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TRADING HISTORYA Sixty Cent Check, traded for ...
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Two pieces of a house Jimi Hendrix lived in, traded for ...
A limited edition Super Bowl XXXVI football signed by Adam Vinatieri
It’s official: I have part of Jimi Hendrix’s HouseI met Pete Sikov at the Copley Square Hotel on Monday afternoon. Since we hadn’t met and I hadn’t seen a picture of Pete, I knew I wouldn’t recognize him. So I told him I’d be fairly easy to spot, since I’d probably be the only guy in the lobby holding a red, white and blue ABA basketball.
It wasn’t as tough as I expected, as the lobby of the Copley Square Hotel is pretty tiny. Pete popped off the elevator, and when he said hello, I instantly recognized the deep voice that I’d talked with on the phone earlier that morning. After a quick handshake, we made the swap. An interested onlooker was nice enough to take a few photos for us, and after Pete went back to his room to drop off his new ABA basketball, we headed to a local bank to get a notary to sign the certificate of authenticity that we were including as part of the trade.
Pete was in Boston to attend his daughter Danielle’s graduation from Tufts. We started our walk with Pete’s brother-in-law and mother-in-law. But his mother-in-law was on a mission to check out Trinity Church and left us in the dust -- so we soon were on our own.
Pete told me he was part of the James Marshall Hendrix Foundation that bought the house several years ago. At the time, the foundation planned on using the house as a community center focusing on youth and music. The foundation moved the house a few blocks so a housing development could be built in its original location. Seattle officials implied that the group would be able to buy the plot of land where they’d moved the house at some point, but when the incumbent mayor was defeated, that plan changed. The new mayor demanded that the house either be moved or demolished.
Nearby Renton, Wash., where Jimi Hendrix is buried, tried to convince Pete to move the house there. He scouted the area and found what he believed to be the perfect location right across the street from Jimi’s grave in a mobile home park, but it wasn’t for sale.
So Pete continued his search. And after months of searching for a new location, Pete was reading the Sunday real estate section of The Seattle Times when he saw that there was a mobile home park in Renton for sale with 49 lots. He wasn’t certain it was the mobile home park he wanted, so he drove down to see how many lots there were at that site. Low and behold, he counted 49 mailboxes.
He called the real estate agent immediately, and when his call wasn’t returned, he left another message the next day at 9:01 a.m. When he finally got a response, he found out that the site was in the final stages of an agreement, but he insisted on leaving his number in case the deal fell apart. A few days later, the real estate agent called Pete back to see if he still wanted the property. Pete did, and the next thing he knew, he owned a mobile home park across the street from Jimi Hendrix’s grave. Pete moved the house there in September, 2005.
Pete is no longer affiliated with the foundation and is now the sole owner of the house. The plans for the house have also changed, and Pete now plans on restoring the house’s look and feel to the mid-1950’s, when Jimi lived there, including playing period music that would be similar to the music played in the house at the time.
Interestingly, when the Hendrix family lived in the tiny house, they actually rented one of the two bedrooms out to help pay the mortgage. One man who rented the room may have been partly responsible for the musical genius Jimi became, as he often played his jazz records in the house.
As we neared the end of our afternoon together, Pete’s daughter found us on the street by his hotel. I was amused at how she seemed to tolerate her father’s little side project on his trip to Boston. I could almost hear her thinking, “Oh, here goes Dad again with another one of his crazy ideas.”
It’s an amazing story, and an even more amazing coincidence that Pete happened to be in Boston over the weekend. Pete said he has been amazed by the synchronicity of the events that accompanied his involvement in the house, and our chance meeting in Boston is another example.
Pete was nice enough to take an hour out of his trip to make this trade and tell me his story, so before we went our separate ways, I wanted to know why he was interested in trading with me. He confessed that he looks on Craig’s List every so often to make trades. He saw my story and thought it was fun, so he wanted to be involved. Pete also says he’s been known to play poker, though not as much as he used to. I’m willing to wager it would be fun to sit down and trade stories with him over a game of cards.
So now the pieces of Jimi Hendrix’s house are in my possession. Send those offers my way! The WSOP is less than seven weeks away, so get those offers in fast!
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