The Building of Brownwood - Episode 11

Uploaded by TheVillagesFlorida on 02.11.2012

Thanks for joining us for the Building of Brownwood.
In this episode will bring you part two of our exclusive interview with the
Morse family,
as they share how the lessons learned at the original Brownwood
were put to work here in The Villages.
We'll also get resident reaction to the opening of Brownwood and Paddock Square.
You won't want to miss a minute so sit down,
and get ready
for another very special edition of the Building of Brownwood. [Music]
Paddock Square in Brownwood is another truly special place where good friends
for a great time. Wherever you look
you'll see attention to detail from designers, landscapers,
and construction crews who worked hard to create this authentic replica of a
one hundred year old Florida cattle town.
And here at West Torch Lake Drive you can't
walk a few feet without hearing people
talk about how excited they are to be here. All there is to see and do here at Brownwood and
Paddock Square.
let's check in with a couple of them and see what all the excitement is about.
Very nice, I mean it brings
back the old Brownwood, what they were trying to portray. Totally awesome.
We were over here the other night dancing
and uh... everybody was just excited, having fun. I felt like i was in my 20s again
We love it,
the detail as absolutely phenomenal, phenomenal.
What i felt
was really cool...
was the cow tracks, the horse tracks
the ground everywhere you walked around and it looks just like you took the pictures!
All right folks. You've been watching the Vmails and now you're here. How are you feeling? Really excited that it's open now
and I can't believe the
authenticity of all the stuff that they've done here. It looks
terrific, just terrific.
How do you like the attention to detail?
It's incredible, I've been telling everybody about it. We just couldn't wait to get
here and see it all.
And every time I felt a little anxiety about selling our home on Long Island,
which we've been in
thirty six years,
I take a deep breath
and I go to my video,
and I watch you
and then i feel okay. We will enjoy it. It's a great place to be. We're going to
happy hour now.
It's one of these situations where you have to see it to believe it.
People are having a good time, throughout Paddock Square and Brownwood, that's for sure. wherein travel it that's for sure
And the Barnstorm Theater is another place that's full of excitement. It's here that
I ran into Danny Tilton
mingling with our residents at the ticket window. Well, well, well. What do we have here? Danny Tilton!
You're in line just like the rest a regular moviegoer. What are you doing man? Making sure everything's working right.
Yeah, but you could go inside to do that; you were going to get a ticket and go see a movie. ticket to go see about reintegrating
I do have the keys!
What am I thinking? Well, you're thinking what I was thinking a couple of nights ago and we've
already enjoyed a couple of movies here. It's fantastic.
Good. You like it? Well, I like it, but just think; this is like history or deja vu. Cause you and I
were standing right here
when this was dirt and footer. And now, just a a few months fast forwarded, how are you
feeling now that the Barnstorm is open? It's great sense of accomplishment.
For all the guys who have worked on this, kudos! Kudos! One of the builders, very good man.
Put up most everything you're looking at on the outside here. Holy cow. A lot of hands
you know helped to make it happen.It's kind of fun just to stand here and watch trying to get a plan to spend a lot of
people here with the smiles going in and out, you've got to feel a great sense of satisfaction.
That we do, that we do. All of us, all of us. How many guys you have on this
project? Twenty-five. Twenty-five good ones.
And now they all go in and watch, it works out great. watch your words that great
Now, instead of two people in line, there's about fifteen Dan.
So I'm gonna let you get back in line. Thank you. I will talk with you later my friend.
See you later Dan.
not only are the residents having a great time on Paddock Square,
but so is our good friend Ted Graham here at the log cabin.
Well, they're all kinds of firsts at the opening Brownwood and
first person to perform live here on the stage
was Emily Graham, your daughter Ted.
How did you feel seeing your little girl up there?
Well, it was just amazing her being the first performer at Paddock Square and me having the
opportunity to be involved with the project.
Really seeing it from
you know from conception to final completion and my daughter
being the opening performance was very special to me.
And not only just opening night but it's gonna continue, good times out here; aren't they?very convenient times at the right thing
From what
I saw
my daughter, the opening performer at a venue
where there was just going to be live entertainment seven days a week, year
around, for years and years to come. And all the residents
that would enjoy that.
What it would mean to everyone.
So I just
saw it as the beginning
of a really great, long
beautiful process. We're going to enjoy it together my friend. Thank you.
Overall it looks like everyone's having a boot
scooting good time enjoying their first experience at Brownwood.
In our last episode we journeyed down memory lane with Mark, Jennifer and Tracy as
they took us back to where it all began, the original Brownwood in Central Lake,
Michigan. Now, in part two of our interview listen as they discuss
how their success at the original Brownwood
translated into making your retirement dreams come true in our hometown.
We're continuing now with our interview with Tracy, Mark and Jennifer.
We could probably talk about Brownwood all day long, you've got such great
stories, but we want to talk a little bit and hear the story about how the Brownwood
translated into what you're doing now here in The Villages. So,
maybe you could tell us what each of your responsibilities are here. It's very
similar to our Brownwood days actually.
I'm more front of the house,
and my brother's back of the house.
So, i handle sales and marketing but I like to say I have the best job.
I get to personally
what this place The Villages does for people. It really, it
changes their lives.
And that's very rewarding.
I wake up every day
and feel very blessed to do what I do. You're the day to day guy right? If there's
a decision that has to be made, if there's a problem; it's going to
your desk, isn't it?
Usually not.
It's usually going to some of these other guys to solve. I usually get the ones that get by them
or they need help with.
We're change agents,
you know.
We're here because we're adaptable. We've come this far because
we are all... WE, including you, are able to
able to make the changes necessary at the time.
It's what we do, we adapt. Shift and role baby. When you're surrounded by people
you trust,
the team. Yeah, it makes it so much easier to take a risk
and to try something. Because you know there's
always someone there for you. Always,
someone's got your back.
Tracy what do you do, tell people.
You've got the best job, right? Absolutely.
Positively have the best job.

I get to work with a lot of incredibly talented people, that help
create the environment
that we live in here in The Villages.
You get to shop too.
I do get to shop.
She's a professional shopper. I'm a professional shopper.
I'm not a shopper,
I am a buyer.
Well, there is a big difference.
Because I know what I want and I go and get it.
And I have a lot of people who help me go and get it too. I put the layers on that
make this place look the way it does.
I like to say that she has an unlimited budget
and she exceeds it! That is not true! I am very, very budget conscious.
Now wait a minute! They're ganging up on you.
It's about to be my turn in a minute. That's another trait she got from our mother.
Your mom obviously, she left her mark on so many
great buildings, she was wonderful. And you
basically were an understudy, right? Did you learn from the best?
I think I did.
I hope I learned.
Definitely from the best.
Oh, I'd say
she'd be very proud.
Your buildings are amazing too. You're a great designer.
I think she'd be proud because I have two granddaughters. I think that's why she'd be proud.
That'd be her favorite part.
Let's rewind now to even before the three of you came down from Michigan.
Tell us about the beginning, how your family got involved in what became
Florida's friendliest hometown.
When The Villages started
it was Orange Blossom Gardens and at the time Harold [Scwartz} was a partner
with Al Tarrson.
Harold was seventy two years old at the time when Al said,
'Let's either sell the place or buy me out. You know I'm ready to retire, how about
Our grandfather Harold said, 'Gary you go check the place out. If you think
there's anything there... at the time I think we are fifteen hundred acres and
they were selling like thirty homes a year.
So my dad came down
And said, "You know dad, i i think we could make a go of this place. So,
my dad convinced him to come on down
put a home on Paradise Lake for him and
he subsequently moved here and
lived here the rest of his life but the day-to-day operations, and the dreaming
and what took place need to be really he got it from both of us parents but
Orange Blossom Gardens and The Villages my grandfather
loved it here and he loved living here he loved the people, he's very social.
The behind-the-scenes, day-to-day operations and ideas, they're Gary's.
Tell me about the core values and the philosophy of Brownwood and
how it's evolved down here. Or is it the same philosophy you had there?
There are no menial jobs, every job
is as important as the next.
I think in our
training manual at Brownwood in the cover it
always said,
"The handshake of the host determines the taste of the roast." That catchphrase was
on the training manual at the restaurant. And it's on the training manual here.
So many amazing things have happened here in the Villages, people wanna know
what's next? How are they going to top themselves?
What do you say when people ask you what is the future of The Villages?
People wonder about the future
of the Villages...
It's right here, we're doing it everyday. And the future of our family,
we have lots of children who already work for this company
in various different
ways and are bringing
incredible talent to the table. And we're
very proud of
all of them.
We're really lucky! Our kids, our grandkids can live here. They can work here. And
it's really neat to
be a part,
I mean whatever small part I got to play in this, it's great to be able to look
over your shoulder and say,
"That's a forever thing."
I think it's unusual for a family too
really stay together, like this.
Especially when we had parents who encouraged us to do everything and
anything we wanted.
You've said that so many people played a part in the success of the Villages.
Tell us about how you recognized those people.
When we start designing
our town centers and
stuff like that we we actually come up with a storyline first because,
a fictitious storyline, let me rephrase that.
The reason for it is to
it gives
the town a life.
We made up these stories about the people who lived in Spanish Springs and Lake Sumter Landing
and Brownwood.
And consequently
you know, like any story it's what you know and what you've lived in your
With Spanish Springs it was extremely fun because
the whole family and some of our friends and design team people...
pulled names from people in our past. We just wanted to honor our history and
personally and also the history of everybody who is come to help us and

it's really fun.
And it's a fun way to say, "Hey, thanks. Thanks for being here. Thanks for helping
us do this. Thanks for being a part of our life. Thanks for making us laugh."
You notice the placards as you go all round the towns.
That'll be present in Brownwood as well, where there's
a cast of characters from our past and maybe some that are recent. Maybe there are
some that are named, maybe after
some new members of our family. Yes.
Such as?
Such as
Sharon Rose Wiechens and
Eleanor Lee Wiechens.
The grandchildren.
For those of us who haven't had the privilege of visiting the original
Brownwood Acres,
tell us what you brought down here and recreated that's similar
to the original Brownwood or the spirit of it.
In the buildings that are
constructed right now
we have the same facade as the country store,
the Brownwood country story that came cross the ice
and didn't quite make it.
We have reconstructed a replica
of that here and also in
future buildings we've got the Grass Lake school house,
will be part of it. Yeah we've
stolen a lot of goodies from there.
You do have the best job. I do! I'm convinced. I do! to because
Because it all has to do with your imagination.
What would mom say if she was sitting here looking at what you
kids have done?
She be thrilled wouldn't she?
Yes, she'd be proud.
But Tracy's right. She'd be more interested in the grandkids.
The great grandkids.

She'd be proud.
And probably, "Okay,
what's next?" Right, she'd be looking for the next challenge.
Just like the rest of us. She would've had so much fun.
Oh, she's here!

Well, we can hear in your voices how special this place is to you.
What do you hope residents will say when they visit?
Well, I hope they say, "We did it again!"
I hope they come down here and they enjoy as much or
more or maybe in a different way.
Yet another
unique destination for them. It's a place where our residents can
come together,
they have a sense of connectedness here and it's a whole different
So I think that's fun. It's not...
our histories of the three towns, the fictitious histories that we've written, that
there's a connectivity within the towns and
an era that they
came to be. So I think it just...
you could
place where people could have a movie theater and
things of such.
But isn't it nice to have just an amazing
atmosphere to enjoy it in? I think they'll come and
discover things.
We don't have any other plans but this.
I think this is fun, it's exciting.
it's not the final chapter, it's just
the final new chapter.
We're going to be
around, our kids are gonna be around, and we have a lot of work here to do
for a long, long time. It's our life!
Well, there you have it folks. A very special history lesson
on The Villages third and final town,
by the very people who wrote that history.
And aren't the similarities amazing? The stagecoach has become the trolley,
the restaurant at Brownwood has become all the dining opportunities we enjoy
here today.
The shops at Brownwood Acres have become a multitude of stores and boutiques.
And the entertainment that was there
its ours to enjoy here
three hundred sixty five days a year.
When you think about it though the success of The Villages today can be
described in the same way
it was at Brownwood Acres many years ago.
It wasn't about serving a meal back then, and it's not just about building houses
It's about something else, something much
more special.
It's about the experience.
Through the years you Villagers have told me time and time again that,
"You only go through life once.
And if you have to go through life there's no place better to do it
than right here in The Villages."
So as we wrap up this installment, I want to encourage you to, if you haven't been
here already, get out to Brownwood and Paddock Square you are going to love
Until next time, I'm Gary Corsair. I'll be seeing you soon exclusively
in your Vmail!