We had a generous offer from our neighbor, Jim Cumming, in 2007, but we turned it down because we were at a loss about what to do so soon after Coty’s passing. The deal was also structured in a way that made us a little uneasy. It was probably a mistake not to take that offer, and it was surely a mistake to ask for significantly more than the first offer when we did the actual listing.
The economy was not doing well when we listed Comfort, and to make matters worse taxes were rising at a rate that made government spending and inflation look tame by comparison. Between 2006 and 2007 the ambitious local assessor more than tripled the taxable value of our property along with many other ...view middle of the document...
This added exposure to the property and the house where his murals graced various walls on both the first and second floors.
It had been five years since we had done serious work on the house and with a place that big and that old, maintenance work needs to be done on a yearly basis if the intent is to keep it in first class shape.
The quick sale we had envisioned was not forthcoming. The ceilings were starting to leak and plaster was cracking and falling in some places. The place needed sprucing up to attract a willing buyer. As the 2011 season ended with no offers on the property, Kira and I discussed the situation, “Well Tad, another year has passed and not a single bid. What do you propose to do? The house is looking shabby and we can’t go on forever waiting for your ideal buyer.”
“I know, but I’m not willing to give the place away without doing everything I can to find the right person to take over.”
Peter was an infrequent visitor now, and he signed off as my assistant teaching pro after the 2011 season. Peter assisted on the courts and at the house from 1986 – 2011, and he surely had the second longest tenure of anyone who worked for the Clarks at Comfort Island. George Root’s seventy-year stint as caretaker is a record that is hard to imagine anyone approaching much less surpassing, but Peter certainly had a major role in extending the length of our presence on Comfort Island.
I no longer felt the same...