Im moving. Its freaking me out. Years ago, I wrote lovingly about my edifice complex and my complicated love affair with 58 Olde Main Plaza. This is a great big old building. It holds a lot of irreplaceable memories of Dr. Bodie holding court, dispensing his considerable humor and well-tested advice to this new grad.

When in doubt, make em see better. Word to your mother.
But, with his passing several years ago and his wifes infirmities, the buildingstill owned by the familymust move on to a new owner. Dr. B. and I often theorized that I would be that new owner.

So, I had a structural engineer take a peek, and he stated with finality, Dr. V., you do not want to be the last person to own this building. Turns out asbestos and black mold do not make a great martini. Go figure.

The street outside has also, in a word, devolved. Sure, Ive always dreamed of owning a bar. Now, I have one on either side of me. I just dont happen to own them. It hasnt been too bad, although one holds a wet T-shirt contest every week. I make it a point to run over every time and complain for a couple hours, but dont tell my wife.

Oh, weve had a broken windowpane and some graffiti (Dr. Vickers is a nut). Yes, someone set a little fire in my unlocked foyer, but at least he put it out while urinating. Its been OK.

And, I have put my kids through college by recycling the bottles I pick up every morning. Its fine. Really.

There are tenants upstairs. Their toilets and washing machines constantly overflow. They smoke everything. Its not bad here at all.

Downstairs, I just make em see better. Its been a great run. But once we decided we would not buy this building at any price, we had to look around.

The Search
A very successful mentor once told me that after you graduate from optometry school, every decision should be made for one purpose: exit strategy.

When I retire, there may not be much call for a beat-up old practice with sewer spots on the ceilings, broken beer bottles stuck in the landscaping, and some unzipped dude setting fire to the foyer as his girlfriend in a wet T-shirt looks on.

This new generation of O.D.s is soooo particular. Theyd rather be near the mall. Or, just as likely, IN the mall.

We ran all over town looking for alternatives. One fancy fellow offered us 2,000 square feet for $4,000 a month. Oh, it also needed to be finishedat my expense. But the deal breaker was his $6 pair of reading glasses. His brother is an ophthalmologist. Figures.

We saw a building for sale. This was owned by a very capable and friendly family physician with whom weve had a good working relationship for many years. I had never met her but had spoken to her about patients and even received referrals from her. Wow.

Her mom was ill, and she had to move back to Indiana. I told her I was very sorry to hear that her mother lived in Indiana, and she laughed. A match made in Heaven?

As of this writing, everything is bustling along, but we havent closed yet. I dont know what this term means, but it must be important in real estate because my wife keeps bringing it up. Personally, I look forward to closing. I hope it includes some sort of cake.

The new office is next door to another friendly family practitioner. Apparently, she has never had a wet T-shirt contest at her place.

Oh well, nothings perfect.

Vol. No: 142:2Issue: 2/15/05