The following is an excerpt from Irene Pollin’s book, “Irene and Abe: An Unexpected Life,” available from Amazon at this link.
One summer morning in 1974, I was at home, working on my
graduate thesis, when I received a call from a friend. He asked if
Abe and I might be interested in taking over a house on the beach
in Rehoboth, Delaware that he had rented for the summer. He was
recovering from a ski accident and was unable to get there.
At the time, Abe’s older brother Jack had been quite ill with
cancer and I knew he loved the beach. I suggested to Abe that
perhaps we could share the season; Jack could sit on the wonderful
deck facing the ocean and recuperate. Abe loved the beach. It was
an easy sell.
It was a bright and cheerful semi-detached house. The best part
was being able to walk three steps from the deck onto the sand and
another 30 feet to the Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, Jack never got
there. But Abe and I did and loved it. I was able to complete my
thesis. As we were leaving the beach for home, I noticed the house
two doors down was for sale. I suddenly had an idea. “Honey,
let’s buy this house,” I told Abe. “We can use it as a getaway on
weekends as well as the summer. It’s only two-and-a-half hours
from Capital Centre. We can drive straight there on a Friday night
after a game.” He picked up on the idea and we drove home talking
about how wonderful it could be for us and Robert and his family
who were now living California. As was typical, Abe did not want
to miss an opportunity. The minute we walked in to our house, he
was on the phone, calling the owner. We bought the beach house in
ten minutes, sight unseen, over the phone.
A few weeks later, we spent our first night there. The previous
owners had left all their furniture, which was fine with us for
the time being. We were just so happy to actually have a house
at the beach. Lying there in my peacock-blue bed I was happy as
a lark, fully appreciating that I was in my wonderful new beach
house. In the darkness, with the sound of the ocean outside of my
window, I imagined all the great times we were going to have.
Then, as I stretched out, my hand reached behind into the slat in
the headboard and I felt something bite my finger. In the dark, I
yelled, “Oh, my God, it’s a mouse!” “Honey, it’s a mouse!” I heard
him scamper away.
“What do you want me to do about it?” Abe said, half asleep.
Standing on top of my bed, I yelled, “Go get him!”
Stumbling in the dark, Abe ran downstairs, found an old
broom, and began chasing the poor, frightened animal around our
bedroom. Until he assured me he had chased the mouse out of the
house, I would not come off the top of the bed.
I soon learned that the house wouldn’t take care of itself.