March 9, 2021

Patrick and Linda canoeing at Williamsburg West


Williamsburg West was the subdivision just off the Piney Grove frontage road in Columbia where we built our blue saltbox home in late 1980.  Heather described it as a “make-believe” neighborhood.  In many ways, it was that.

J.C. Roy was the builder of the Colonial style houses in the subdivision.  There were six or so different designs and floor plans from which to choose.  Ours was one of the last built, and was on a steep lot backing up to a community pond (which we lovingly called our lake).  The pond was ringed with some of our neighborhood homes and just across the water, the Lakewood Condominiums.

Our back yard sloped down to the water.  We had a full-sized above-ground basement floor, with one side eventually converted to a bedroom for Patrick. An outside door from the bedroom opened directly onto a small concrete patio with a basketball court.

A co-worker at Providence Hospital, Linda Zember went through a divorce and she got “custody” of an expensive aluminum canoe, which she asked to store in our back yard until she had a place for it.  Whenever a missed shot at the goal went too far into the pond to reach, Patrick would take the canoe out to retrieve the ball.  This photo shows him with Linda canoeing around the sparkling pond together.

The pond was stocked with fish—and there were quite a few successful fishing expeditions there—with guests like young Matthew Seithel from London and Hunter Connelly from Nashville fishing with Patrick. And there were ducks—mysteriously fed and cared for by some caretaker. We had a beautiful view of the water from our dining room bay window.  

There were just over thirty homes in Williamsburg West, tucked into quiet cul -de -sacs. There were tight restrictions on what color the houses could be painted. When one owner violated the rules and used a more vibrant color of exterior paint, there was an outcry and eventually the owner capitulated and repainted with an approved color.  

Life in Williamsburg West was very real. Its families experienced broken marriages, anorexia, agoraphobia, tragedy, births and deaths. And a pond was a lake! For twenty-one years, 159 King George Way was home.

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