The Great West Summer House
This is a story inside another story. In retrospect, I was becoming somewhat known in my area of the local community, largely because of (horses again) my acquaintance with horse people and their activities. We occasionally went to Hunt Club social parties with friends of ours. The upshot was that I knew a lot of people and was also becoming known in those circles.
I actually got to know Glen and Carol through the people at Anderson Animal Hospital. They were good friends of the Andersons. One evening I was there and we were all sitting out on the deck when Glen suggested I come over and have a look at his place. They lived on ten acres just down the road. Glen had throat cancer and he had a very short time left on this earth, so they wanted to take care of business while they still could. Both were retired and pursuing their hobby in the local Hunt Club. He divided up his ten acres into portions for sustainable grazing for his horses while Carol was the keeper of the hounds (about a dozen of them).
It wasn’t too long before the property was sold and Glen went to his eternal rest, leaving Carol and her dogs on their own. I bring this up for a reason. It seems there is a place for everyone and everyone (sooner or later) finds his/her place.
The year before I’d had a heritage house for sale nearby. It had been the summer house of the Great West Life founders. Now it was an operating hog farm or had been until Stan sold off the hogs to concentrate on his grain. As incongruous as it seemed, it was quite a tidy operation. Some sixty acres in the back provided for grain and the barns and buildings on the site were well positioned. Stan Watson had bought it a number of years before and set up his buildings according to his needs. It was quite a good operation for a number of years, quite out of the ordinary for what it had originally had been when it was built.
The house itself was about twenty-three hundred square feet with a great screened porch winding around the outside. The finishing and furnishings had never been updated and of all things, it had a swimming pool of poured concrete that was as solid as the day it was poured and a comfortable change house beside the tennis court.
That’s all I’ll say about it to give you an idea of its magnitude. I was pretty well flabbergasted when I first went to see the place. It was vintage enough to do a write up in the local newspaper and to set up an open house. That of course prompted a continuous procession of visitors – mostly tire kickers with nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon other than to admire a heritage home.
I guess the only reason the whole exercise wasn’t a complete bust was that I met another bunch of people I might interact with at some point in the future (which obviously occurred).But I really wanted to sell THAT house. It would have been such a feather in my cap. It never happened though.
When Stan got back from Phoenix, he checked everything out and the only thing missing was one of his tanks of purple gas had been siphoned out during his absence. But other than that everything was fine. I still had another month to go on my listing contract so I didn’t worry about it too much. I had other things to do.
When I did return a month later to renew the contract I was in for a shock. There was a set of kennels on the property that hadn’t been there before. When I knocked on the door, who should answer but Carol, Glen’s widow. Well, okay, I thought. She’s visiting. Maybe she moved the dogs there after the sale of her property. All of that was true of course, except one thing. Carol wasn’t visiting. She now lived there – with Stan that is. Good heavens, Glen’s urn was barely cooled off and Carol was already – well . . . .
They obviously didn’t want to sell the property anymore, so I wished them well and moved on.