Mirabile dictu, Susie and I have found a buyer for our apartment, a young doctor and his wife who are coming to Chapel Hill so that he may take up a residency at UNC Hospitals. Papers have been signed, but there is still the inspection, so once more we shall prepare the apartment to be seen, this time by an eagle-eyed Inspector probing for hidden plumbing flaws or hinky wiring.
Now begins the seemingly endless business of telling everyone who matters [i.e., who sends me money, like the Massachusetts Pension System] what our new address is, informing Spectrum [formerly Time Warner Cable – when did that happen?] that we still want Starz at our new location, and telling the NY TIMES the new delivery location.
As I predicted, we took a bath with the selling price. I figured out that if you ignore inflation and complicated matters like that, my gains and losses on the sale of five principal dwellings over the past half century just about sum to zero dollars. I would strongly suggest that no one ask me for financial advice. On the other hand, I have never aimed to die rich, just solvent so that my children are not left with bills to pay.
The next stage of my life, if things work out as I hope, will feature an increasing involvement with Columbia University through my new membership in the Society of Senior Scholars there. It is now forty-six years since I left Columbia for an extraordinary thirty-seven years at the University of Massachusetts. The young Marxists At UMass from whom I learned so much are now old, retired, and in some cases no longer Marxists. The exciting experimental undergraduate program I started – Social Thought and Political Economy – is flourishing in middle age, and the doctoral program in Afro-American Studies that I helped to create and ran for twelve years has just celebrated its first twenty years, turning out bright, young, productive scholars.
My involvement with Columbia will necessarily be intermittent, since I will continue to live in North Carolina, but there are direct flights, and as I learned long ago, in the Academy even those professors who live across the street from the university, as I did back then, are liable not to spend that much time on campus.
It should be fun.