Life can be curious & funny at the same time. This is a little story about a man that I knew & liked for years here in Val Vista Lakes. One of those guys that you’d spend an hour talking with, and it seemed like 5 minutes. We had very much in common that we knew of, and even more in common, that I only learned after Sid had crossed his own finish line.
Some retirees gravitate towards age-restricted communities, and that’s fine, as it is a choice they make for themselves. Others, stay inside of a community that crosses all age groups. When asked, they will say that the mix of ages helps keep them “thinking young”, and makes them feel better.
More connected. More vibrant.
Who knows which group is right?
Back to our story… At times, I’ve attended HOA meetings. At times, I’ve spoken up, and in doing so, end up on the board. A couple times, in the center chair, running the meetings, signing lots of documents, etc. Usual stuff that HOAs involve themselves with. There are generally a few faces in the crowd, folks who pay attention, and offer advice. Some of the advice is quite good, some not-so-good. But these folks can be counted on to CARE. They care enough to show up, if for no other reason to make sure the boards stay within their boundaries. The libertarian in me appreciates them.
From the late 1990’s onward, one face, one man, stood out in my mind as the guy who would offer advice on almost anything, but it was almost always community-related. Sid Dubitsky was this man. I enjoyed all of the conversations we had. Some were after meetings at the clubhouse, but even more were had at the grocery store. I’d run into Sid , often on the first Wednesday of the month, at Frys, where we could talk like old buds, old shipmates, even if a few months had gone by since our last chat… Pick right up in mid-conversation. Uncanny… And it was almost always about what was best for the community. Never about what might be best for Sid. He had the ability to see the larger picture – a skill set often found in short supply around HOA meetings.
So, in January of 2016, I get an e-mail from a gal, asking me if I could come help with her late fathers’ home, here in VVL.
“Sure, I’d be happy to do that! Who was your father?”
Imagine my surprise when she said it was Sid Dubitsky. That explained why I had not seen him at Frys for awhile ~ he’d finished up an 88 year run at this crazy thing called life. Sid lived a good life, and touched many, many people. Sid was one of those guys that everyone liked to have around. And now he was gone…
When I arrived at the home, I had the quick tour. Even though Sid & I made sure to interact when we met in public, neither of us had been to the home of the other… When I looked at the office, up on a bookshelf, I saw an old black & white photo, 20 x 24, of a sailor on the deck of a ship. It was grainy, and appeared to be 1950’s vintage. The sailor was looking outward, as if on a watch detail. That sailor was Sid. He and I both served at sea for the US Navy, but neither of us knew that about the other! How could this be? What cruel trick had the universe played on us? He and I could have killed a six-pack or two, talking about old Navy days! And we never knew!!
Why did the universe bring he and I so close, sharing so many values, yet we missed on that huge commonality? That is a question I’m still working on ~~
Sid had 3 daughters, each living successful lives in various parts of the country. All 3 were in town a week or so later, and we put the home on the market. At the time we were meeting, I knew of another buyer looking for a home in VVL, and called her Realtor from the property. The Realtor & buyer came over an hour later, with her 2 daughters, looked at the home (and met all 3 of Sids’ daughters) and shortly thereafter, they bought the home. Seems fair to say it sold in an hour, but really, it was the next day before I gathered the daughters signatures…
The other Realtor, (let’s call her Lisa) was a pleasure to deal with, as were Sid’s daughters, and the buyer. Heck, everyone was great, including the neighbors, who were instrumental in donating & selling much of Sid’s stuff… Turns out Lisa was at Realty Executives while I was there, and is at HomeSmart, where I spent the last 4 years, until January of this year. We both like distance and obstacle course running, although she has 5 triathlons under her belt and married an Olympian! Hard core compared to my lazy resume of a few half marathons & a few of the 200 mile team relays, etc. Somewhere along the way, I learned that Lisa & I shared a birthday! This whole transaction was a years worth of curious parallels!
In reflecting on all of this, I am certain that Sid is looking down on the whole situation, and he’s smiling! And that would be just like him – to leave a legacy of honor, 3 upstanding daughters, and ultimately, a most pleasurable sale to a family very much like his own. The curious alignment of the moving parts of this sale (and almost-alignment of 2 Navy guys) is something to marvel at… It is an honor to have been a friend of Sid’s and to help his daughters with one of the last chapters in his book…
Anchors Away, Sid!