Edward L. Emes, Jr. grew up in Mount Vernon, New York, joined the Marine Corps, was a member of the Ohio State NCAA championship swim team, and moved to Georgetown in the early 1950s. After living in several houses, he settled on N Street where extensive repairs were needed: “We were in Georgetown at a time when an awful lot of renovation had to be done.” In his interview with Vivienne Lassman, Ed talks about his home’s previous owners (one was Nina Gore Vidal Auchincloss), the closing of the Sealtest Dairy on Prospect Street, swimming in the Potomac, and attending “exclusive” parties as a bachelor in the 1960s. Ed also explains how Georgetown has changed from a neighborhood with two or three restaurants and motorcycle bars into the tight-knit, child-friendly community it is today.
Vivienne Lassman: My name is Vivienne Lassman, and I am interviewing Mr. Edward L. Emes, Jr. Today’s date is Wednesday, March 20, 2010. The interview is being conducted in his home at 3226 N Street. Ed, would you like to just tell us a little bit about where you grew up? I know it was in New York and how you arrived in Georgetown?
Ed Emes: Yes, I did grow up in Mount Vernon, New York, up in the‑‑what would we call it‑‑the north end towards Bronxville. I went to the local grammar school, junior high school, and the high school there. I graduated and my father told me I was going to have to use my brains to get educated. I decided to go into the Marine Corps. The war was still officially on to get the GI Bill and when I was there I applied for various officers’ programs which would also give me an entree to college. I went to Fort Bragg, went up to Great Lakes, et cetera. The bottom line is that I went under an NROTC program and was told I had to get myself into college. I called the swimming coach at Ohio State and went there. I swam there for a year and a half almost there and then transferred to Duke. I swam under then‑famous coach, Mike Peppy and we were the NCAA champions. I transferred to Duke. I graduated in ’51, and I interviewed for various jobs.
I went to work for DuPont for a while and found out that it was not a seller’s market. They wanted me to go into production, so I left and went to work for an insurance company that dealt with financial institutions, banks and installment credit. They assigned me to Washington, and I moved here.
Vivienne: Which year was that?
Ed: It was about 1953, and I lived up at the corner of 31st and Q.
Vivienne: Oh, 31st and Q.
Ed: 1531 31st and I had lived at‑‑what was it‑‑1531 26th. I was at the corner there, too.
Vivienne: 1521 36th Street.
Ed: I believe it was 1531. It was a little corner building with four stables. It had been four stables and little one bedroom wooden houses in a row that abutted East Place.
Vivienne: You were in the house at 31st and Q Street in 1953. Do you remember…?
Ed: In that period, yes.
Vivienne: And you stayed there for how long?
Ed: Oh, about two years. With the sequence, we’ll run out of buildings.
Ed: From there I went to 3045 N Street. It was an apartment building that was owned by Judge Nielsen.
Vivienne: Up until now you had been renting all of these?
Ed: Yes. Then I bought a little building on Poplar Street. It was too small, so then I bought a building at 3020 O Street.
Vivienne: And did you live there for a while?
Ed: Yes, for about a year and a half. I moved to New York briefly. I came back and bought the next building (when I was in New York) from Abe Fortas’ wife. I forget what her name was now‑‑Carolyn Agger. When I was about to move back, I found out that the tenant moved out and then I moved in.
Ed: How lucky.
Vivienne: So, that was at 3020 O Street?
Ed: 3020 O and then the one next door was 3018.
Vivienne: And so, you bought that.
Ed: I bought both of them.
Vivienne: Both of them. And you bought that, too, and this was about…
Ed: That would be about 1961, in that period, or 1960 because I moved a few other places and bought this in ’63.
Vivienne: So, you bought your current home in 1963.
Vivienne: The 3226 N Street.
Vivienne: Did you have to do much renovation?
Ed: Oh yeah. [laughs] We were in Georgetown at a period of time where an awful lot of renovation had to be done. This was laid out totally different. This was made a bedroom by the owners.
Vivienne: The den.
Ed: They had split it and the guest bath was their bath, and they had a daughter that lived in the back. When I bought it, I was a bachelor and I moved in back and then we did a lot of the changes and additions to it. There were some units in this. Mrs. Gore lived in here, and her mother lived upstairs in the apartment above. Do you want to take a quick peek and you get a feel?
Vivienne: Certainly. Let me just turn this…
Ed: Oh, I’m sorry. Go ahead. Go ahead. Do you want to flip it off?
Vivienne: Perhaps, afterwards?
Ed: Sure. I’ll just take you and you can come back to this, if that’s what you want. That’ll give you a feel.
Vivienne: So, you did a number of renovations to make this have several apartments, and this neighborhood is just so close to Wisconsin, can you tell me about the dairy that was almost next door to you before it became what is now Georgetown Court?
Ed: Yeah. That was the Sealtest dairy, before that it was Wise Dairy, which I think was the family of Joe Wise who founded the Citizen’s Savings and Loan, which was up at the corner, and became eventually bought into Perpetual, and then that was bought out. Now, that has transferred, moved up to BB&T. In fact, that’s where I got my mortgage for this.
Vivienne: From BB&T?
Ed: No, from the predecessor, Citizen’s Federal Savings and Loan.
Vivienne: Oh, from Citizen’s, and the Wise family?
Ed: Yeah, Joe Wise, I think, had it. He also used to be over in Mrs. Millicent Chatel’s office, I think there was a transition. He had a real estate company, too. But back there, that pretty much. The dairy ran from where the old Capital Chemical which is now Domino’s in the back.
Vivienne: Domino’s is on…
Vivienne: Prospect, right.
Ed: Domino’s used to be Capital Chemical, which was exterminating, but the man who owned it; his name was Douglas Rollow; was a chemist with a number of patents and everything. It wasn’t an exterminating thing, it was more than that. It was a production facility. Next to it‑
Ed: They manufactured some things there, then it eventually became Becker’s paint, then when it was bought out it became Domino’s, because the big concern as they did that was what chemicals were down below.
Vivienne: I would imagine, yes.
Ed: Next to it, I used to have a back gate that I could walk out, a little alley we all shared from Potomac Street. I could walk out to that alley and across to Capital Chemical, on my way to go down on M street or something like that, and they had a monstrous brick wall that went 27 feet high behind me, abutted in the rear. When I was there, they were phasing out. They had some trucks, they did some repair work; not much; and then they had a parking garage which opened up on N street, where you see Georgetown Court. They’re further to the N entrance on the end. That was all built then, that was built in 1977.
Vivienne: Georgetown Court had been the Sealtest Dairy?
Ed: The old Sealtest dairy. A few people bought it‑ it was Jane Begg, a real estate lady, and a man, Mick something or other, who was an architect. Of course, the other interest was the Sealtest Dairy interest. That’s how it became this, Phoenix Georgetown was the name of it but it became Georgetown Court. Eventually, it was bought out by their lawyer, Robert Elliot.
Vivienne: Was it a large dairy operation?
Ed: Oh, it was big, big, cavernous. Really, it was a truck parking facility. There was no production of anything else, although years before other things went on. They used to raise chickens all through here, many years ago. I’d find oyster shells everywhere.
Vivienne: So, would you say that it took up half the block, or almost?
Ed: Oh yes. The facility now, with the exception of the little houses there, they go all the way through to Prospect. You can see, it goes all the way up to the alley and back of Martin’s. All the way back, it was sealed. What’s new there is a Sealtest area that goes all the way to Domino’s.
Vivienne: So it was the whole block.
Ed: You had great big, cavernous parking on this level, the level below, and then they just had a roof above. It was pretty massive, and very quiet. It was covered in ivy and vines, and it was very nice. I hated to see it go. When they came over with a wrecking ball, it was kind of a shock.
Vivienne: Yes, I imagine being so close to it, it was also disruptive.
Ed: Oh yes, there was a lot of contention and lawsuits and everything.
Vivienne: The other area that I think you have very specific knowledge of is the canoe club. Can you tell us about that?
Ed: In the 1950s, I had a canoe. It was a sailing canoe, actually. It had a gaff rig and a Marconi rig on it. Tiller ropes and Lee boards. I wanted a place to put it. I liked it, I learned to use sculls and all that at New York Athletic Club when I was a kid on Travers Island. I joined so I had a place to keep my canoe, then I started competing somewhat for them. When I moved to New York, that was the end of my association with them and when I came back, they wanted me to be introduced and be on a waiting list instead of re-upping, and I just said “Forget it!” I didn’t need that for other clubs I belonged to.
Vivienne: So, when you were a member of the canoe club, how large was the membership?
Ed: I really have no idea. I wouldn’t think there would be more than 100 people. What they did was, it was mostly canoes and kayaks, and then they started to get scullers and get into that, and all of a sudden there was very little canoe activity. Over the years, I don’t think there’s any left. Washington Canoe Club still does that. So when I came back and I wanted to put my Windsurfer somewhere, I joined that.
Vivienne: Where’s Washington Canoe Club based?
Ed: Washington Canoe Club, if you see Potomac Boat Club, it’s a green building.
Vivienne: The old green building, almost at the end of the road there?
Ed: Yeah, that. Almost on the abandoned tracks.
Vivienne: And so, did you do much racing on the Potomac?
Ed: I raced a little bit there, but I raced in the national championships in the ’50s on the Schuylkill River. One of the paddlers got sick and they drafted me. [laughs] I went up there and raced. We placed pretty well, but I got sick up there! I mean, wow, that was the worst thing I ever did, filling in. Yeah, I did some up there.
Vivienne: Typically would you race upriver or downstream?
Ed: Oh, they had a course. Not now, they didn’t have that many shells going up and down and all that. The old Thompson’s used to be, if you’re looking back to the left… Jack’s, I believe was Thompson’s, that part. That was the old Thompson’s, where Mr. Thompson rented boats and was active there, and then they took the name and moved it down to the facility that’s near the Watergate.
Vivienne: Right, right. So, this period was during the ’50s?
Vivienne: And, were they members of the clubs? Were they mostly Georgetown residents?
Ed: No, they were really from elsewhere. They all come in here, and then of course you’ve got the high schools rowing. There was a man named Charlie Butts who was the coach for years in the Potomac Boat Club, and he got this interest going, and then of course they are all over the place now. You’ve got a tremendous rowing thing. When I was here, most of the people just paddled up to Three Sisters, or up close to where the falls were. You couldn’t go beyond that. People swam in it all the time. Everybody says, “You swam in this?” Sure.
Vivienne: Yeah, because then, it was cleaner.
Ed: I used to go down below, off the marina. I used to fall all over, windsurfing next to them. I didn’t die, although the water wasn’t great. It was pretty grubby looking, but of course there’s so much silt coming down. Let’s say it was silt. [laughs]
Vivienne: So then, you bought this house in 1963. When did you get married?
Ed: To my late wife? 1969.
Vivienne: And your late wife’s name was?
Vivienne: Did you have any children?
Ed: Yes, we have one daughter.
Vivienne: And her name is?
Ed: Is Virginia Radley Emes.
Vivienne: Does she live here?
Ed: She lives on 30th and P. She went to Mount Holyoke, and law school at Catholic University. That was a big debate. Very tough, you know. Very strong. I think it was chartered by the church, and very, very strong conceptual views, and used to get her upset, and finally she realized they were also using it as debating point, to make them start objecting, and thinking for themselves. I think she learned a lot from it.
Vivienne: That’s good.
Ed: Now she’s planning on studying historic preservation. Now, they’ve waived her taking general educational tests. She thought that having, her Juris Doctor (lawyer), would preclude the necessity of going on. She may basically say, “I’m going to go if they waive it,” and luckily they waived it.
Vivienne: And so, Virginia grew up in this house.
Ed: Oh, yeah. She was one of the very few children growing up in Georgetown. Now, it’s unbelievable. I don’t think there were 20 or 30 kids in all of Georgetown when she grew up.
Ed: Yeah. And now, we must have…
Vivienne: That would be in the ’70s?
Ed: She was born in ’77.
Vivienne: So in the ’80s, there were not many children?
Ed: Not many, no. It’s just shocking what’s here now. It’s unbelievable. Maybe it’s because of the economy, and young people can afford to live in high rent areas. It wasn’t that high rent then, but it was relatively high. Now, all these little schools and everything? The proliferation and getting in a private school now costs as much as any college.
Vivienne: I know it does. I know. It’s very, very expensive. Did you and your wife entertain much? Did you have dinner parties?
Ed: Yeah, we’d have parties. It was easier for us out on the patio, because it had a pool, and we had a large brick expanse, so we entertained a lot there. Now, Betsy and I pretty much do it in here, usually around Christmas. I say, why don’t we do it some other time, when everyone’s gone? January or February. [laughs] You get regrets.
Vivienne: Was that in the ’70s and ’80s, entertaining around the pool? Were most of your friends from the neighborhood, or…?
Ed: We had a lot of friends from outside Georgetown. I belonged to a club, it was in Chevy Chase, and so we used that a good bit. Now, I hardly ever go.
Vivienne: Did you ever have any of the better known residents come to your parties?
Ed: You know, I don’t know what would be a “better‑known resident.” That would be hard to qualify. You have to remember, I went for…
Vivienne: Political, or…?
Ed: Yeah. I guess so. But for me, I’m not able to figure who would fit into that category. Yes, we had a pretty eclectic group and had a lot of friends from outside of Georgetown. Less, now. I don’t know, maybe it’s because of the parking problem. Valet parking is just unbelievable‑ if you can ever get a valet, with all the new regulations. We used to start telling people outside of town to go to Georgetown Inn and be our guests parking there, because valet parking became a really difficult thing. And they’d mess up the cars, too. [laughs]
Vivienne: I know that you bought the house from Nina Gore Vidal Auchincloss.
Ed: This is interesting: Gore Vidal’s father was an All American football player.
Vivienne: Was he?
Ed: Yes. And his brother played on the same team, and it was about 1920s at West Point. And his name was Eugene “Hunk” Vidal.
Vivienne: “Hunk.” Wonderful. I love that name.
Ed: And I’ve got some things that I found that belonged, and this is what his wife had, and I called the office and asked if he’d like these things from when his dad was “Allos,” and “Vidal, 1920,” and everything reading West Point. And he was not interested.
Vivienne: No? So, Gore Vidal grew up in this house?
Ed: I think she moved in later. I think she was here until she moved to Mexico. She moved, I think, to Cuernavaca. Because I used to get letters about forwarding her mail. She’d say, “I’m your live‑in,” and all this sort of thing. One time I said, “Rest assured, I will treat you gently.” [laughter] That’s the other thing. She was quite a character. Actually Nina Straight lived up the other end, her daughter. Kennedy lived down here this way, in the ’60s.
Vivienne: Kennedy was on N Street?
Ed: Yeah. He was just in from 33rd, on the right side.
Vivienne: So you were here when he lived here?
Ed: I wasn’t in this building. But I was here enough, looking around and that sort of thing. I used to see her wheeling, I guess it was Caroline.
Vivienne: So they were just very much part of the neighborhood?
Ed: Nobody was aware. After he passed away, she lived up with Averell Harriman on the other side. Then she moved across the street. It was called The Old Gibson House; I think probably the Frelinghuysens owned that one. Now it’s Miss America 1952, Yolande Betbeze Fox, is up there now. There are big magnolias that are set back above there. And she, I think, stayed there for a while. The Secret Service was all around there all the time.
Vivienne: So was it a close‑knit neighborhood?
Ed: It was different. When I first came here there were only about two or three restaurants and some motorcycle bars. One where Clyde’s was, and there was a… I forget the name of the restaurant up the street here. I know who the maitre’d was, Gaston Martin. Maybe the Martin, and Wisconsin. There would be very few restaurants, with the trolley tracks that were coming down. And they used to have a man that used to be underneath the tracks that’d do switching, up at Q Street.
Vivienne: Oh, gosh.
Ed: [laughs] It was different.
Vivienne: So you did know your neighbors and were friendly, or?
Ed: Yeah. It wasn’t close knit, but everybody sort of knew everybody. I knew everybody when I lived on O Street, running down, and you’d see the people right under. So I lived on 31st. I lived next to George Preston Marshall, who owned the Washington Redskins. His wife was Corrinne Griffith, was a movie actress and it was right across from the Christian Science Church. I got into music. [laughter]
Vivienne: So how was it for your daughter, growing up here with so few other children in the, where did she go to school?
Ed: Well she went to, that’s one of my little Jack Russells, she thinks she’s a puppy, she’s 10 years old, the other one, Beans is 13. Hey, you’re going to sit here and get hair all over everything.
Vivienne: She went to school where?
Ed: Well she went to little, she went to little play groups and that sort of thing, the first, and then she went to the, what was it, Child, a little school up in Cleveland Park.
Vivienne: Oh, Children’s Research?
Ed: Research, yeah.
Vivienne: Yes, my daughter went there at one point.
Ed: She went there and then she went up to, that was pre‑K and then she went up to the Methodist Church, they had another one up there. Then she went to St. Patrick’s and in third grade my wife was not particularly well, she was a diabetic with a kidney transplant and we decided to start looking for some school that would go beyond third grade and she was accepted at Holton Arms. She was very premature so she was bright but physical development and maturation were very slow, and she went to Holton.
Vivienne: So she went all the way out River Road to Holton?
Ed: Yeah, there was a man who used to drive kids around there who went there and she said most of her education was from that. [laughter] After Holton then she went to Mt. Holyoke, and then law school here. She moved back here after a couple of years in Boston, and frankly, actually is still staying here.
Vivienne: It’s wonderful. I’m hoping my daughter comes back.
Ed: Well she wanted to. I think she had an interest in law enforcement and was taking the law degree for that and she found a lot of benefits to being somewhere where you have family. Betsy, through our marriage I had extended family through Betsy, and a lot of people from South Carolina but a lot up here. So it’s worked out very well and so far she’s chosen, I think she’s found there are some advantages in having parental overview or whatever. And you know, you never stop being a parent.
Vivienne: Never. Absolutely true. You know, I’ve just finished reading “The Georgetown Ladies’ Social Club,” which I found most entertaining and that, the bulk of that period is the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, and I wonder if you knew any of the ladies, Katherine Graham, for example?
Ed: Well, actually, her granddaughter was my tenant for awhile and very bright, obviously, and so the only way I knew Mrs. Graham was I saw her a few times at something where she was there if not signing her book, something like that, but you know I knew where they lived and that was about it. And her granddaughter, of course, was there for about a year and a half, but again, very bright.
Vivienne: So you didn’t have any social encounters with say the Bruces or the Coopers or.
Ed: Well, I went to a couple of parties, as a bachelor with a friend of mine that went to UVA, my old ski buddy of 30 years, George Brassfield. We were there sort of as that, as the couple of extra young men, I wouldn’t use the other terms. [laughter] We did that a couple of places because I guess for somebody who was viable it wasn’t too insulting. It was nice to have around there because there were always more women than men.
Vivienne: Still are. Unfortunately, it’s true. That’s the demographic of Washington. So, was it fun socializing in Georgetown?
Ed: Oh sure. What did they have, bachelors and spinsters, when it was sort of something better than I think you have now? It was… I hate to use the word exclusive, a little more tighter.
Vivienne: What I came away from reading the book was that during that period of time Georgetown was really a village and a very close knit village with high powered government employees. A number of CIA people lived here.
Ed: Oh yeah. You really weren’t aware of it, but yet you became aware for one reason or another. I knew a girl over on Dumbarton. She lives in Georgetown now, but I didn’t realize about Cooby Greenway and her father was Gilbert Greenway and he was very high up in the CIA. But you never really knew it. They just lived there. Somebody would say, “Hey, do you know so‑and‑so?” “Wow, really?” You just didn’t know. There’s a lot of that around.
Vivienne: And there were journalists, too, like Ben Bradley who…
Ed: He lived up the street.
Vivienne: Oh, did he?
Ed: Yeah. He moved when he married Sally. They bought the house up at the other end. I guess it was called something like the Todd Lincoln House or something. I think it was the Freeling House and family that were New Jersey politicals that were up at N Street. Then, they bought that and the adjunct and ended up building. I guess they’ve lived up there ever since.
Vivienne: Now, you just said the words, “Todd Lincoln.”
Ed: I think that was called the Todd Lincoln House.
Vivienne: No, but I wanted to come back to our earlier discussion that you have found a clipping that after the death of Todd Lincoln, Mary Lincoln and President Lincoln came to this house.
Ed: They were reputed to come here for‑‑I should use the word, mentalist. I’m trying to think of a better word.
Vivienne: For a séance.
Ed: Yeah, something to connect with…
Vivienne: Because Mary Lincoln very much believed in being able to talk to spirits, and so there’s a record of her doing that, I believe, and to find out that this was probably the house where this person lived. We’ll certainly find out the name of it.
Ed: I think it was in the Georgetown Citizens Association, just a little article I seemed to read. I just saw it. I clipped it out and either put it under my house or personal or something, and I can either find it in a few minutes or I can find it and I can fax it or whatever.
Vivienne: But that, I think, is fascinating. We would certainly be very interested in it.
Ed: This is a funny house because so many people lived here. It was an admiral that used to be very big in the Alfalfa Club that was with Mark Clark when he was in the basement of some farm house when he was trying to meet the French partisans. He lived here and his wife was a social columnist for the Post years ago, and they came over and talked about some of the things that went on. They wanted to see this place. I said, when they had the Treasure House of Britain here, there was a woman by the name of Mrs. Phillips that rang the doorbell and asked if she could see where she used to live. Her husband worked here during the war, and he was a military attaché. I called an antique dealer over here who was British and said, “Is this woman bona fide?” He said, “Oh yes. She’s the mother‑in‑law of the Duke of Westminster, and the other daughter is married to some Irish peer.” They own half of downtown London, and she had a big piece… It was a Fabergé collection that they were here for. She came, and sort of said, “Oh, yes. I remember this.” I thought she was an angel.
And then, when Simon over at Fleming and Meers, was an antique over on 30th Street, said, “Oh, no. She’s very definitely quite bona fide.
Vivienne: Fascinating, the draw that houses that… We all have that curiosity about houses we’ve lived in.
Ed: The big rumor is that there was somebody else that used to visit here, one of the later presidents visits somebody who lived upstairs. She was a girl. But, I don’t know if it was true or not.
Vivienne: Which president?
Ed: Which one do you think would visit?
Ed: And there was…
Vivienne: So who lived here, then?
Ed: There was a couple that lived upstairs. All I know is that he was a dentist. And then, Mary Ann Means lived next door. She married Jack Kilpatrick, who was a older guy.
Vivienne: Who would JFK have been visiting?
Ed: I don’t know. There were units over there, too. To me, it’s a little farfetched, because he supposedly had a bad back.
Vivienne: He certainly was known for getting around, shall we say.
Ed: I have a friend that probably lived well, as being… He was an Air Force aide to Kennedy and then Lyndon Johnson. He was commanding Air Force One when he went down to Dallas, and he didn’t say much at all, but he always seemed to… He used to show up… be everywhere, and was treated with great respect, and was considered a consultant and all that with NATO. I always wondered how a brigadier general would be somebody that was going to NATO. He would never say much of anything. The only thing I remember him saying was that he talked about Jack Valenti. He talked about the steady hand on the ship of state, and the transition. He wrote an article in the paper. This man had a French accent. I called him, and I said, “Godfrey Witty.”
He said, “Steady hand? My God, the man was so scared, he was quivering!” [laughs] But, he passed away, and nobody had ever known. He was extremely discrete. I think I caught him with a couple drinks down at Palm Beach, and he just sort of… sounds good.
Vivienne: So, that’s fascinating that there’s a rumor that John F. Kennedy used to visit here. Of course, it’s public knowledge about his relationship with Mary Myer.
Ed: Oh, yeah. That’s down in Canal, but it’s open. That’ll never be resolved. She was a pretty attractive…
Vivienne: Did you know her?
Ed: I did not know her. I knew of her. She was attractive.
Vivienne: Because, I don’t quite know where it is, but apparently her studio was opposite, or part of the Bradley’s house, because her sister, Toni Bradley. And so, her studio was… must have been somewhere up there.
Ed: He was on the right path, somewhere past where JFK did live when he was a congressman. Yeah, you hear all the things. I wouldn’t know. I only know what I heard, and how much can you believe? Please treat this with discretion.
Vivienne: [laughs] Oh, you mean the tape recorder? No, of course we will. Do you have a favorite story about Georgetown, or a favorite event, or something that you’d like to share?
Ed: Well I always remember, and I don’t remember who it was, I had a ’56 T‑Bird, and I had a friend who asked me if I’d put up his uncle, who was coming up from Kentucky, and this man turned out to be, his last name was Fuson and he played for West Point and he must have been 280, 260, and his knees were sitting up in the T‑Bird, he could hardly get them to stay down there. We’re going down P Street and all of a sudden a car comes pulling out and all of a sudden you hear, we almost hit and, he was, “What do you think you’re doing?” It was the accent, and it was one of the two, there were two brothers, and I’m not sure who it was, and they said, “Yeah, you know,” and we went back and forth and all I said, “Doug,” which was his name, we just started to get out of the car and they looked down and said, “Have a nice day,” or something like that. I don’t know which ones it was, I think it was Teddy and one brother, but that was way back and I don’t remember, but it was kind of funny. Nothing ever happened but it was just a bunch of people too young acting.
Ed: I wish I still had that ’56 T‑Bird.
Vivienne: Oh it sounds as if it was a marvelous car.
Ed: I once drove up from New York with all his things from a family plot in the, what was it, in the Woodlawn cemetery, and my mother, they were breaking and taking everything, my mother said, “Pack whatever you can and bring it here,” so I have the urns out here and the old wrought iron bench that was in the plot and I had it broken down on the back of the T‑Bird and I drove like this, from New York to here and most of it’s back here and out in back. It’s kind of funny, you know like just think how things change. It used to be part of Westchester County, now it’s part of the Bronx, everything’s changed. I still have the title to the Woodlawn Cemetery, but I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. It’s just a plot of ground that they encroach on by broadening roads and all that sort of thing.
Vivienne: How would you sum up the changes since you’ve been in Georgetown?
Ed: Well the values have gone up and people who live here with a set income, I feel sorry for them because they’re not going to benefit with the property growth and yet they’re stuck in a house that they have, the taxes are raised, their expenses have gone up and a lot of people have left because of that. Sometimes they buy down somewhere else and it’s cost them more than if they stayed where they were. That’s sad. I think that the services, you know we’re in the District of Columbia, we don’t benefit too much from the city services, I mean that’s a complaint of everybody. I mean we, when I had to shovel out in front or where we got a snow plow six days later and this is a fairly busy street, there’s a day care center right next door. I like it, I’m here, I love it, I mean, we go to restaurants two or three times a week.
Ed: And it’s nice. We’ve had friends that say, “You live in Georgetown and crime and this,” and one real estate friend used to say that and I said, “Why are you selling all these houses in Georgetown if you don’t like it?” We don’t go to Prospect Street at 2:00 in the morning, I mean that’s something different with all the students coming back, and it’s a very quiet, other than the restaurants, and you know the busy streets, it’s pretty quiet.
Vivienne: Is it?
Ed: Now I’m glad I’ve stayed, I like it, I’ve thought of going other places but I find it’s better to visit and pay the cost and not have the tail wag the dog where you have another place you have to visit to see it hasn’t blown up, hasn’t blown down, beach property is, you know, it’s very iffy so we go visit or, and we have relatives we can go visit in the eastern shore, so that’s nice, and we get along with them, we like them. So, I like to think that we stopped them from being so lonely. My mother used to say that when she’d go down to Florida because she’d play me a hand of bridge and she’d visit all her friends and keep them from being lonely.
Vivienne: Well, thank you so much, this has just been so informative.
Ed: Well treat me kindly and cut out what shouldn’t be in there.
Vivienne: Of course.