GO THE DISTANCE
By: Richard T. Taps, Attorney at Law
voice in "Field of Dreams" told John Kinsella to "Go the
Distance." I learned the meaning of that in the summer
of 1998. As I drove to my office on West Main
Street, I thought about a client named Jane and that we
had a real estate closing that morning. Jane, who
was 79, was buying a condo on the west side. The
closing was going to be at a title agency on the west
side. I was going to take Jane to the closing from
Jane lived in an apartment on the north side of
Columbus. Jane didn't drive so she was going to
have to take the No.2 bus on High Street to West Main
and walk from there to my office. As I drove to
the office, I thought about swinging by Jane's place and
taking her to my office so that she wouldn't have to
take the bus. But I reconsidered and thought, .. Jane is
self-sufficient, she can make it to my office on her
Which she did. We met briefly to review some
issues and go over the closing statement. I asked
her, "Do you have the certified check for the amount
shown on the closing statement?" She said she did.
But then Jane left my office to go to the bathroom and
didn't return for a long time. When she finally
came back, she was very embarrassed. She explained
that because she wanted to make sure she didn't lose the
check, she had placed it into her bra before leaving her
apartment. She told me that if her purse was lost
or stolen on the bus, she would still have the check.
She said that she had stripped down in the bathroom and
went through her entire wardrobe to find the check.
Well, somehow the check had wiggled itself out of her
bra and was lost. We called COTA. They
searched for the check. They didn't find it.
We drove to her apartment and retraced her steps to the
bus stop. We didn't find it.
Fortunately, Jane still had enough other funds at her
bank to get a certified check. She was able to
close. The check that she lost was never
negotiated so she eventually got her money back.
Not long after that sunny day in June, another client,
Judy, had a meeting at my office. Judy drove but
never to downtown. She said she would take the
bus. She didn't want me to pick her up. She
said that she often took the bus to downtown to go to
the music store. Judy was a piano teacher.
Shortly before the meeting time, she called me from a
payphone on West Town Street near the current COSl
location. She had gotten off the bus on South High
Street but couldn't find Main Street. She was
about a half mile from my office. I explained to
her how to walk to my office and hung up the phone.
Thinking about Jane, I thought, "What have you done?"
I jumped in my car and found Judy wandering around on
We met in my office to plan for her husband who had been
admitted to a nursing home. Judy and I became
close friends. She became my piano teacher.
The moral of this story is to go the extra mile for your
clients. In Jane's case it would have saved me
many miles and Jane much frustration and embarrassment.
In Judy's case, it was my first step to Carnegie Hall.
Judy has, however, advised me not to quit my day job.