Sunday, July 22, 2012


Being an aficionado of Broadway Musicals I thought I'd treat you to the song that inspired this post, only substitute 'I' for 'you.' Some of the words are ironically applicable, like "I have often walked this street before....", however, the main perception of which I write is less inspiring. [If video does not play or show, here a link to one version on You Tube: On the Street Where You Live .
On the Street Where You Live
[From My Fair Lady] - Vic Damone -YouTube
I served as alderman for 6 years (3 terms less 2 months) in our local government. From the beginning an abandoned house across from my property was in deplorable condition, both house and yard. I knew the owner personally. This is  area zoned for manufactured housing on residential lots, not so-called 'mobile home parks."

After his wife died the owner moved out-of-state in my first term. Already in deplorable condition, which was forgivable during his wife's long battle with cancer, the neglect accelerated with high weed/grass growth, and 1000-year ice storm wherein a tree fell thorough the roof, wildlife living under and in the house, and druggies apparently entering and having late niight parties at some intervals. All the rest of my term I tried to get the house condemned; but failed.
Condemned Manufactured Home
Across Street From My House
You have no idea what it takes to legally condemn someone's property and destroy it if the warning to the owner is unheeded.

First,the condemnation notice was finally issued during the first year I was out of office. The owner ignored it until I spent my own funds hunting him down, because, miraculously a man wanted to buy the land, move off or demolish the structure, and place a new structure on the property.

Unfortunately, the owner seemed delusional, as he perceived the worth a gold mine. After leaving, he never returned to retrieve personal items nor to witness the increasing delapidation of his property and rapidly declining worth. He seemingly walked away, food in the fridge and dirty dishes in the sink.

Negotiations fell through, but there was a glimmer of hope, as he owed property taxes. The prospective buyer hinted the owner owed back real estate  and personal property taxes. He mistakenly thought since he had an homestead exemption on it, even though he no longer lived there as his principal residence. He quickly found money (probably his son) to pay back taxes minutes before the auction on the court house steps.

So the city issued the condemnation notice which allegedly give the owner 30 days to rectify the situation. He ignored it. The City found out the federal and state governments had liens on the property for different reasons, so the City was going to be a loser if we placed a lien via his tax records, which is done in Arkansas. A water bill in his name had already been writen off by the City.

Finally a couple offered to tear it down to sell whatever materials had any value as junk or recyclable. The owner and the couple created this deal, so the City was not involved. The City would have been out considerable more money because of state regulations in condemnation, like fire inspections, hazardous materials, etc. Unfortunately, I knew the couple were not going to follow these rules, but the City was out of the loop, thus not responsible..
Condemned House Across Street From My House
[Normal Garbage Pick-up does not include building materials;
besides no monthly fee is being paid for this location]
Anyway, the two photos (straight out of the camera) are in this post. Why should I try to make them look better---it is horrible. Plus wild life has moved over to tearing up our expensive landscaping. We have live traps set. So far only a kitty has been captured. The digging is not a kitty, maybe a skunk, but I doubt both. We turned the kitty loose.

The saga of the couple who orginally started the demolition is too complicated to write. Let's say he is in jail and has charges in two counties. The girl friend has now taken up with another guy, both of which have continued the demolition. All of them have conections with the many druggies in our neighborhood.

One my one block there are only three of us that are not in drug trafficking or use, that I know for sure. One family and one bachelor, I am not sure, and two houses are vacant. On the block behind us is at least one other engaged in drug trafficking and one old woman alcoholic.

When we moved here it was a nice quite suburban area. However, we are too old to just pull up stakes and move. Further, we do not fear bodily harm, maybe some theft, but Luckie is a good alarm barker and is only friendly with one neighbor, who is NOT among the druggies. 

The heat and time are causing my A-Fib episodes to be more frequent, but short. I have an appointment for scheduling a heart procedure Aug. 3. As advised when I was first diagnosed, the medications 'fade' over time and I have been fortunate the time for me is longer than the one year expectation given.

I may be absent a lot for the next 3 months. I have been OK'd to take in September vacation, even though it may not be so pleasant for me or Husband, as the episodes will still occur. But so-far we are going. Walking upgrades are debilitating as I rapidly become short of breath which may create an episode, as can the heat and some bodily functions. At least New York in September should be cooler than Arkansas!!!

As I have already mentioned we are going to Plattsburgh NY for the reunion of the U.S.S. Henley, one of my husband's ships. The Plattsburgh area is the site of several War of 1812 battles. The reunion is same time asthe last weekend of a 2-week remembrance celebration of the War of 1812.

The Navy guys will be participating in a parade, and all of us will see two re-enactments, one on land, and one on Lake Champlain. The history freak in me will be soaking up facts as I always regarded this British skimish a mundane short event. However historians have described it as the USA's most successful ground war! I surely have missed something from the history books!!!

PHOTOS: NitWit1 unless otherwise attributed.


TexWisGirl said...

sorry about having to look at that mess of a rat-trap all this time. i do hope the 'couple' continue to work at cleaning it up and getting it out of there, finally.

NitWit1 said...



Arkansas Patti said...

Carol,it is just deplorable to have that across the street from you. You take such pains to have such an attractive place. Too bad there couldn't be a small,controlled fire spontaneously occur on that lot.
Hope your proceedure is successful and that the vacation doesn't tire you too much. Do take care lady.

Hilary said...

It's a pity you have such difficult neighbours and particularly having to deal with the fallout of those that aren't even there any longer.

I spent many days wandering Plattsburgh, NY. I grew up in Montreal and that was a popular weekend destination for cross-border shopping.

Enjoy your trip and I do hope you'll be feeling much better.

Beth said...

I am sorry you have such awful neighbors across from you.


Beth said...

I am sorry you have such awful neighbors across from you.


Cheryl said...

I am so sorry that you have to see such an awful site across the street. You certainly worked very hard to try to rectify the situation. Its sad that people just up and walk away from their situations...and leave others to deal with its aftermath. I am wishing you good luck with the medical issues and will be keeping you in my thoughts. Your September trip sounds very intriguing!!

Sandi McBride said...

I worry about your drug dealer problems and would be in the chief of police's office trying to get that worked out! The mess across the highway should be an issue addressed by the city since even though they have turned a blind eye it is indeed their job to keep the city looking good you'd think...told Mac about your trip to the Henley reunion. He smiled and said send him best wishes...fair winds and following seas
haven't been in here for a while but am recovering from my surgery well so upright 2 hours a day and taking advantage of it by visiting my friends!