[By Marcia Milner-Brage in Cedar Falls, Iowa, USA]
The neat-and-tidy camper in juxtaposition to the adjoining property’s ramshackle garage, rusted-out wheelbarrow, and un-tended yard attracted me to do the initial sketch. As I stood there, the owner of the property on the other side from the camper (very well kept, I might add) came to check-out what I was doing. She saw that I was “just drawing”. In a rather disappointed and exasperated tone, “I thought you were the inspector. I thought you were taking notes. I don’t know how many times we’ve called the City about how the owner of this rental neglects it.”
Thus, through the act of sketching the emblematic of where I live, I found myself smack in the middle of the big-issue embroilment which all owner-lived-in-properties are now grappling: the erosion of the quality of our old town neighborhood and the resulting falling property values because more and more houses are being bought by slumlords who do the minimum to care for them.
The owner of the camper emerged to do a little primping to his pride and joy. I called out to him, “Did you do the conversion?”
“Sure did.” He stopped his wiping. “I got it cheap. There’s a queen-size bed in there. A toilet, a sink, a stove and fridge. AND air conditioning.”
“Any room to stand?” He laughed and shook his head. Perhaps, I’d asked an irreverent question. He resumed his polishing. I resumed my drawing.
* to see the previous post about another camper-of-note, go HERE.