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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Interview #20
Interviewee: Bennett Cerf
Interviewer: Robbin Hawkins
New York City
February 7, 1968


Tell how you acquired your place in Mt. Kisco.


That was in 1951. We had never owned any property outside of New York. I'm a city boy. I'm a fourth generation product of Manhattan Island. My family and I had spent a couple of summers up at Provincetown. At this time, my older son was about ten and my younger son was about five. We had to get them away in the summertime. It was very hard for me because I couldn't commute to Provincetown. I didn't particularly like to go up there for the weekend. So, in this year of 1951, I decided that we were going to take a place in the suburbs. As long as there was a place where I could swim I said that I would be willing to commute, though I loathed it.

My wife Phyllis wandered around looking for places to rent with swimming pools. There weren't very many--and the ones that were available were hideous. In despair, Janice Winterling, who pretty much controls the real estate in North Westchester, said, “I'll show you the most beautiful place that I ever saw. It's for sale, not for rent.” Phyllis said, “I'd just like to see a nice place after the horrors that you've shown me.” This proved our undoing! Miss Winterling showed her the estate we now own

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