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To kids, the indoor court was a marvelous playground, and tennis was only one of the wonders to be enjoyed.

We started our tennis there, of course, and in the old days s there was always a resident professional on hand, plus two full-time ground-keepers. A hundred feet from the entrance to the court was an outdoor grass court.

Era of Elegance

We were never allowed to play on it except at the invitation of my uncle, C. Whitney, and then only when he himself was playing. These invitations came on sudden notice, like a command performance, when some notable guest was a late scratch from a scheduled game. One thrill about the indoor court was to sit quietly on the small balcony and watch the great players who came out from New York to play there.

Kirkman House Museum - Era of Elegance

My uncle was only an average player, but he liked to play with the best. Later I remember Budge telling C. The pro gave us all lessons, and when we started to think we were pretty hot, he'd cool us off by taking our allowance money in a series of matches in which we would start off every game at love or love, only to discover that the pro, who for weeks had been hitting gentle balls within easy range of us, now could bear down like an angry Bill Tilden. The indoor court, in its heyday, was like the first of the cellar rumpus rooms: While tennis was going on, you could play pool in the enormous upper living room; a piano was there, too, and countless huge soft sofas.

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Off to one end of the building was an indoor pool, heated in winter, and in the men's dressing room were displays of body-building and weight-reducing equipment that would have made Vic Tanny envious. It had a hotbox and a special needle shower. Across the driveway, yards away in a building that was mostly the estate's office and carpentry shop, were squash courts and a bowling alley.

In short, if you wanted sport in Old Westbury, there was something for everyone, and in those days everyone took advantage of it. The tennis court was always cleared by 5 p. The superintendent, a firm, gravel-voiced man named Harry Kent, would order us out of the building while he and his assistant rolled and brushed the court. They would open a box of balls and lay the rackets carefully on the big center table. Beside it were pitchers of ice water and lemonade, and sometimes iced tea.

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Then, down from New York in their town cars would come the businessmen to play a game of doubles before dinner. If invited, we could reenter the building and watch from the small balcony. Any giggling or horseplay on our part and we were shouted out of sight. When the place was sold to Norman Blankman, he kept the court active and ran it like a club, with Frank Shields in charge.


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The last time C. Lester Lanin's band played where Don Budge had once played, and the lights that had burned for years until late at night while all of us ran about chasing tennis balls now burned until people's dancing feet were weary. The last time I was in the court was when Blankman sponsored an art show there. It was sad for me. A great part of my early life was spent in the indoor court, and now I don't particularly care if I ever go back inside the place or not. If you expect high tech wifi and large flat screen tv's in your room, you won't be happy here.

What you will get is a truly unique experience of being a guest in a restored opulent, if slightly faded, country chateau. We were the only guests in this palace and thus, it seemed as if we were lord and lady of the manor for a day. The hospitable owner catered to our needs with discretion and thoughtfulness.

She heated up our room and amazing and huge bathroom without being asked, and our plentiful breakfast appeared magically for the time we ordered it. Sleeping in a canopy bed and drinking out of fine china cups lovely teas and coffees and kettle provided in the room , was a delight. Looking out of our windows out onto the magnificent lawn and garden, and exploring the rest of this amazing home, was an experience we won't soon forget!

This place is well worth a visit. The owners have devoted a lifetime to a very special home. I overnight there just one night with my parents.

The palace is awesome, the surroundings, gardens, the building, the ball rooms. Breakfast was great and we had a great after diner conversation with the owner, they offered us home made wine. From the moment we arrived until the time we had to leave we were overwhelmed with amazement with both the stunning interior and surrounding parklands which are steeped in history On our arrival we were warmly greeted and enjoyed a complimentary bottle of red which we enjoyed on the terrace and finished off as the sunset and as we walked around the gardens.

The bedrooms were beautifully decorated in period style, very clean and comfortable.

Florence Collectibles: An Era of Elegance

Our hosts were extremely friendly and provided a magnificent breakfast. If you are travelling anywhere near this area a stay at the Palias is one that you will remember for a very long time. The relatively low cost of a room represents incredible value for the experience.. We, together with our friends, stayed for one night and to enjoy a celebration meal in Varades on the banks of the Loire. We were made very welcome on arrival and shown to our rooms which fully met our expectations. These were well furnished, consistent with the fashion and style of the period of the house and everything was exceptionally clean and well made up.

Each room had a large and very comfortable 4-poster bed and a very well-appointed and large en suite bathroom. A nice touch also were the fresh cut flowers in each room. In order to preserve, at least, a small portion of our environment we are attempting to memorialize a segment of the period that began with the turn of the century and ended with the beginning of WWI in Europe about circa Wilson was certain that this was the first educational institution in the village, or that portion that we now regard as the center of town.

Photo courtesey of Mrs. Much to my surprise, I enjoyed school for we had been placed under the tutelage of an excellent but somewhat stern teacher, who soon had us writing on our slates and reading from our primers. Henry Yingst was a familiar figure to the children of the New High School Building as he lived on Loretta Street just east of the school.


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His daughter Nora taught the second grade for several years beginning in when I was privileged to attend her classes. Robert Hood, who was custodian at the high school, resided on Henry Street just below the Myers home. During my third year in school, Mr. Lowe of Pindo Palm Pl. I am not sure where the school was in located in Fosterville, which was located in the north-end of Toronto.