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|Ira & Carol Serkes British...and Yiddish!|
Ira & Carol Serkes
Well, you probably know just about everything about us from our interests, but here's some more.
why a vest? I'd like to tell you that it all started growing up in The
Bronx, when my father, Max
Serkes, would give me... in his strong Russian accent... the same
advice he took when he was a teenager "go vest, young man!"
We tried using sweaters or sports jackets... but I carry so much gear that the pockets sagged! Not suprising, since I usually carry a lockbox key, cell phone, Palm Vx PDA, cable to connect it to the cell phone, digital camera, checkbooks, note pads, post-its (don't leave home without it) and more! I thought that a vest might work well, so bought a nice fabric one from Royal Robbins on Gilman Street. Everything fit just fine... but the cloth vest didn't hold its shape well. We were attending a real estate convention in Las Vegas... and Carol found the perfect leather vest at Wilson's Leather It works just great, and looks pretty good too! Now you know the rest of the story.
We enjoy scratching the cats - Lucy adopted us from across the street. Gouger, Snidely and Beau are now together, helping to raise poppies in the back yard. Gouger died a few years ago, and I still miss him dearly. Lucy's parents (Marybeth and Tony and sons) are great, but her brother and sister cats and dogs were bugging her too much.
We really enjoy being with each other, eating out and going to movies (I bet you could tell that from our web site), travelling together, eating spicy foods, riding on steam trains and photographing Art Deco buildings. Carol's British and Ira's Yiddish!, which makes for some interesting times.
We like to travel, and have been focusing on "infill" travelling the past few years - Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Missouri. I'll have been to all 50 states once I visit Alaska, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
I used to say that we've been as far west as Mendocino, but in 2002 we went to Hawaii. We've and have been as far east as Budapst, Hungary (on a trip to Prague, Vienna & Budapest).
Carol says that "there's nothing Ira likes more than being in a new city with a bunch of guidebooks and maps" and I'd have to say that she's right. I'm trained as an engineer, and always love reading maps and guidebooks and figuring out how to see 12 hours of sightseeing in 6 hours. That's why I enjoy guidebooks so much.
Ira's a train buff - enjoys riding on trains, taking pictures of them, and listening to the whistles.
Carol has been an avid gardener in the past, but now really enjoys reading.
Ira speaks Bronxese, New Yorkish, Spanish, Macintosh, PDP-8 Machine Language, and Fortran. He also studied Hebrew and Arabic, but found that he was a better Realtor than linguist. Carol was born in Newcastle-On-Tyne in England, so speaks American English reasonably well. We're the British - Yiddish team!
Ira thinks that any place in the great outdoors is fine as long as it's not more than a mile or two from the car, and within an hour or two from a decent cup of coffee. Our newly found cousin Mimi, on the other hand, is a rock climber, and we had a great time with her in Yosemite (she even climbed Half Dome.) Fran Lebowitz said that "the great outdoors is what you see on your way from the apartment building to the taxi"... I tend to agree.
In the past few months, Ira's been rediscovering his past. Met met Mimi when she called in mid 1996 to say she's in town, and would we like to get together? We said sure, and though I've only seen her once or twice in my life, it was like we'd known each other for years.
Last year, Ira got an Email from another Serkes, asking if we were related. That inspired me to search on the net to see how many Serkes' I could find. I sent out about a dozen Email messages, and within a day got a call from someone who said we're related! Within a few days, I found another 20 family members I didn't know existed. Wow - the net is amazing!
Ira Serkes, grew up in The Bronx, graduated from The Bronx High School Of Science , received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Cooper Union, and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He worked for 10 years as an engineer for Chevron Research, and holds two patents for his research. He teaches Realtors how to use computers to better serve their clients.
Carol Serkes is trained as a para-legal and has been affiliated with one of the Bay Area's largest law firms.
We're fortunate in that our referrals from past clients are so bountiful that we only work half days. It doesn't really matter which 12 hours I work, but I tend to come in a 10 AM and work till 10 PM.
Ira & Carol Serkes
Join the many Internet surfers who have really, truly, actually hired us or one of the great Realtors we've referred to them to buy or sell a home!
We've even completed an International referral half way across the globe! A home buyer living in Abu Dhabi (one of the United Arab Emirates in the Arabian Gulf) took advantage of the free Realtor referral service to buy a home in Hawaii. We searched our CRS database for a Hawaiian buyer broker, used Email to put them both together, and the buyer just completed his purchase!
Gouger Serkes - 1980 to 1997
Gouger Serkes, our beloved baby, died on 14 May 97 after a long, loving happy life of 17 years. I knew him over 1/3 of my life... several months longer than I knew Carol.
Gouger was a sweet cat. He had soft, warm ears, silky smooth head fur, a matted tummy, and a full body purr. The nice folks at Berkeley Dog & Cat always enjoyed it when he stopped by for a visit or short vacation.... one of the techs even came by to kiss him goodbye once she knew his time had come.
| We'd often
serenade each other - I'd whistle to him, he'd meow back in response, and
we'd do it again and again. I always tired of singing before he did.
Gouger often kept me company when I worked on the computer, and was a great "email buddy". He'd nestle between my forearms as I downloaded email, typed responses, and sent my missives into the ether.
The Gouge, aka Big Fella, also helped give birth to my book "How To Buy A House In California" by sleeping on the manuscript, along with his elder brother Snidely. Gouger, Snidely and Beau are all resting together now.
He'll be sorely missed. It's now been 6 months and my eyes still mist up.
If you'd like to share a loved pet story, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org
||I remember the first time Herb Caen ran something of mine. Someone once said that getting your name in Herb Caen's column was good for several weeks - I heard about it for years after!|
|Some Personal Notes|
|A story by Ira's Mom, Adele Serkes (now in her 80's) written in her spry 60's - A Day In The Life of Two Ladies over 65 going on 25 Years Of Age.|
West Coast LIve is the best show on radio!
We always go to hear someone special, and always find someone new who we
really enjoy. Here are some of the
digital photos I took at the 5 Apr 97 show. It's broadcast between 10
AM and Noon on Saturday, and rebroadcast between 1 PM and 3 PM on Sunday.
Tune into 91.7 FM in the Bay Area, and check out their web site for the
dozens of other stations across the United States... and Europe too!
Here are some more Digital Photos with of Martin Cruz Smith, William Kennedy, Marga Gomez, and Lucy Kaplansky (and others) from the 1 Jun 96 show. All JPEG images so they're FAST!
Return to the website at http://www.wcl.org/
|Sat 15 Mar 97, would have been my father's 100th Birthday. He left Russia (when it was still Russia) when he was a teenager.... and I wouldn't have been here if he hadn't taken that brave step. He taught me how to treat people with respect, and was loved, liked and respected by all who knew him.|
|If you have children.... get yourself to the Mini Farm in Tilden. The baby goats, Mocha and Espresso have grown up, and they're still adorable. Tell Eloise, their mom, she's doing a great job.|
|Directions, Mapping, Navigating & Feedback||Mapping! The best route to get there from your home, and an interactive map of any street address.||Ira & Carol..show me how I can buy a home in this pleasant neighborhood! Send Email or call 800/887-6668 or 510/526-6668!|
|Return to the Serkes Neighborhood Site||Return to Serkes Real Estate Search Engine http://www.berkeleyhomes.com|
|We Value Your Business And Appreciate Your Referrals||Almost all our
clients have been referred to us by their friends, family, local neighborhood
Realtor, or found us on the Internet. One of the nice benefits of a referral
based business is that we get to work with people who are motivated, financially
qualified, highly educated, decisive, pleasant, and have interesting backgrounds
(one client won a Gold medal at the Olympics). What's particularly rewarding
is how many of our buyers and sellers have become friends.
If you're planning to buy or sell a home, we'd appreciate the opportunity to show you how you'll benefit from our services. And, if you know a friend, neighbor, or family member who is buying, selling, or relocating anywhere in the United States, we'll be happy to check our extensive database of highly qualified Realtors and refer you to a great local Realtor.
|Give us a call - we'll treat you like friends!|
|We'll find you a great place to live by making sure that you don't miss any homes which meet your needs! We specialize in helping nice folks buy and sell pleasant homes in the East Bay's most comfortable neighborhoods, and we offer FREE refer to other outstanding Realtors in the United States.|