From renowned hedonist to home-building horticulturist, he described the personal gain as priceless. “I remember Dave DeBusschere and the other guys on the team used to say that I would have the toughest transition to make going into retirement because of being Clyde and coming down from all that,” Mr. Frazier said, recalling the days when his wide-brim hats and flashy suits inspired comparisons to the Warren Beatty character in the 1967 film “Bonnie and Clyde.”
“It didn’t happen right away, and it wasn’t easy,” he added. “But I was fed up with New York and that scene, the nightclubs and the cars. I didn’t want to vegetate as Clyde. I was searching for something. I didn’t know what it was until I came here.”
Even Clyde got tired of New York; something to think about. Old #10. How I remember that team.
Oscar Hidalgo for The New York Times - Entrance room to the Main House, his residence
“I began to sense there was something for me to do here, and then I realized doing all this work was what was going to keep me young,” said Mr. Frazier, who will celebrate his 65th birthday next month and remains fit and youthful looking, despite thinning hair. “I look back now and I can see that I was going through a metamorphosis, a change for the better.”
As part of his repudiation of the nightclubbing Clyde, he changed his lifestyle. The lifelong city dweller became a nature lover. He learned to sail, bought a boat and became a licensed captain. And he found the garden calling to him many mornings at sunrise.
Patricia James, who is his girlfriend and helps him manage the property and rental business, said the style fits all occasions. “We’ll be going out to dinner, I’ll have a dress on and I’ll say to him, ‘You’re not going to change?’ ” Ms. James said. A self-described perfectionist, he is not easy to work for, she said, and Mr. Frazier agreed, noting that he once fired his son, whom he had hired to manage the property during his absences.
Fired his own son? Now, that's a tough taskmaster.