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Tattle Tale Talk #1

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Chapter 1

False Impressions

    Come on...find the clues and figure out the answers then save your industrious work.  Submit all three (1,1,1) QUESTIONS (10 questions from each of 3 books in the series) to find out if you are the one who correctly answered the questions and is picked to be the contest winner.  The PRIZE: MY HOME in Florida.   Please read all the details of this contest on the Details Page.

     This will be my legacy to give someone a beautiful home.  The American Dream has been slipping away for too many people in our nation.  

     What was one to think moving to a place proclaiming "Entering Kennebunkport" ... and not "Welcome To"... as most towns do on their greeting signs?  I should have known not to trust 25 years of my life to living in such a place, but everything that wasn't sold in New Jersey and all the possessions my family could not part with sat in the first of 15 trucks of household goods outside the real estate office on a very cold January day.

     We did look at various possibilities on a few trips to Maine, but everything was sold or under contract by the time we could make our move.  The only option left to us was a residential house called Heartbreak Hotel.  A local restaurateur had owned the house and had rented out the rooms to anyone who needed a place to sleep.  When each summer came to an end, the boys and girls separated returning to college or to wherever, and thus the name stuck with the local townspeople.

     Sitting in New Jersey, Maine became an illusion gathered on one's mind from looking at all the picture calendars, magazines, and books depicting an idealistic way of life.  White clapboard houses with green shutters on peaceful elm treed lined streets near rocky beaches with picture perfect blue sky and ocean.  An inert feeling of embracing Colonial America in Maine appealed to one's sense of longing for a simple and uncomplicated life.  After all, my uncle assessed the only choice we had by proclaiming "One could not find a better-situated house in America with a barn that overlooked the main business area of a town". 

    We only had the information from the listing sheet that we took back to New Jersey, when we made the decision to purchase the house.  I can only remember stopping in front of the house on one of our trips to view properties.  I went up onto the front porch and lost interest at first sight, when I saw the peeling white paint on the clapboard siding and rotten floorboards on the porch.  The house was situated only about five feet from the street, so I guess that this was done so that one would not have much snow to shovel in order to get out into the street.  This house just had no curb appeal even though, it had a four story barn attached to the backside of the house.  We learned at the closing that the furnace might not be working, since all the radiators froze up and burst when the water thawed.  The real estate agent told us that the real former owner who was the last person in her family line was 100 years old and confined to a nursing home had heard that a family was purchasing the home, and that she was just delighted to hear the news.  We were only the fourth owner of the home, since it was built in 1745! 

     Our illusion was quickly shattered as the reality of our situation became more apparent upon our arrival at the house.  The house was unlivable.  We quickly rented a seaside cottage for 6 weeks, while we drew up a plan of attack.  The real estate agent informed us that we had to hire the local boys to do any work if we wanted to "fit into the fabric of the town".  We had no objection to this scheme and made the necessary telephone calls to arrange help.  The local telephone operator at the other end of the line overheard all those calls.   We paid for a private telephone line, but all lines in the town somehow were third party!  We didn't mind this,  as this was a way of broadcasting that we were going to be good neighbors and hire only local boys to do such work as scrapping and painting the clapboard siding.  Architecturally speaking, the style of the house was called Greek revival with the distinguishing end columns. The painters found traces of black paint along the stripes of the columns, so the decision was made to paint those black for a complete original restoration of how the house looked around the Civil War in 1860 when the house was first painted.  Before that time, we learned that the houses in the town remained natural in their cedar raw wood color.  The black painted stripes were complemented with black shutters.  This restoration scheme caused quite a stir within the town, as we did not conform to the norm of an all white house with green shutters which are found in most New England towns whose origins started after War World 11 that lefted the spirits and ended the doldrums of war. People sent us old photographs of New England houses painted with black trim to support our cause, but this was to no avail; the local folks just didn't like what we did referring to the house as "pin-stripe".   Someone even gave us an old photograph of our house with the black trim, metal roof and granite fence that ran along the front of the house.  We learned that some Boston builders purchased a lot of the granite fences in New England towns in order to use the stone in their construction of bank buildings in Boston.   The photo showed a horse and carriage leaving the barn, thus we called our new house, The Carriage House. 

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