This brief web biography describes the actual and uncertain process in which Bodhi attempted to buy the Pendler estate, according to the uncertain recollections of Jerry Halpern, the senior author and editor. The story provides a sidelight to the biography of Kobun, and to the founding of Jikoji.
Charles Pentler was married to a Japanese woman, whose name, I believe was Fumiko. His residence in the hills west of Cupertino was of Japanese style. It was elegant and situated on a modest amount of land. It was ideal for Kobun and for a practice place in this area. The Pentlers were associated with the local Quaker meeting and bequeathed their home to the Quaker Meeting. The Quakers were in the process of establishing a meeting place and expected to sell the Pentler property and use the money for their prospective meeting place. Meanwhile (I don't remember how this happened), Haiku-Zendo/Bodhi discovered that this Pentler property was on the market. What could be better!! The Quakers were approached, and considering their sympathy for the nature of the practice around Kobun, not to say of how appropriate this Japanese building was for him, they were willing to offer the estate to Bodhi for a very good price (but even then a substantial one; I don't remember the asking price)). So Bodhi launched the effort to raise the money and buy the estate. [A copy of the old brochure that was designed for that effort with Kobun's calligraphy on one side is on the wall in the Jikoji commonity building's dining room].
Besides the money the other main hurdle was to get zoning approval [a "use permit"] to use the property as both a residence for Kobun and as a Buddhist temple. Toward the beginnning the process, the Quakers gave Bodhi an option to buy which Bodhi could exercise until a certain date. That is, the Quakers had contractually committed themselves [up to a certain date] to sell to Bodhi for a specified price.
Eventually, all (or the bulk of it; certainly enough so that Bodhi was in an excellent financial position so far as the purchase was concerned) of the money was raised and the use permit was granted.
On the last day the option could be excercised a meeting was held at Mary Kate Spencer's house. The only queston was whether to proceed to excercise the option and buy the property. I, at least, would not say that "I want this property and am in favor of buying it". I don't now defend or try to explain that position. Only, I relate that, at that time, I did not feel I could sincerely say "I want this property and am in favor of buying it". But, my recollection is that neither would Kobun say "I want this property. We should buy it." It is true that technically the decisions were by concensus; But if Kobun had said "I want this property. It will be good for all of us. We should go ahead", then I am sure Bodhi would have proceeded to conclude the deal. But he would not say that, he wanted me (and others??) to say that I wanted it, and for whatever foolish or immature reasons I had, it was not something I could sincerely say. The meeting ended without a decision to purchase.
Now at this time, the Quaker meeting, or a faction within it which had convinced the others, decided that the deal they had offered was too generous, that the Pentler Estate could be sold for substantially more than what was in Bodhi's option to buy, and that in the best interests of taking good care of the Quaker meeting they should raise the price substantially. So although within twenty-four hours, certain members of Bodhi approached the Quakers to take the option and conclude the deal on Behalf of Bodhi. But it was too late. The option had lapsed and the Quakers raised the price to something beyond the ability of Bodhi to pay.