December 22-28: A Christmas in North Carolina
February 12: At the Lincoln Park Conservatory
Return to the Index for 1983


September 9-11, 1983
A Weekend in Dallas

 

In 1981, with Greg living in Dallas, I had come down to visit him a couple of times. During one of those visits, I met some of his friends, including a doctor, Rich Olson, his partner, Rob Wicher, and a lawyer, George Pelletier and his partner Bret Foster. I had started doing some real estate investments with George, and so my attention was focusing more and more on Dallas. I had thought of moving down here, but was too well established in Chicago. Greg, however, had moved to Dallas from San Francisco in 1981, and had been fixing up a house over on Live Oak, but had sold that and was looking for another place to live.


The partial map of the Dallas area at left will give you an idea where the Williamsburg house is. I have been in Dallas a few times now, and have learned my way around pretty well.

I am most familiar with the area bounded by US 75 ("Central Expressway"), I-35E ("Stemmons Freeway") and I-635 ("LBJ"). This area is generally referred to as "North Dallas", except that the area closest to downtown (down by that little expressway connector that you can see just above the city name that connects I-35E and US 75 which is called "Woodall Rogers Freeway") is referred to as "Uptown". North Dallas is pretty much bisected north to south by the Dallas North Tollway; the North Dallas area ends on the west at Marsh Lane, the street that runs directly north from Love Field, that you can see on the map.

The "Crossroads", the center of the gay scene, is at the northwest corner of Uptown, but from there north is the most desirable residential area close-in to downtown. (The new city of Plano, north of LBJ, is becoming its own desirable area, but it is a pretty long commute from downtown.

The Williamsburg house is located in an area of North Dallas called "Preston Hollow"- home to such luminaries as Ross Perot, founder and chairmain of Electronic Data Systems.

I have been with Greg to visit Rich and Rob a couple of times, so I am passingly familiar with their house. Indeed, it is a nice one; one of its major attractions is that it is on the largest home lot in this entire area- actually a triangle of land bounded by Crestline, Williamsburg, and Valley Ridge- making it extremely private.

At a party at Rich Olson's early this year, we found out that Rich was selling his home and building another nearby. Both Greg and I thought Rich's house was very nice, and after some deliberation we decided to buy it together. Greg would live in the house, but we would make the mortgage payments together, with me treating the house as an investment, and using it when I came to Dallas. We bought it in July, and Greg moved his stuff in the next month. This house was actually more his style, in a much better area of town, and closer to the friends he was making since his move from San Francisco, so it was hard to talk him out of it.


We did decide to go in together on it financially; Greg made half the mortgage payment and paid all the expenses (since he lived there), and I made half the mortgage payment. I figured that with the real estate market in Dallas, we could always sell it for a profit if it didn't work out.


Greg found two other guys to share the house with him, in return for paying some rent and taking care of it when he was traveling, which was a lot. Their names were Dirk and Mike; Dirk was a psychologist, and I am not sure what Mike does.

I came down a couple of times to visit during the Summer, and finally brought my camera this September. At left is a picture of the three housemates around the pool, and at right is the patio area between the house and the pool area.

While I was here this weekend, I took a number of pictures around the house, and I also got some copies of pictures Greg had taken earlier in the year. I thought I would combine them all on this album page.


At right is another view of the pool; below is the kitchen, and beyond it the dining room. Greg brought all his furniture over from Live Oak, which he has sold, and there was enough to fill the house pretty much.


I like the way that all three guys have arranged their furniture and done their decorating. There is a fourth bedroom that serves as their guest room, so there is a place for me to stay when I come to Dallas. I think Greg believes that I will get comfortable enough with the city that I might want to move here.


At left is the living room, with its view to the pool. Below is another view from the kitchen out to the swimming pool. One of the greatest things about the house is the amount of light coming in to almost every single room.


Here are the pictures Greg gave me Most of them are of the outside of the house:


The Williamsburg House

The house sits on a lot that is over three acres in North Dallas. In front of the house there is a long, curving drive that leads from one side of the huge lot to the other, and this is the very front of the house.


The Living Room

In front of the house was a good-sized yard with a number of trees. Actually, this yard could have held even another small house, the lot was so big. There is a berm at the very front of the property that shields the house from traffic on Williamsburg Road.

The Saturday that I was here this time I went out to one of the Dallas bars on my own, a bar called Throckmorton Mining Company. There, I met a really nice-looking man named Bert Fox. We chatted and I got to know him a bit, and we exchanged telephone numbers. I thought he was attractive, and he certainly seemed interested in me. I don't have a picture of him.


The Dining Room

The dining room is just to the left of the den as you face the house, and occupies the corner of the "L" shape. You can get to the dining room from the front hall, the den, or the swinging door from the kitchen. This is Greg's furniture that he had brought from San Francisco.


The Kitchen

The house had a wonderful kitchen, with lots of room to move around. Everything was paneled, including the refrigerator at right. There were two dishwashers and two cook tops.

The kitchen was definitely constructed for entertaining. The kitchen counter made a great place for people to congregate. To the left of the kitchen, out of this picture to the right, was a seating area with a couch, a couple of chairs, and a television, all looking out onto the pool area. The kitchen was one of the best features of the house.


Right outside the kitchen is this neat garden area, with lots of flowers and plants. The whole area was shaded by a huge old tree, seen at right, that was ivy-covered. The kitchen and seating area are directly in the center of the picture, with the den and living room off to the left.

At the East side of the house there is a hot tub, just outside the master bedroom seen here. The entire lot is quite private, so one can use the hot tub without being seen from the street. There is that wall that protects the hot tub from view from the front of the house.

The south half of the Williamsburg lot is just open land that is undeveloped. Rich had wanted to sell it to allow the construction of another home, but there are some restrictions in the neighborhood that allow any neighbor to object to a subdividing of any lot, and Rich had one old neighbor living across the street from this vacant part of the property who objected. There wasn't much that Rich could do, then, except try to keep the area mowed. The "back forty," we called it.


I have stepped back quite a bit, and can now show a more extensive view of the back of the Williamsburg House. You can see the old trees and the nice yard, and to the left you can see the swimming pool. Beyond it is a shelter for garden equipment and the pool mechanics.

Behind the house, sheltered on two sides by the house and on the other two by extensive plantings, is this swimming pool, which is one of the nicest features of the house and almost a necessity in the Dallas climate. Being an established house, the trees and shrubs are old enough that they provide a lot of privacy.

Well, those are the pictures of the Williamsburg House from my visit this weekend.

As I mentioned above, I was out Saturday night and met Bert Fox, and I have an additional diary entry about him. This diary entry is password-protected; if you would like to read it, email me at "website" at "rondougherty" dot "com" and I will send one to you. When you have a password, just click the link below:

Bert Fox

 

You can use the links below to continue to another photo album page.


December 22-28: A Christmas in North Carolina
February 12: At the Lincoln Park Conservatory
Return to the Index for 1983