It’s been a very busy month for the entire Villa Finale staff. While working on a variety of different projects, I continue conducting oral histories for our Restoring Voicesprogram. Many people are familiar with Walter Mathis’s collecting, preservation, and civic work, but only a handful can say they knew him on a personal level.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down to interview two of Mr. Mathis’s good friends: Edward Schroeder and Mrs. Maggie Block. It was fun listening to them remember things like a ten-course Chinese dinner at Villa Finale, going shopping with Mr. Mathis, and stories about Mr. Mathis’s sense of humor. Mr. Schroeder and Mrs. Block stressed how much fun and full of life Mr. Mathis was as well as being incredibly talented, not only in business but in many other areas.
For example, Mr. Mathis once restored a Lincoln convertible, had his own special recipe for chutney, and made his own crafts for Christmas — and had a way of recruiting others to help him! The term “Renaissance man” is fitting of a man like Walter Mathis. We would like to thank Mr. Schroeder and Mrs. Block for volunteering their valuable time (and voices) to this enjoyable project. We hope to be able to share interview snippets with you in the near future.