Wednesday, July 29, 2009
A Neighbor's Mess
These are pictures of a neighbor's property - two 100x100 foot lots to the south of our acreage. The owner doesn't live on the premises but has used it as a dumping ground for various projects that are never started let alone finished. This past week he's been there a lot either hauling more junk in, sorting through it or moving it around. And once again the neighbors have exasperated themselves trying to "get it through his head" that he needs to clean the eyesore up.
He's been described as eccentric, lazy, dumb-witted, ignorant, a few choice expletives, and just a plain pain in the behind. So I wasn't sure how to handle him as I trudged through our woods, camera in hand, to talk to him. I had a little speech flowing through my mind and the camera to take pictures with a promise to "send them to the township."
The guy's really quite friendly, was nice enough, not confrontational or threatening when I point blank said, "Excuse me, I'm your new neighbor. I'm here to ask you to move your stuff off our land. And, by the way, there's a blight ordinance in this township. Are you aware of that?"
Got the words out quickly so he couldn't interrupt. He listened, then extended his hand and said, "Oh, nice to meet you." After various attempts to keep the conversation on his mess while he asked irrelevant questions, I said, "Come on. I'll show you the survey stakes that mark our boundary." He followed like a puppy.
Boundary stakes are something he takes seriously. Forty five minutes later he had moved all the stray boards, bricks, stone, and junk parts back onto his land. Later that afternoon I was picking blueberries along the road when he pulled up. He thanked me for pointing out the survey stakes (which would be hard to spot amongst all his stuff) and apologized for crossing onto our land.
The neighbors are wondering how I managed to get him to act and I'm plotting how to convince him to clean up the rest of the place.