Thursday, February 07, 2008

Death of a Rental

I don't know how to put this genteely, so I'll just blurt it out.

The vacation house that I used to rent, along with a bunch of my college friends, mostly during my drinking years, will probably be going off the market soon. Like, this afternoon.

It's owners were Mr. & Mrs. John McWethy of Washington, DC. The house was located (on stilts) in a posh, gated, beach-front community just north of the sleepy little town of Bethany Beach, Delaware. It was a real extravaganza of a place, just steps from the water. We rented the place for easily 6 or 7 years, 2 weeks at a time. It was big and comfy, the way beach houses should be, with decks all over the place to watch sunrises and sunsets.

John McWethy was a noted ABC correspondent both locally in Washington, and nationally on the network. He sometimes substituted as a weekend anchor on the ABC Evening News.

An hour or so ago John was killed in a horrible skiing accident out in Colorado. He slammed into a tree at pretty high speed and his chest suffered massive crushing injuries.

Most of us had never met the McWethys. One of our tribe, though, had a first-hand connection to them. He works at ABC News here in New York and, in fact, that's how we first found out that John and his wife would, on occasion, rent out the house to "trusted" renters. Mr. R. was our in and, to the best of our knowledge, towards the end of our renting days, we were just about the only people left that they would let rent the place.

Mr. McWethy, wherever you are, thank you for renting us your beach house for years and years. We had a lot of fun, a lot of laughs, there. I'm sure you and your family did, too.

I'm sorry you got hurt and died. I hope it didn't hurt for long. At least you were doing something you loved when it happened.

Best of luck, wherever you are.

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