The Caretaker of The Elms in Newport, Rhode Island
But Mathews isn’t convinced that Julian should follow in his footsteps. “He loves to draw and build things,” he says. “It’s the age-old thing. You want your kids to have the best, to have more opportunities. I’d like to see him go to college, maybe be an architect. But he wants to be just like his dad.”
It’s nearing 6:00 p.m. now, and the last of the day’s visitors have just finished the tour. Outside, a small group of them linger on the back lawn. A few sit on the steps, taking in the early August evening, while a set of grandparents nearby take turns having their picture taken with their grandkids. Mathews stands in the ballroom and looks out the big windows at the scene. He’s smiling. This time of day, when he begins to have the whole house to himself again, is his favorite.
“I don’t mind if they stay a little longer,” he says. “It’s pretty great in winter, too. Even with the snow and ice, you get these beautiful sunsets. The skies are just gorgeous. If you take the time, you can really appreciate it.”