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March 06, 2009
Is it still called “hooky” when you step away from the office in pursuit of more pleasurable activities?
I’ve caught a flight to the West Coast of Florida to see a little Spring Training in the Grapefruit League.
En route to watch the Red Sox play at the very pleasant City of Palms Park in Ft. Myers, I stop at the Edison & Ford Winter Estates on McGregor Boulevard. I half expect to park next to a Model T.
The two houses, Edison’s “Seminole Lodge,” and Ford’s “Mangoes,” stand side by side. Undisturbed by time or nature, they possess innovations that even the most modern homes might envy.
Large overhanging porches circle each house. These, combined with French doors on the first floor, provide a cool breeze at all times. Edison built one of Florida’s first pools here with the cement from his own company and filled it with water from an artesian well.
The garden, initially created to support Edison’s scientific investigations, contains more than 1000 varieties of plants from all over the world, including a 400-foot wide banyan tree from Calcutta, a gift from Harvey Firestone in 1925. Mrs. Edison later enhanced the garden with roses, orchids and bromeliads.
These rambling homes have a remarkably gracious and undisturbed quality about them. Like Hemingway’s house in Key West and Teddy Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill, they offer the suggestion that their occupants have simply stepped outside for a long walk and will return momentarily.
They also have a certain tranquility and serenity about them conducive to great thoughts and invention.
Where do you go to create your best work?
Reputed to be England’s oldest pub, The Trip to Jerusalem is hollowed out of the solid rock upon which stands Nottingham castle.