[Mack Metcalf] collected all-terrain vehicles, vintage American cars and an eccentric array of pets: horses, Rottweilers, tarantulas and a 15-foot boa constrictor.How much is a replica of Mount Vernon worth? It sold for half what it cost to build, $657,000. Maybe it should have sold for more, but the sad story behind it warded off buyers.
He also continued to give away cash. Neighbors recall him buying goods at a convenience store with $100 bills, then giving the change to the next person in line. Ms. Metcalf said she discovered boxes filled with scraps of paper in his home recording money he had given away, debts he would never collect.
His drinking got worse, and he became increasingly afraid that people were plotting to kill him, installing surveillance cameras and listening devices around his house, Ms. Metcalf said. Then in early 2003, he spent a month in the hospital for treatment of cirrhosis and hepatitis. After being released from the hospital, he married for the third time, but died just months later, in December.
December 5, 2005
The NYT has a long piece on that lottery winner we were talking about last week -- the man who built a replica of Mount Vernon and, soon enough, died there. His wife, you may remember, took her part of the money and built a geodesic dome and, soon enough, died there.