A trib­ute to de­parted friends, and check­ing in on a few other ex­tra­or­di­nary peo­ple

Home - Santa Fe Real Estate Guide - - OUTANDABOUT - OAK­LEY TALBOTT Oak­ley Talbott can be reached at mer­ri­lyp­ier­son@me.com

Dar­lings, Be­ing away from my life’s work of com­pil­ing a so­ci­o­log­i­cal study of the Amer­i­can Real­tor for the last twom­onths, I toyed with the idea of end­ing this book of in­stall­ments called “Out and About with Oak­ley Talbott.” Then, as I pon­dered this, I re­al­ized I needed to get to writ­ing, as my dead­line was loom­ing large in front of me. Well, therewe have it, Dumplings, my de­ci­sion to con­tinue on, ap­par­ently.

Learn­ing of Ginny Sohn’s death in late March re­minded me of how long I’ve been com­pil­ing in­for­ma­tion about our real-es­tate com­mu­nity. Pump­kins, in case you’ve for­got­ten, a long time ago the Santa Fe As­so­ci­a­tion of Re­al­tors de­cided to pub­lish our own real-es­tate mag­a­zine, which was quite suc­cess­ful and way too much work. It was Ginny who res­cued us by bro­ker­ing the sale of our lit­tle mag to The New Mex­i­can (she was as­sis­tant gen­eral man­ager and the ad­ver­tis­ing di­rec­tor at the time). So to­day, you for­tu­nate read­ers, you have HOME mag­a­zine, the es­sen­tial real-es­tate sup­ple­ment pro­vided in our news­pa­per the first Sun­day of ev­ery month. It comes to you, rain or shine, as re­li­able as the U.S Postal Ser­vice used to be. Thank you, Ginny, for that and the myr­iad con­tri­bu­tions you made to the peo­ple of Santa Fe in your way-too­brief life­time.

Den­nis Branch (Logic Re­alty) was an­other pos­i­tive force in our real-es­tate com­mu­nity. Born with an en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit, he ren­o­vated homes, de­vel­oped a num­ber of sub­di­vi­sions and condo projects, and started real-es­tate com­pa­nies like ReMax of Santa Fe and Re­alty 3000. At one point, Cup­cakes, he moved to Cal­i­for­nia where he had the Re-Bath fran­chise for Or­ange County, nat­u­rally rock­ing bath­room re­model sales to new lev­els. Last fall, when he re­turned to Logic Re­alty and his friends/for­mer busi­ness part­ners, Lynn G. and Ran­dall Scott, he closed more than a mil­lion dol­lars of real es­tate in his first two months of be­ing back in the sad­dle.

Plagued by med­i­cal is­sues, Den­nis never let that get in his way. A whirl­wind of en­ergy and op­ti­mism, he was com­pet­i­tive, funny, and a teacher who gen­er­ously shared his knowl­edge with Re­al­tors new to the biz. When he died from a heart at­tack (his fourth and fi­nal one) that Fri­day in April, he was com­ing up La Ba­jada Hill, re­turn­ing fromAl­bu­querque with a load of bricks for his re­model in Sol Y Lo­mas. A huge loss, but Den­nis leaves a huge foot­print, filled with many happy me­mories and amaz­ing sto­ries.

One more ex­tra­or­di­nary hu­man be­ing who said good­bye last month is Don Hol­man. Don and his fam­ily (wife, Al­lane, and two chil­dren) moved here in 1980 from Pasadena. Orig­i­nally work­ing as a Real­tor with Wayne Ni­chols at the Ni­chols Agency, he ul­ti­mately moved to Cold­well Banker Trail­sWest and was there un­til he re­tired in 2013. We al­ways said that Don moved from a small of­fice to a larger one be­cause he needed a big­ger au­di­ence to en­ter­tain and teach. Sugar Pops, Don was the go-to guy when you needed to hear some­thing funny to brighten your day, and he was da­man for surewhen you needed help on your Mac com­puter or any­thing Ap­ple. Gen­er­ous, funny, kind, never too busy to help some­one else… that­was Don, an ir­re­place­able col­league and friend.

Well, But­ter Beans, I didn’t mean to turn this into an obit­u­ary col­umn. What else have I been do­ing lately, youmight ask. Not much, sadly, other than eat­ing out and eat­ing too much. Yes, Chick­adees, now that I’ve given up sex for food, I can’t even get into my own pants (an old joke I couldn’t re­sist). When I’m at lunch at Santa Fe Bar and Grill, I run into friends like Craig and Michae­lann Huit­feldt (Bell Tower/Keller Wil­liams) and DavidWoodard (Sotheby’s). Craig swears that suc­cess won’t spoil him, even though he and Michae­lann just closed on the IMUS RANCH, which makes them more fa­mous than Don Imus him­self (at least in our world). I’m in pro­duc­tion right now for the re­make of that old film, “Will Suc­cess Spoil Rock Hunter?” The ti­tle’s been changed, of course, to “Will Suc­cess Spoil Craig Huit­feldt?” Pos­sums, I’d tell you how it ends, but I don’twant to “spoil” it for you.

DavidWoodard thinks he’s the sec­ond old­est old-timer in real es­tate (sec­ond only to the King, Wally Sar­gent), but I think Philip Gud­win (SF Props) and Chris Haynes (Sotheby’s) are in the race, as well. David’s fa­mous for be­ing the fa­ther of Chris­tian, the­most pop­u­lar em­ployee at La Choza. A server, a bus per­son, and a fa­vorite host there for the last eight years, Chris- tian also has the dis­tinc­tion of shar­ing the same birth­day with an­other La Choza fan, Sam Pick. Co­in­ci­den­tally, Gum­drops, they cel­e­brated their lat­est birth­days si­mul­ta­ne­ously, al­beit at sep­a­rate ta­bles— at where else but La Choza. Chris­tian was 30, and Sam was...??

In the evening, on Tues­days for din­ner at Maria’s, I run into friends like Candice Jager (owner/bro­ker, Candice and Com­pany), and Bill and Liz Lay­den. Bill (Se­nior vp at Cen­tury Bank) was born into real es­tate. His dad, Bill, Sr., was a Real­tor and de­vel­oper for many years, but to­day he kicks back— ha ha— and just man­ages his ren­tal prop­er­ties. Bill segued into the mort­gage loan busi­ness, and has now been at Cen­tury Bank for 26 years. (Wow!) Liz (of­fice man­ager, Ste­wart Ti­tle) has been in the ti­tle busi­ness for at least 24 years. This I know, be­cause I re­mem­ber when Bill and Liz started dat­ing 23 years ago, and at that time she was work­ing for LaMerle Boyd, the best in the busi­ness and the owner of the now-de­funct Cap­i­tal City Ti­tle. Time flies when we’re hav­ing fun, huh, Love Bugs?

That takes care of lunch and din­ner. What about those evenings when I’m all alone (yikes). I read. My cur­rent book is Dou­glas Atwill’s lat­est, FIFTY-THREE PAINT­INGS, the Year 2017 in the Stu­dio. It’s a book of photographs ac­com­pa­nied by de­scrip­tive sto­ries of all the paint­ings he pro­duced last year, which he did in­stead of de­sign­ing and build­ing a new house for Gary Hall (Barker Re­alty) to sell. I don’t knowabout you, Cream­puffs, but I’m thrilled be­cause I get to look at pic­tures of his paint­ings for­ever, and I may never get to live in one of his houses. C’mon, Oak­ley, never say never.

So long, Sweet­peas. Un­til next time... Oak­ley

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