic and fabric. Several items are handmade, like the wooden pineapple penholder that one of her children made for her in woodworking class and a framed sampler cross-stitched by a niece.

[photo] Nancy Landry of Loveland and some of her pineapple collection
(Mike Simons photo)
| ZOOM |
        Pining: Mrs. Landry started collecting pineapples almost 20 years ago when her family was living in Boston.

        Welcome back: “The historical homes in that area are absolutely beautiful,” she says. “I noticed that a lot of them had picket fences with pineapples on the gate post. It turns out that many of those captains traveled to the West Indies and were gone for as long as a year at a time. When they returned, many brought back pineapples because they traveled well. When the captain returned, the mistress of the house would put a pineapple on the gatepost or the front porch to let the neighbors know that he was home and accepting visitors. That's how the pineapple became a symbol of hospitality.”

        Heart felt: “My pineapples mean a lot to me,” Mrs. Landry says. “Most of them have been given to me as gifts from people I love.

        “For example,” she continues, “My sister Pat (Ryan) bought me my first pineapple. It is a suncatcher she bought in a gift shop after we'd been sightseeing in Boston. At the end of the day she surprised me with it, saying that I should have a pineapple in my house because I was so hospitable.”

        Storyteller: “I used to fly a pineapple flag out in front of the house,” Mrs. Landry says. “One day while my son Stephen and I were working in the yard, a couple drove by and stopped. They said that they passed the house every day and had noticed the flag and wondered what the pineapple was all about. I told them the sea captain story.”
       What are your prize possessions? Show them off, by writing to Marsie Hall Newbold, c/o Tempo, Prize Possessions, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 312 Elm St., 45202 or e-mail


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