History and home renovations to come

History and home renovations to come

I met Herman Dreisbach in February of 2003 when he was 88 years old. His wife of 60 years had died the previous February, and he was selling his house to move to Atlanta, where his son and daughter-in-law lived.

History and home renovations to come

Once a tall man, Mr. Dreisbach’s upper back and neck stooped forward from osteoporosis; his slow gait belied muscles that had weakened with age and bones that ached.

Each of the three times I visited his house, the final time with the home inspector, I had small children with me. Unperturbed by youngsters touring his tidy home, Mr. Dreisbach comfortably chatted with them.

The last time we met, Mr. Dreisbach took my hand in both of his, and with tears in his eyes, he told me: “I hope you’ll be as happy in this house as we were.” He died nine months later.