Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dover dream

Jeannine and I have just started our two-week vacation in Maine, and yesterday, to avoid a ridiculous traffic jam on southbound Route 1 and Route 95 on the way to one of our favorite New Hampshire swimming spots, I took us on a slightly circuitous route through South Berwick, ME and then into neighboring Dover, NH. At Jeannine's suggestion, I swung by the house we once rented there, just to see what it looked like these days.

It appeared about the same as it always had, though the paint on the wood trim seemed a little brighter, but what was most interesting was the "For Sale" sign in front of the house.

For many years I have nursed a small fantasy of someday buying that house, and doing something with it. What, you might ask? Well, aside from just being a convenient place to use as a base station for our yearly vacation jaunts into New Hampshire and Maine, my daughter has suggested it could make a nifty TMNT museum, and I had thought about that, but it is pretty small and there is not a lot of parking around it. (Not that a museum of this type would draw a lot of visitors… which is another reason, among many, to NOT do something like that. More to the point, would I even WANT to get involved with a project like that at this point in my life? No, thank you very much.)

The real impetus to buy the place is simple -- nostalgia. It is, after all, the place where Kevin Eastman and I created the Turtles in November of 1983, but much more important, at least to me, it's where Jeannine and I really started our lives together, and where we got married in the house's small back yard. (And it IS small… much smaller than I remembered!)

However, as we discussed it later, that kind of nostalgic fantasy is fun to indulge in up to a point, but it quickly gets bogged down in practicalities. The house would need to be taken care of, and we would be absentee landlords. We would very likely not stay in it often (it was a lovely place to live in some twenty-seven years ago, and closer to the ocean -- about ten miles as opposed to about a hundred and twenty -- than where we live now, but if we were to buy a place closer to the ocean -- something we've talked about, and continue to consider -- it would have to be a LOT closer to the ocean -- like, within sight of it). This house in Dover is on a small side street, surrounded fairly closely by densely-packed houses and apartment buildings… not really our dream location.

So, as much as it appeals to the nostalgic fantasy part of me, I think it's probably wisest to just hold on to the good memories of the place. -- PL


TMNTboy said...

I would love to go to a TMNT museum it would be really cool to see

Anonymous said...

it would be a beautiful thing to restore a house like that and make it into the house that gave life to the tmnt. very much how they did it with the superman house. but thats just so much work to do and very time consuming. one day i really hope there is a tmnt museum, there such a large icon of what was the 80's and 90's and even in todays popularity,

i think at some point i may happen but i just it does when im around! :-)

mikeandraph87 said...

I love the idea of a TMNT Museum,but like in your post it would take too much work and maintaining and the same problem of maintaining it would happen even if using it as a second home. Its one of those things that sound great,but then the realities kick in.

It would be be great if a historicla marker sign that cities put up could be done for the house where the TMNT were born at least! Maybe that is sometihng that could be looked into one day!

Enjoy your special time with your wife.

Adam Riches said...

Personally, I think if you are able it may be a nice thing to have...for the sake of having. Though that is completely counter productive from the standpoint that you are trying to rid your life of clutter both physical and emotional.

However, I must say as a fan of TMNT (and happy marriages) it would certainly be cool to own that spot again. Perhaps you could renew your vows there one day, is that a good enough excuse to consider buying? I also love the idea of a TMNT museum, but I'd be more inclined to say the Mirage building should house that, as it's more spacious and (I believe) not in a residential area. Plus if the house is that far removed from where you live it would require constant care, and if turned in to a museum it would require constant supervision since I imagine it would house valuable items.

Either way, it's pretty cool to know it's still standing and in decent shape for you to visit. Perhaps it's best left that way as a memory that you can return to form time to time, without the full time burden of home ownership.

I'm sure you must have gotten a picture, which I'd be interested in seeing (maybe you could blur the house numbers or any other relevant info).

Anonymous said...

Any pictures? At least so if some one did want to buy it..

Don Juan said...

Everything about this house sounds amazing. So many great things to happen here for you and in turn, us who are fans of your work.

Have you considered using it as a vacationing rental home? My fiancée and I look every summer (sometimes winter) to take 1-2 weeks off to stay in Maine or NH, away from everything. (We live in southern Mass).

The nostalgia of this place would be a great selling point in renting the home.

Also just to throw it out there. I am a licensed carpenter, and I would love to be able to work on this house. I've worked out deals in the past (with vacationing homes in NH) to where I work on the home and in return I get certain weeks to vacation. Win, Win situation.

Like I said, just "throwing it out there", because one may never know what may come of it.

Good luck to you in whatever choices you make Peter!


From Mary's Pen said...

As cool as the idea of a TMNT museum is, there comes a point where your creation is no longer fun for you to indulge so much of your life into... and it sounds to me as if you've come to that place.

I don't know if I've ever said this, Mr. Laird, but thank you. The world you created with the TMNT was a huge part of my own childhood, and has become something I share with my own kids through the dvds, movies and books.

All that aside, though, it sounds as if you're ready to move on to a new stage in your life. I'm so glad to hear you're able to use the happy memories from this little place to inspire the making of new ones, without getting bogged down in the past.

I wish you the best of luck.

Rejoicing in the day,