Thursday, May 20, 2010

How the Dream Began

In 1951, an eight year old boy, Ed Leary, dreamed of building a castle.

In 1983, Ed Leary was 40 years old and he finally had saved enough money to purchased 20 acres of land in the Adirondack Park where he was going to build that castle.

Don't be fooled, there was alot going on in those "in between" years. He was plotting and planning every aspect of how the castle would be built, how it would function, and how it would look. Of course he was also working full time to finance his childhood dream. He took trips around the world, and even some right here in New York, to see various Castles to help inform him of what he wanted and didn't want in his.

In 1989 he started blasting the rock that would soon become the foundation. Big pour,after big pour of cement were done, thousands of concrete blocks were brought in and laid out, there are pictures and records for everything, Ed was thorough to the point of being more OCD than me. e worked tirelessly for the next 20 years with a crew of just a few close confidents, his right hand man, Jim Bombard, a local mason, wasn't in it for the money, but the glory of completing the Adirondack Castle with a man that had now become his friend.

Unfortunately, Ed's time ended too soon, when in 2005, at the age of 62 he died of a spinal infection.

The question on everyone's mind was, "what would happen to the castle?" The question was front and foremost for Karen & Don Watson becuase Karen was Ed's only living relative and the castle was now hers. Ed told her to "walk away, sell it, don't put anymore into it", but Karen couldn't. Not even she knew why, but she felt she had to get the castle to a point where she could pass it along to someone who could take it to the next level, hopeful the same direction and level Ed had dreamed of.

So, for the next 4 years, Karen and Don travelled from Vermont to work on and oversee the completion of the fourth floor and the addition of a finished roof on the castle. Jim Bombard was still there working away. The process was daunting and everyone was losing steam, but then Karen and Don pulled in their friend Mike. As Karen tells it, Mike helped bring alot of positive energy and renewal to the process with his energy work landscaping and the labyrinth he constructed aside the castle. It was now time to put it on the market and see what happened and in the early stages there was nothing.

It is now 2009, and the castle loses another one of its important players, Jim Bombard passed away in May. In October, the Post Standard runs an article, coincidentally or not, written by a friend of ours, Pam Lundborg, in its Real Estate section. I get a phone call from a close college friend, Barb, who sees the article in the paper and who jokingly or not,calls specifically to tell me about this castle for sale in the Adirondacks. She says, "this is right up yours and Andy's ally". So, I tell Andy about, we look it up online and Andy hasn't stopped thinking about it since. He was up visitng the property within a week of finding out about it.

So Pam and Barb, it is your fault, that for the next two years, you may not be seeing alot of me and my family cause we are in the Adirondacks completing one man's dream and making a life time of new memories for his family and friends, as well as ours.