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When You Announce a Sponsor’s Name, You Should Probably Get It Right: “Daniel Chester, French Sculptor” is Incorrect!!!”

The moral of this story is: Ah, what a difference a comma makes!

I live in Berkshire County, in western Massachusetts, where we are blessed with a myriad of World Class museums, historic homes, theaters, and attractions of all kinds, plus places that foodies would love and fabulous places to stay like Blantyre in Lenox, MA, a Cinderella castle-like experience that generally requires a trip to Europe to experience!  One of the places that gets much less attention that it deserves is Chesterwood.

Chesterwood was the summer home of Daniel Chester French who was the sculptor behind the  creation of the statue  of Lincoln in the Chair found inside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. You can visit Chesterwood, the historic Victorian mansion, his sculpting studio and walk the paths and trails through flowers and woods in Stockbridge, MA. Chesterwood is about  a quarter of a mile down the road from the Norman Rockwell Museum and a hop-and-a-jump from The Mount, the summer home of author Edith Wharton. Clearly, you could plan to visit all  three in one day if you get an early start and it will be a day you will long remember.

Recently, I was listening to WAMC, the NPR radio station out  of Albany, NY, while I was doing some mindless tasks that didn’t require my full attention. A young woman’s voice came on the air to read their “endowment” information 12-second spots that are positioned as “non-commercials” but do exude the information related to delivering the donors messaging. No matter.

But what does matter is that Albany is about an hour away from Stockbridge and you’d think that someone there would know something about Chesterwood as this is what listeners were  directed to. . . .

“. . .visit Chesterwood, home of Daniel Chester, French sculptor. . . ”

What we learned from that phrase is that Daniel Chester, a sculptor who is French. . . . etc., etc.

No. We should have heard:


NO. DANIEL IS  NOT FRENCH. If  anything, he is a member of the French family which makes me wonder if he was a member of the Ffrench (two f’s) of western Ireland. There is a roundabout in Galway called the “Ffrench Roundabout.” I really have to know more about Daniel Chester French’s family history. Clearly, he was not Native American so his family emigrated from somewhere across the Atlantic. Could well have been Ireland even though he’s a “French,” and not a Frenchman!

Last year, we were treated to an announcement on that same station that told us that an all “CHOP-in” program of piano etudes would be performed at Tanglewood by an acclaimed pianist.  No, it’s not  CHOP-in. . .It’s pronounced “SHOW-PAN” even though it’s spelled “Chopin.”

Somebody needs to educate those they assign the responsibility of delivering “endowment” messages. I cringe when I hear items like the above as they both fall into  the realm of why people travel to the Berkshires and, when it comes to all things travel related, I am truly an expert. . . even on the pronunciation of Chopin and knowing what Chesterwood  and Daniel Chester French  are all about!

Just wanted to set the record straight  on behalf of a yet another valuable tourism location in the beautiful Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts. Come see us, y’all!

--Gotta Fly Now!sm
Your Personal Travel Expert
Nationally syndiated radio show host
Stephanie Abrams

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