A blog that poses one question: If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It's a conflict between what's practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.

Surprisingly rare are the practical answers, with only the occasional laptop, wallet, or phone being saved. Sometimes the sentimental and one-of-a-kind can be more important than the level headed or pragmatic.

Name: John Tinseth
Age: 53
Location: New York City
Occupation: Insurance Consultant / Writer

List: (Top to Bottom, Left to Right)
Canadian Army Blanket: Stolen last day of Canadian Airborne School, Griesbach Barracks, Edmonton Alberta - 1978
WW II German Infantry Belt. War souvenir from grandfather, SGM Tinseth
Trungpa quote from 1999 calendar, “To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life.”
Canadian Parachutist Wings - Not stolen
Vietnam era sewing kit Army buttons from father, Lt Col Tinseth
WWII whistle from SGM Tinseth
National Park Ranger Badge and ID - Statue of Liberty National Monument
Randall Attack Survival Knife Model 18 from Lt Col Tinseth
Dunhill Lighter - Smoke free almost 3 yrs but can’t give up the lighter.

Name: Maggie Rudy
Age: 52
Location: Portland, Oregon
Occupation: artist, children’s book illustrator

Jackie, my childhood doll
my wallet, made from a feed sack
a postcard from Maurice Sendak, received in response to a fan letter I wrote in 1970
my great-grandmother’s prom dress
my glasses
pictures of my sons
a bird brooch, given to me by my husband
a photograph of my dad, circa 1938 by Brett Weston
little felt mice characters that I made
my laptop

Name: Luca Cavallaro
Age: 34
Location: New York
Occupation: Designer

Alma Lou, she would even be enough.
If I have time:
Hard drive, for memories that my brain failed to store.
Sunglasses, I feel naked without them.
Wallet, a gift from my wife.
My father’s old camera, I promised him to take good care.
Sneaker, emergency orange.
In the black box, my vintage eyewear collection (favorite only).
Vintage leather mask, in case I have to protect my face from the flames.
Dieter Rams alarm clock, I don’t wake up on my own.
Orange hummer, if i have to brake some windows during the escape.
Life buoy ring, in case of flooding. In Italy we say:” le sfighe non vengono mai da sole”, misfortunes never come alone

Name: Luca Mariani
Age: 33
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Occupation: Director

Mamiya RB67
Coconut broken with my head
Macassino Blanco by Gonzalo Malaga
Wood cow used to make my short film MATU
Barbie Glitter Head
Jack Daniel’s with moustaches
Toy gun
Snowglobe of Milan

Name: Hannah Queen
Age: 20
Location: Blue Ridge, Georgia
Occupation: Photographer

basket of family photos, old and new
cast iron skillet
leather bracelet with mustard seed charm, which was my grandmothers
leather bracelet, a gift from my mom
l’occitane lavender hand cream
l’oreal voluminous million lashes
lancome teint idole ultra
letters & postcards from friends
favorite tea towel, which was a gift
the complete works of jane austen
blue ball jar, filled with river rocks. souvenirs from a perfect day.
minnetonka moccasins
favorite wooden spoon
two forks from old family silverware
twig spoon, a gift from a friend
not pictured, canon 5d mark ii

Name: Hollister Hovey
Location: Brooklyn New York
Occupation: Interior Designer

Top hat box from Constantinople - my key purchase on my trip to Istanbul. I practically cried when the flight attendant forced me to gate check it.
Driving gloves - They’re perfectly broken in and barely warm at all, but I wear them all winter.
Hand-painted 1940s Louis Vuitton suitcase - a recent find and maybe the coolest thing I’ve ever purchased.
1920s Danish portrait of mother and child - the first painting I bought on eBay. It’s such a sweet tender scene - with great little sailor outfits.
Prada clutch - I went into the Prada shop to buy perfume and came out with this. It was the first in a long, growing line of impulse purse purchases. I regret none of them.
Scottish military print - a set of six of these used to hang in the guest bedroom of my childhood home. They now hang on my walls and I’d grab them all. The frames have this wonderful little red line that makes them pop off the wall perfectly.
H monogrammed needlepoint pillow - my parents used to needlepoint together for hours while watching TV. They made this one. It’s backed in rich tan velvet - and if a person has one, it’s my favorite pillow of all time.
Taxidermy black bear head - rescued from the wall of a wonderful old bookshop in Camden, ME. I’ve named him, well, Camden.
Hermes stable belt - the only thing I could afford on my first trip to Hermes in Paris. It’s actually a stable belt. For a horse. Thank goodness it wraps around twice.
Baule sculpture - my first eBay purchase - ever. The start of one of the slipperiest slopes since the the beginning of the internet.
Passport - with no where to live, it’s best to get out of Dodge.
Family photos - I’d take more than two - in fact, they’d be my top priority.
Glasses - I’m blind as a bat, they’re necessities.
Porcupine quill box - One of my prized possessions handed down from my mom. It’s sort of been the inspiration for my whole style.

Name: David Coggins
Location: New York
Occupation: Writer

Great Gatsby (1st Ed.)
2 good pens
Bottle opener
Cigar holder
Favorite English suit
Cleverley brogues
Olch tie
Antique casino chip
Plastic cowboy
Smythson calendar
Calling card


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