Secret Paths and Gardens as Places to Transport Oneself

Real Estate Sales Representative with William Raveis Real Estate

When I was 10 years old, I had a summer experience of great wonderment. My father had taken a short term work assignment in Lynchburg, Virginia, and my mother, he and I took up temporary residence in an in-town ante-bellum mansion that had come upon hard times after the Civil War and was split up into rooms for transient tenants like us.

There was an unkempt back yard that was a bramble of underbrush that seemed all but impenetrable. In an apartment on the first floor of the building was a couple, Bella and Jake, who looked after the premises as caretakers. They were both world weary and Jake was particularly weather beaten. Sometimes in the late afternoon he would sit rocking on the back porch and tell me stories about the Civil War in which his dad had been a drummer as a boy.

One day while rocking on the back porch, perhaps observing that I was bored with nothing to do, he told me a secret. With a twinkle in his eye and whispering low, he related that, within all the bramble of the back reaches of the yard had been a beautiful formal garden, surrounded by a low wall and traversed by brick paths leading to a center fountain made of marble. It was still there, he told me, but now completely covered by years of vine and overgrowth that he estimated had been neglected from the time of World War I when the mistress of the property, before it had been converted to a multi-family dwelling, had died.

Can you imagine the effect the telling of this secret had on a highly curious boy of 10? Upon my begging, he allowed me to borrow his heavier garden tools from a shed and the majority of my days for the rest of the summer were spent, with his permission and my mother’s, cutting, hacking and pruning until I reached the outer rim of the fountain that had been long obscured. I didn’t totally finish the job before the time we had to leave town, but I did have time enough to create an effect in the dense growth much like the parting of the Red Sea.

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Bill Primavera is a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc., the longest running public relations agency in Westchester (, specializing in lifestyles, real estate and development. His real estate site is: and his blog is:  To engage the services of The Home Guru and his team to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.    


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Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Bill - That is so cool.  It's almost like an archelogical dig.  How fun.

Sep 04, 2014 11:27 PM #1
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Bill - you really have the immagination going now.  What history lover would not want to own this house in Yorktown Heights.

Sep 06, 2014 11:23 AM #2
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