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House For Sale: Newport, Rhode Island

“Being with Astro gives them a real lift,” said Charlie. We must say we felt pretty darn good after patting him for only a moment.

Continuing our tour, we peeked out the back door to the small porch, where Charlie has his cooker, facing a nice backyard with shrubs, flowers, trees, a lawn, and a blacktop area big enough for four cars. We didn’t go down into the cellar where, Charlie said, he has a small workshop and half bath.

Overall, the house is in tiptop shape, and although it’s a fairly large home (3,629 square feet of living space), it nonetheless has a homey, comfortable feeling about it throughout. We could be happy living at 26 Greenough Place.

The Balls’ reason for selling is the usual one: Charlie is retiring. Time to simplify their lives. They plan to settle near family in Maine, perhaps in a retirement community. (Their asking price: $1,049,000. Seems fair to us.)

After saying our good-byes to Claire, we stood for a moment with Charlie out on the covered porch, recently rebuilt, that extends across the front of the house. Looking through hanging plants down the tree-shaded street, we could just make out the Clement C. Moore house a few doors away. (You know, the fellow who wrote “The Night Before Christmas.”) Although they’re not visible from the porch, both the Redwood Library and Athenaeum and the Newport Art Museum are just a couple of minutes’ walk away, too. We could have settled so easily into one of the padded deck chairs out there.

Then it occurred to us that something was lacking: a screened-in area. How, we asked Charlie, could anyone sit out here on a warm evening without being bitten alive by mosquitoes?

“There are no mosquitoes in Newport,” he replied. None? None. That took a minute to digest. Being from New England, we’d long ago decided that the only place free of mosquitoes would have to be heaven. Now we knew of another place. Or is it possible that Newport’s Top of the Hill neighborhood is heaven? Naaa. Probably just the next-best thing.

For details, contact Connor H. Dowd, Keller Williams Realty, 809 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown, RI. 401-846-7653;

Updated Wednesday, August 8th, 2007
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