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Bennett CerfBennett Cerf
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Everybody thought that it was his place because he used the facilities most often. He was a swimmer on our Olympic team and a great golfer besides. That's why the golf holes and the big pool were built. The poor old owner of this place fumed when everybody took it for granted that it belonged to his son-in-law.

We made him a tentative offer, which was less than two-thirds what he had been asking for the place. Of course he said “nothing doing,” but he was absolutely mad about literary people and theatrical people. He took a great shine to my wife Phyllis. One night we were sitting in the Pavilion Restaurant having dinner with Jack Benny. I said, “Here comes our Mt. Kisco tycoon! He wants to meet Jack Benny.” He came over, and of course he did want to meet Jack Benny. Then he told us, “You know, I've been thinking about my place up there. Several other people have looked at it, and I don't like any of them. I'd love you to have it. I was thinking to myself that I'm a very rich man. Why am I arguing over a sum that doesn't really mean anything to me? It means a lot to you people, young people comparatively; but it does not mean anything to me. You've got it.” I said, “Do you mean for what we offered you?" He said, “Yes.” My heart went right down to my shoes. I never expected to own a big place like this!

We moved in in 1951. I think that it's about the luckiest thing that ever happened to me because it's a glorious place and I've had genuine happiness up there.

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