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the Hyatt Rickey’s in Palo Alto September 12, 2001

Posted by samwyse in Autobiographical.
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I suspect that only someone who, like myself, lives in a seventy-year-old house can fully appreciate the Hyatt Rickey’s in Palo Alto. It appears that most of the rooms were built in the 1940’s. I can certainly believe it. My room has the feel of my late Uncle Mac’s summer house on Reelfoot Lake, which was built around that same time frame: solid wood construction, with exposed beams and trusses, and no thought given to the modern wonders to come. For example, the only way that I can plug in my laptop computer is to unplug one of the room’s lamps. Large bundles of telephone and coax cables run under the eves of every structure. And there is a heater built into an interior wall of my room with a thermostat near by. The thermostat has a sign that reads, “This unit controls the heater. For additional heat and/or air conditioning, please utilize the wall mounted unit.” Said unit is a more modern device, identical to those found in hotel rooms nation-wide. And the curtains are difficult to fully close.

Still, the place has a certain charm. Yes, it is old, but it offers amenities that no one building today would ever even think of including. For the most part, every building is only one story tall. The buildings are scattered almost haphazardly on the 22 acres of land that the hotel occupies. There are several paths lined with wooden benches that wind their way around a large number of marble statues and a smaller number of fountains. There are several locations where lounge chairs face the afternoon sun, and a gazebo stands at one side of what was once a very large croquette court. (Unfortunately, some later landscaper decided to run a sidewalk through the center, neatly halving the largest open space.)

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