February 13, 2007. That was the day that the property next door burned down. Since then, the lot was cleared, became overgrown with killer thistles and cockle burs, was cleared again, was used as a storage area for bridge building materials, was overgrown and cleared again, was left un-mowed until the city or I would do it – same as snow removal. It has also been for sale for the last 3 or so years. A few weeks ago some guy showed up out front and asked if he could park for a few minutes as he needed to adjust the for sale sign. This meant moving it out of the lot and closer to my building. He was not the real estate person, just someone who adjusts their signs. He asked what happened to the restaurant… why someone “tore it down.” I showed him this picture on my wall:
He told me that he had graduated from the local high school in the 80’s and had moved away. Moved away means like 18 miles away. He had lost touch and had no idea this happened. I felt surprised about that now with the invention of the wireless.
Since then, I’ve been getting a few people wondering where I am going… looks like I need to move that sign. Someone pulled up this afternoon, got out of his vehicle and walked over to the window where he cupped his hands around his eyes, pressed his face up to the glass and looked in. I walked in front of him on this side of the glass and said “hello.”
He walked in and wondered why I was selling the building. I told him I was not… the lot next door was what was for sale. He seemed disappointed. “It is still a sweet building”, he said as he walked out the door. Thanks and no shit.