Old Man River
George Alexis “Frolic” Weymouth’s penchant for good times is as legendary as his passion for land preservation along the Brandywine. But these days, self-preservation may be foremost on the mind of the “fun du Pont.” After all, there’s so much more to be done.
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Another stroll through meticulously planted gardens leads to a carved wooden Indonesian fertility bench. Part of Weymouth’s admitted fascination with fornication, it features two interlocked monkeys, though they have dragon heads. “Or are they humans?” he suggests. “Who knows? The female looks so bored, and the male is in agony.”
Art, nature, spirituality (as exhibited in the private outdoor chapel he built here in 1995)—it’s all tied to one unwritten commandment: Before he goes to sleep each evening, Weymouth insists on naming one beautiful thing he saw that day. “Then, the rest of the ugliness goes away,” he insists.
When he has traveled, it’s been to England to drive horses or paint. In the summer of 1985, he spent three months there. By carriage, he drove 1,000 miles in England and another 1,000 in France. “I’d never do it again, and never stay,” he says. “Some like to compare trips. I like doing other things.
Reared in du Pont opulence, Weymouth was a “horse alcoholic.” About his dyslexia, which his brother Gene shared, everyone said, “Don’t worry about it. You’re an artist.”
His parents let him do what he did best: ride and paint. “When I was young, if I said I was bored, my mother said, ‘Go outside and look at nature,’” he says.
At 6, he sold his first artwork—large, purple bougainvilleas painted in Boca Grande, Fla.—for 75 cents. His mother, the oldest of Eugene du Pont’s four daughters, was a wonderful artist. Then she married Frolic’s father, entrepreneur George Tyler Weymouth. “You couldn’t paint and raise children,” he says.
For Frolic, school wasn’t as important as it was for his “fancy cousins.” Still, he attended the Westtown School, St. Mark’s in Massachusetts, and Yale (then a glorified finishing school) as his father and paternal grandfather had.
Weymouth maintains “it’s no big deal” being a du Pont. In 2000, 3,700 attended a family reunion at Longwood Gardens. “I wonder how many there are now?” he ponders. “Du Ponts have always been busy in bed.”
Other than opening his house for fundraisers, Weymouth has “no clue” why he’s known as the fun du Pont. “Lots of them are fun,” he says. “There have certainly been some colorful ones.”
For Weymouth’s Point-to-Point weekend, invitations go to 40-odd well-to-do folks in coaching circles. Gobs of others just come. These days, Weymouth knows less than half of those in attendance. “I go up to some and ask if they know who lives here,” he jests. “They ask if I know. I say, ‘No, I don’t. Do you?’ Then I tell them, ‘This place is a real dump. It’s furnished with all this used furniture.’”
In recent years, Weymouth has tightened security in a move unrelated to his social events. Curious outsiders had been following the lead of the book Weird Pennsylvania, along with several blogs and websites, that describe Granogue, a du Pont mansion above his property, as an abandoned satanic chapel and home to a strange strain of du Pont—hermaphroditic midgets. “The kids were coming out here to be scared,” he says.
Weymouth had to install a security gate in front of his driveway that automatically closes at night. “I hate it,” he says.
To one set of kids he caught, he admitted to living on the adjacent property. “But as you can see, I’m not a midget—and I’m not about to show you if I’m a hermaphrodite,” he recalls telling them.
For 18 years, Weymouth was married to Anna B. McCoy, Andrew Wyeth’s niece and herself an artist. Jamie Wyeth, Andrew’s son, married Weymouth’s cousin Phyllis.