The Tip Post

Chapter 12: The phall after the Phall

tip-history-mickeyhaff-last

It is widely assumed — and one look at the document would seem to confirm it — that Georgette forged Mickey’s signature on the Adam Grant’s deed of sale because after July 29, 1951, Mickey Haff was nowhere to be found. Even Miles, as the musician related in his autobiography, wondered “what ever happened to that car-dealing cracker.” There were rumors, years later, that it was Mickey, under the assumed name of Neal Cassady, driving the Furthur bus for Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters. There were unconfirmed sightings of Haff in the sixties with LSD-avatar Tim Leary in Millbrook, NY, with the Beatles at Apple Corps headquarters in London and with Carlos Castaneda and Minnesota Twins slugger Harmon Killebrew in Oaxaca, Mexico. (But considering that most witnesses were habitual drug users, this testimony is considered highly dubious.) And so, in short order, the Grant Building passed, at a fire-sale price, into the hands of a Stockton CPA firm, Sandoz and Cedalia, whose young and, apparently, exceedingly patient principals planned to do nothing but hold it and wait for appreciation.

And when they said nothing, they meant nothing.

Over the next 25 years, the roof leaked, paint peeled, windows cracked, water puddled up in basement nooks and crannies, toilets overflowed (or took two minutes to flush) and elevators broke down, while the elevator to the Tip was again ignominiously plastered over and the fabled barrroom itself, with Mickey’s pricey Belgian wallpaper and, now, six busted windows, was inadvertently transformed into the world’s most glamourous pigeon coop.

tip-history-SandozCedalia

Blue-chip businesses moved out, and various sweatshops, fake ID companies, Sea Monkey purveyors and “media agencies” (a common masquerade in those days for houses of prostitution) moved in. And still, Sandoz and Cedalia did nothing. And then in 1975, they abruptly did something. The Stockton CPAs, who had waited so patiently for a quarter of a century, sold the Adam Grant Building — for which they had paid $310,000 in 1951 — for $112 million and retired to their own island in the Caribbean.

The buyer, and still owner today, was Sealane Properties.

Work + News