“It’s the most important chapter of my life so far.”
That’s legendary Tampa songwriter Ronny Elliott
talking to Creative Loafing Tampa Bay about selling his Old Seminole Heights home—but he’s not talking about leaving the house.
He’s actually talking about where he’s going and what he’s doing there. And while he’s not talking a walk to the end of the world, he is moving pretty far away.
“I’m going to England,” Elliott said, but not to escape the threat of fascism in the U.S. “I’m going to be with a woman.”
So the boy in the hot rod sold 20 of his guitars (there are three left), and all his possessions including the two-bedroom, two-bathroom home located at 1409 E Park Cir.
Asking price for the 58-year-old home is $430,000, and the listing agent is Compass’ Carey Lewis.
The move marks the first time Elliott, 74, is spending any extended period of time in England and in a way, but it also sends him to a country where he almost sought exile nearly 60 years ago.
“I still have these socks my mom made me when I was 17. She sewed my name into them in case anything happened to me,” Elliot said. “I was trying to avoid Vietnam.”
This time, however, Elliot is leaving to reconnect an old friend who actually married one of his touring bandmates.
“He died two or three years ago, and I kept in touch with her,” Elliott said. She came to visit Elliott in March, and stayed in an Airbnb across the street from the house that’s now for sale. Apparently, she had a plan.
On the second day of her stay, Elliot shot up at five-o-clock in the morning, thinking about “The Follies Of God,” a book James Grissom wrote after interviewing playwright and screenwriter Tennessee Williams, plus other figures in Williams’ life. Part of the book talks about the significance of the conversations Williams had with women in their beds.
Elliot couldn’t go back to sleep. He had to tell the woman about the book. So he walked across the street and did just that. “I’ve done everything I couldn't be next door ever since then,” Elliot explained.
Elliot says his local fans don’t have to worry about losing touch either. He’ll be back regularly, and he’ll still be an American citizen. His annual birthday show is more than likely still going to happen, too.
“You know, I’ll probably stay in that Airbnb, actually,” he said. “As long as I have friends here. I’ll always have a place to stay.”