Future Residents in the Spotlight: Ida and Gary Cobb

As interviewed by Patricia Appleton
Although Ida and Gary Cobb currently live in Deland, their journey to Legacy Pointe really began about two years ago. This adventuresome couple was settled in the cozy little town of Hart, Georgia. Every morning as they sipped their coffee, they gazed upon the peaceful waters of Lake Hartwell. Free of rules and restrictions, both Ida and Gary were happily ensconced in the small community, enjoying all the benefits of lakeside living in rural America. The nearest medical center, however, was two hours away in Atlanta at Emory University. This reality motivated them to consider other options.

Moving from their large home, packed with antiques and a lifetime of memorabilia and a full sized basement also crammed with a variety of “treasures,” they realized was the most practical solution to their healthcare dilemma. Their search for a new home was wide ranging. They explored Virginia, Georgia, and four communities in Florida. With their daughter in tow, Ida and Gary eventually attended a Legacy Pointe lunch-and-learn event. At the end of the event, their enthusiastic daughter rushed to the sales desk with a $100 check in hand to reserve a new residence for her parents.

For Ida and Gary, one big problem remained–their home in Georgia. Once on the market their home sold in three months. Since the only estate sales manager in the area was booked out for months, the dastardly task of downsizing thus fell totally on the shoulders of Ida and Gary.

They quickly learned that getting rid of antique furniture is not so easy during a time when mid-century modern is in vogue. Ida off-loaded some of her favorite pieces to a local re-buy shop owner. She even surrendered her treasured dining room set for the cause. And, alas, Gary sacrificed his toys: two boats, a John Deere Lawn Tractor, a golf cart, and a pickup truck. Habitat for Humanity appeared almost every day to haul off other remnants of their past life. The only destination for some of their stuff (Remember that packed basement!) became a dumpster in which they tossed a plethora of derelict cast-offs.

Almost everything had to go except the clothes on their backs, literally! Since Ida and Gary had purchased a fully furnished and decorated model home in Deland, all they would cart off to Florida were clothes, pictures and some of Ida’s favorite kitchen items. Fortunately, their son coordinated the complex tasks involved in their downsizing.

Ida and Gary bring a wealth of interests and experience to Legacy Pointe. Gary retired from AT&T from Bell Laboratories. After leaving AT&T, he owned his own business for a time and later was elected mayor of Norcross, Georgia. From that experience he became a city manager, and eventually the Hart County manager. He is an enthusiastic volunteer in community projects, especially those that aid the underprivileged. Ida brings her own talents to Legacy Pointe. She loves wood carving, Chinese Mahjong and cooking. (Her favorite recipe is her collards and ham cooked southern style.) Both have close ties to their family. Ida recalls that one of the most heartwarming moments in her life happened when her 22 year old step-granddaughter, who had been part of the family for 17 years, asked to be legally adopted by their son.

Ida and Gary plan to sell their Deland home fully furnished just as they purchased it. A furniture shopping adventure is in their near future. Lesson learned: When downsizing, rent a dumpster!