Monday, May 6, 2013

Summer Place - Part Fourteen

Summer Place

Part Fourteen

            For those who were ‘back then’ ‘summer people’ in their ‘summer places’, the two decades between 1962 and 1982 (the year my grandmother died) innovated two new… ish… summer people/summer place standards.  Once taken away by the ‘from away’ purchase takeover, old Maine sea captain’s estates ‘never went back’.  These… bridges to the past …romance… of the Maine sea faring, village living, privateer-smugglers, merchant traders, rum keg swapping and… skimpy church attendances… were, by those who ‘locally understood’… them to be …hostile takeovers… of a ‘they’ taking from ‘us’ “OUR” “HISTORY”… and, therefore, a bridge burned.  Sort of.
            The actual estate; for example here The Captain Merritt Kimball estate, forever remained THAT in the local hologram vision.  Although the vision had to be perpetually twisted in the hands to make the vision ‘see’, it was ‘always’ a ‘that estate’ sans ‘summer people.  They might be mentioned …curtly… as ‘owning it’ and/or ‘living there’… and that was about it. 
            For these ‘summer people’, THEIR actions took two courses.  ‘THEY’; the ‘summer people’, either ‘owned’ the estate in THEIR family ‘for years’ OR ‘THEY’ ‘sold it’ to another set of ‘summer people’ and THEY ‘lived there a few years and then, TOO, sold it to “another” ‘summer people’.  “LOCALS” …never bought the place back… but very often DID get “it” (the estate) ‘listed’ as a historic home ‘preventing’ the ‘summer people’ “from doing anything to” “IT”.  Sort of ‘we hope’.
            The summer people family of Mr. Simon… in their “HIS” ‘summer place’… kept it.  By 1982 a new generation OR TWO of Mr. Simon’s spawn ‘live there’ “in the summer”.  “IT” was “closed up” “for winter” but ‘the same family owns it’.  AND, to their credit in the community, ‘they’ ‘haven’t done anything to it’ ‘yet’… except, of course, put hasps and padlocks on the doors of the outbuildings.  “SOME” of “their buildings” DID have “people getting in to them” it was …not very factually… reported.  The featured reported fact to the locals in the village was that “THEY” “STILL” “OWN IT”.
            The Captain Merritt Kimball estate suffered the alternative course.  Within a ‘few’ years… and after gallons and gallons of white paint were applied from ever always leaned up upon the main house long, longer and longest ladders… ‘THEY’ (the ‘summer people) ‘sold it’ (The Captain Merritt Kimball estate) to …some other… ‘summer people’.  These new ‘summer people’ moved in and, like the first owners, pursued a grand course of ‘fixing up’.  This included, again and promptly, gallons and gallons of white paint applied from the end of a perpetual bevy of ‘ladders’.  Most of the ‘work’ was ‘done’ ‘on the inside’ to circumvent the ‘historic place’ ‘restrictions’.  “New kitchen” was this… alternative course… standard ‘work in progress’.  Captain Merritt Kimball, who turned his first kitchen over to Compass Parker and his wife to ‘live in’, would be astonished at the ‘number’ of ‘new kitchens’ his main house ‘has had’ since ‘the estate’ was “sold out of the family’.
            Otherwise, not much ‘happened’ or ‘changed’ ‘there’.  It would be another thirty years before ‘anything’ ‘happened’ at these two ‘old Maine sea captain’s estates’.  BUT… during 1982… my grandmother’s ‘estate’ ‘was settled’.  The ‘family’ did this settling.  The house was ‘cleaned out’ and ‘sold’.  A ‘local’ bought the property inexpensively and quickly ‘converted it’ to ‘apartments’ and… it remains that way to this day.  The ‘her stuff’ of my grandmother was ‘appraised’ by ‘an appraiser’ for ‘the estate’ and ‘the heirs’ distributed ‘the stuff’ amongst themselves with… very little fanfare.  I, as I mentioned before, had nothing to do with this estate settlement, was not a direct heir and was …pretty much… ‘locked out’ of the estate and… I did not care.
            At one point, a family member ‘in charge’ contacted me and asked for ‘help’.  ‘Help’ was not clearly defined.  I ended up walking through the locked up estate in its undisturbed state with the person in charge ‘to see’.  To see what?  That was attempted to be vaguely defined as “is there anything good in here that I’m missing”. 
            “No”.  I do recall gracing the front of my grandmother’s crummy old china cabinet with a dealerly scan downward to have my eyes alight upon the Compass Parker punch bowl tucked away at the …third shelf down to the left rear… and, I noticed… undisturbed… BUT I was then such a fine antiques dealer in such-such that “I know all about that.  Those.  Them.  “IT” and what ever else describes an antiques dealer ‘blowing something off’ that ‘I can’t buy’.  Cheap.
            The ‘estate’ was ‘distributed’.  The ‘her stuff’ was distributed.  TOO.  ‘Everyone’ took ‘everything’ they ‘want’ I was told.  That was that?  Hardly.  About six months later the person in charge called me to tell me that the ‘property’ ‘had sold’ and “WE” “HAVE TO GET ALL OF “YOUR GRANDMOTHER’S” STUFF… “OUT OF THERE”.  I returned to the now VERY disturbed estate.  I walked through it (“WHAT A MESS WHAT AM I GOING TO DO!”) with the person in charge trying to figure out how I ….I could “get out of here” “NOW”.  Two things happened.  I could not “get out” and… there was a LOT of ‘stuff’ left.  A LOT.
            “I’ll clean it out” I heard myself say. 
            “YOU WILL!”
            Now… boys and girls… I’d do it for “free”; that is ‘for the stuff’ BUT I knew already back then how these things work and it worked to CREATE A PROBLEM if I said ‘FREE’ ANYTHING so I said”
            “Seventy-five dollars”.
            “The ESTATE pays for THIS you KNOW RIGHT?”
            “So what?”
            “So …your SURE that’s ENOUGH?”
            “Sure… I’m sure.  No problem.”
            Notice the complete lack of mention of ‘the stuff’ and ANYTHING to do with ‘the stuff’.
            “GREAT.  I’ll write you a check.  When will you start?”
            “I’ll have it done; cleaned out, on MONDAY MORNING.  Today is Wednesday”.
            “Done?  Really?  Monday.”
            “Yes.  Done.”
            I did… have it ‘done’; ‘cleaned out’ “on Monday Morning.  Compass Parker’s punch bowl …was NOT  ‘in there’.  I knew that ‘before’ but… there was ‘plenty of stuff’.  That ‘I got” from that ‘clean out’.

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