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Reflections

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by Eddie Bass

Contributing Editor Eddie Bass died March 26. The following column, Eddie's last, was submitted for inclusion in the March 30 issue; staff remembrances of Eddie filled that space last week. This will be Eddie's final original "Reflections" column, though "Best of Reflections" may appear here from time to time as appropriate.

A new series of contributors will begin filling this space next week.

Eddie Bass' voice will be missed by the staff of the Business Journal, as well as by its readers.

It feels strange to run this colum with Eddie gone, but we feel we owe it to him to publish his final article.

It's just beginning to dawn on me that I am breaking up housekeeping after more than 50 years.

The recent death of my wife makes it necessary for me to move into a retirement community where I will have a measure of care.

I'll pay a monthly fee, which will cover all of my living expenses except for my telephone and cable TV charges. That includes three meals a day, weekly housekeeping service and all utilities.

But back to the trauma of moving ...

I suppose I set a record of sorts in the time it took to sell our house.

I signed the listing contract and the real estate salesman put the signs in the yard on a Saturday about noon.

We had a looker that afternoon. And we had another looker the next day. It turned out that the Sunday looker was acting on behalf of her in-laws, who were wintering in southern Texas.

On their behalf, she made an offer, which was about 5 percent below the asking price. I rejected the offer, explaining that we believed the house was priced fairly and we were for the moment, at least sticking to our asking price.

She called her in-laws in Texas. They asked if I would agree to hold the property until they could come to Springfield and inspect it. I agreed.

They arrived in Springfield on Tuesday and immediately gave the house the once-over. "I'll be back tomorrow morning," the man announced, "to inspect the attic and the crawl space under the house."

As promised, he made his final inspection on Wednesday, pronounced the house to be "in excellent condition for its age" and signed the purchase contract for our asking price. He also said he would pay cash.

Some folks say the speed with which the house sold indicates we priced it too cheap. I don't think so.

The purchaser says he wouldn't have paid a nickel more for the house than he did.

And my real estate man used his computer to compare our house to the selling prices of comparable houses in our part of town.

Rather than pricing our house too cheap, I believe we hit the price about right and were awfully lucky to find the buyer we did.

It seems this 60-something couple built a house, complete with swimming pool, at the edge of Phelps Grove Park a number of years ago.

But as they got older, the swimming pool became more of a burden than a pleasure.

So, a few years ago, they sold their Phelps Grove-area home and bought a patio home in the southwest part of town. But they missed the park.

They resolved that if they could find a good house in the Phelps Grove Park area, they would buy it. Our house came on the market and they grabbed it.

Now comes the task of moving: Sorting through an accumulation of more than 50 years of stuff, deciding which furniture to take with me, what to sell or give away, and what to try to keep in the family.[[In-content Ad]]

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