VICTORIA AND JOE GREENIDGE, THE LAST TENANTS of what would later become a part of Bayswater Point State Park, were somewhat eccentric, by most accounts. They did not live in the actual Sunset Lodge, the big house; they made a home in the now-collapsed former stable behind it.
Joe Greenidge was a journalist who worked for Reuters, and the more conventional of the two, which is to say only that he went to work every and came home from work every day, when he wasn’t traveling.
Victoria Greenidge had long white hair she wore down most of the time, transclucent skin, pale blue eyes one of her former neighbors described as “angelic,” and, late in life, only a few teeth. She was a former ballet dancer, born outside Boston in 1901 as Victoria Josephson.
For a while she had 13 dogs that she would walk around the property—she had a habit of wearing her husband’s overalls—all of them unleashed except one, the most vicious, one that looked like it might be part coyote, which she kept on a thick leash.
Every night Joe would arrive, in his Renault Dolphin, at the gate that shielded the driveway and stop and honk his horn—sometimes for as long as 15 minutes—until Victoria came up from the small house and unlocked it, as though he was warning her that he was home. After Victoria opened the gate, Joe would park in front of the big house, take a stack of the day’s newspapers out of the car, and take them inside.
“Every once in a while I could get a glimpse through that open door in the house,” said Mickey Cohen, a former assistant principal at Beach Channel High School who has lived in his house by the park, with his wife, for 50 years. “It was just loaded with newspapers. Ceiling-high newspapers. And I learned later on that there were channels, you know, in the hallways, that he would follow—little pathways—because the place was compacted with this collection of newspapers.”