It happened again at a party yesterday. Our good friend Cynthia Fowler published her first book, Hooked Rugs: Encounters in American Modern Art, Craft and Design (The Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950) .
Most of us were not used to taking a Saturday afternoon to party it up, but party we did, within the confines of a social set that would be celebrating a book such as this. Cynthia works with my wife at Emmanuel College in Boston. Kathy started working at Emmanuel full time in Sept 20th of 1988. I know this date specifically because it was two days after we were married. Cynthia has been at the College for 6 years. I know these people, they know I am in real estate, we discuss real estate but it is all casual. Meandering conversations about the market and the neighborhoods, the rates and what they read in the paper recently that kind of conversation. Yesterday took a turn.
Walter is nearing retirement age. He is looking to buy an 8 car garage. We have had this conversation for some time, but yesterday I found out the real reason, the idea behind having a whole bunch of garages. Walter is a world class guitar maker. His houses are filled with special wood he has collected, saved, stored, shuffled and hoarded, some might say, for years. Walter is the Woodshop Coordinator at the Department of Visual and environmental Studies at Harvard University. This guy has tools and knowledge, and stories, lots and lots of stories. So we were talking about the garages again and he explained that he wanted to create a place for starting visual artists to work. An environment where artists can come and share space and ideas and coffee and talk. He sparked right up as he told me his vision.
I had done a preliminary look for 8 car garages around the areas he was looking for some time ago and sent them to him. They were part of large houses and the price was wrong. He wants to create a kind of shared work and grow space for fledgling artists, musicians and thinkers. As he told me of one such set of garages he found it dawned on me what he had found would be in a number of areas we are searching. Banks of garages built into the side of a stone face, with the homes on the top of the hill not directly connected to them. Quite often the land and garages were owned by another party and just rented to the homes up above. Walter's descriptive stories to me opened up my own visual memory banks and I knew where I could find what he was describing.
It is part of what every good Realtor® does is to do the investigative work to find the harder to find, the not on the MLS, the hidden gems. Seeing just what is there on the internet is not all there is at all. This is why this is a profession. As a professional I have to immediately disclose that I am an agent able to work for Buyers or Sellers and that here is a sheet of things we must do for you, Mr Consumer. But wait, this was Walter. He knows I am a Realtor®. I wrote just a week or so about a situation I had with a friend/potential client "That's not the way we work, We'll take a flyer of that" - The mistake I made was in going to far into the relationship without doing the professional dance. Funny how it is more awkward with a friend, than it is with a stranger. I will help Walter either way, I like his idea and this area would benefit big time by having his skill, knowledge and tools at hand for the artists to grow with. But I also will launch directly into the Disclosure explanation the very next time we speak this week. Congratulations Cynthia of your book. It was a fantastic party.