Journal Entries for January, 2006

click here for archives of previous entries

Saturday, January 28, 11am: The new owner was an hour and a quarter late. I was livid at yet another delay. I'd just said he has 15 minutes more or he's history. He called five minutes later to say he'd be there in another five. He had about two minutes left when he arrived or we were selling to someone else. His excuse was no one told him about the appointment. I found that incredible, but apparently this rehab investor has a few projects going and has flipped many properties. I guess I just don't understand. To me, closing on real estate is a serious appointment.

The paperwork is signed. The money is to be wire transferred Monday so the deal is not entirely done, but it's about 99.9% certain the house is sold now.

We still have two months here. Part of the contract. Now is the time to plan the move. The substation will remain open for the officers for at least a month.

We went home after the closing and as we drove up there were no less than six guys hanging out on the Wilson side of 1700 Madison, around the corner from the Pedestal Gardens cameras and my eyes. Another five or more in the school yard across the street. Plainly dealing. Clearly they are happy not to have us to worry about anymore.

Friday, January 27, 11am: After weeks of stringing us along, the buyer and the title company are hastily putting together the settlement sheet for the house. They seem serious. I've had my doubts. We will be in Reisterstown at 2pm for signing. Assuming all goes as has been promised. I'll let you know.

I appreciate the emails of surprise and disappointment combined with encouragement.

Vaughn has just asked if I'm having second thoughts. It's well beyond that. I'm into my hundredth thought on selling. But it all comes out: let's get this over with. I can't take it anymore and he shouldn't have to. Loyalty is commendable, but there comes a point when asking it is wrong.

I know parts of the block are turning around. But they're all becoming rentals, as far as I can see. I see no homeowner-occupants. I pray that happens soon for this long handicapped block.

The Housing department responded in writing to my emails yesterday. I'll post it here later. Very interesting. He avoided certain issues and complaints completely and bragged about what any objective person would consider bungling and stupidity and inefficiency. It was downright amusing.

The failure of the Housing Department to find a decent homeowner for 1704 Madison Avenue, next door, is no small part of the reason we're giving up. They've even been hostile at times. Always arrogant and defensive. Sad.

I once stood in the alley, watching a young woman open a window from her Section 8 subsidized apartment so she could dump a used diaper in the alley she could clearly see me sweeping. I listened to "greens out, greens out" and watched the boys dealing at the end of the block. I remarked to Vaughn "not one single solitary soul on this block really gives a damn about it or us. They hate us." At times like those and when bricks were hitting the front of the house, we stuck with it only because of so many readers here who have helped and encouraged us. And I took some comfort from BELIEVING the city would help.

In many ways and many times they have. But the experience with 1704 is a bitter one. First with a city employed crackhouse slumlord and then an incompetent city Housing Department that seems accountable to no one.

I'm rambling. Sorry, though I know you expect rambling in these pages if you visit regularly. I think today my rambling is the realization that in less than three hours we may no longer be the owners of 1708 Madison Avenue. It will no longer be our fight. I believe selling is the right thing for us, but that doesn't make me happy about it.

You know you gotta pull that bad tooth. You know it's going to hurt.

Wednesday, January 25, 1:30pm: Over two weeks without an entry. In the near four years I've been writing this, that's got to be a record. Some readers thought maybe we'd sold and moved and that was that. No more RM. No, I wouldn't go that abruptly.

Though I've had some doubts, the prospective new owner here has set an appointment for Friday. The last possible day of his offer extension. If he doesn't show, we're keeping his earnest money. No further grace period. I'll let you know.

Week before last, I got a call from a guy in housing. He was rude, arrogant and annoyed that we had boarded up the next door crack house without consulting him. "That makes it hard to show the place!" I tried to call Housing several times, but finally resorted to involving the Mayor's office. He called Housing's boardup department who came out that day to secure the building that had been left open by the irresponsible and uncaring real estate agent and was being enjoyed by crack heads and prostitutes at all hours ... yet again. I told him "they secured it front and back. You had informed us you'd selected a buyer and closing was going to happen. It was open and creating problems for us. The agent had no trouble. She just removed the board on the front where the door and lockbox were. Done."

"Yes, it was a problem. And you had no right ..." or something like that. That's where I hung up on him. I have a temper. When I lose it, I've found the best thing to do is hang up before I say what I'm really thinking. Frankly, I had to wait a bit to write this out, I was so angry. Still am.

I have every right to defend my home. And City Hall does not tell me how to protect my home. I tell them. The Housing department's arrogance is unbelievable. City Hall, and even the Housing department, are there to serve the citizens of Baltimore, not so we can be ordered about by arrogant, petty, self important thugs.

In response to this fine public servant's call, I wrote the following email:

-----Original Message-----
From: Bryan Taylor []
Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2006 4:22 PM
To: mayor; Dixon, Sheila
Cc: Brown, Lauretta; vaughn vigil
Subject: rude
Importance: High

Your Honor & President Dixon:

Mr. Mayor, you may recall on October 21 I appealed for your help getting the house at 1704 Madison Avenue secured yet again against the crackheads and prostitutes who had broken in again.. You dispatched a boardup team that day. And it was greatly appreciated. A copy of our email exchange follows.

I had gotten no return calls from housing on the subject.

Just a few minutes ago, I got a rude call from a Ted Laster in Housing Dispositions who was annoyed that the house was boarded up. "When it's boarded up, we can't show it to buyers!" I told him I had tried to get through to his offices but got no replies and no action, as usual. I informed him the real estate agent merely unboarded it and used the SCOPE door behind. No problem. He was still angry.

This is not the first time I've had a problem with Mr. Laster and staff. Last year, in response to a complaint about the rat infestation of the garage at 1704, he dispatched a Mr. Goodson who was rude, arrogant and threatened me physically [yes, that's my impression of the incident. I can't prove it. I'm sure he has his own side of the story and he can post it on his website]. I had to call the police on this fine public servant. This when I insisted he could not just pry open the garage door and throw in rat poison. That would only result in my having to pick up carcasses and half dead rats for three weeks, as it had before. The cause of the infestation had to removed, which was the piles of debris with easy access that gave the rats a home.

I also think it amusing that not long after this run in with housing, an inspector was sent to cite us for our remaining boarded windows. On a block where we've had bricks thrown at our windows repeatedly. A house next to a semi boarded up house called 1704. A house where we've provided a police break room at no charge for over three years. Where we've repeatedly cleaned the alley, and involved Dale Thompson and sanitation enforcement in getting the neighbors to do the right thing. Yes, we're housing enemy number one for the city of Baltimore. That's clear. Forgive my sarcasm, but I think it justified.

When 1704 was finally listed after absurd delays by Michael Bainum's department, it was boarded up. No SCOPE door, and throngs of vulture like people descended on the property, ripping it open and leaving us to deal with the problems it created.

We fought to close down this house and have it turned over to the city. We finally boarded it ourselves when the owner failed to follow the terms of his probation. We turned off the gas and water. We have repeatedly reboarded, secured, called the police. We've been left in charge of the house since it was abandoned. No one else was taking care of it. [certainly not Housing]

The handling of this house by the city has been botched and bungled in almost every way. We have done everything a city could ask of a homeowner and more.

And so I do not appreciate being disrespected by one of those very bureaucrat's who has done the bungling and who obviously doesn't know or care about all we've done here to fix the problem that was and still is 1704 Madison Avenue. I hung up on him.

If anyone in your office(s) would care to know the true story of this house, I am here. And I have no commissions or my job at risk. It's nothing important. Just where we live. <g>



The Mayor's office responded:

Thanks for letting me know about this.  I've
asked Paul Graziano to follow up and see that
you receive a response.
Martin O'Malley

I got a call from housing asking to set a telephone conversation. Problem is, I've had in person and phone conversations with these people. Things are said. Promises are made. Nothing is written down. And nothing comes of it. I replied by email. No question what was said to whom that way ...

1704 Madison Avenue
Bryan Taylor <>
Mon, 23 Jan 2006 11:48:15 -0500
mayor <>, sdixon <>, "Brown, Lauretta" <>, vaughn vigil <>,, Adam Meister <>

Good morning.

I appreciate your having your assistant call to set up a telephone
conversation about 1704 Madison Avenue in response to my complaint about its
handling to his Honor and Council President Dixon.

However, I have a history of unproductive phone and in person conversations
with Housing officials, including you, David Levy, Bob Pipik, Mr. Goodson
(including his physically threatening me), and recently Mr. Laster (sp?)
(who was simply rude and arrogant ... twice). Lots of things said. Lots of
things not followed up on. I'd rather see conversation about this property
in writing, where we remember what was said and promised. Like the obvious
retaliation of sending an inspector out to cite our house after a certain
event including police officers (your man, Mr. Goodson, whom I suggest never
visits this street again).

I spoke to you about 1704 nearly two years ago when you told me to find a
potential buyer, that the foreclosure could be transferred to one, in
process. We identified two. No response from Housing. Then Housing wanted to
group it a year later with properties in the Sandtown area as part of a
SCOPE offering. Ms. Dixon
<> persuaded Housing to do
it earlier because this property is such a magnet for crime, such a cancer
for the neighborhood. That was botched badly. Would have been a comedy ...
if you didn't live here. Including offering a six unit apartment slum as a
three bedroom, one bath and way over figuring the square footage. Setting
the price to rehab so high only a developer could bid, not a potential end
user: an owner occupant that the block needs desperately. Two of whom I met
who could not qualify because of the idiotic requirements set by your
department. And not having a doorway at all such that the vultures
interested ripped the boards off we'd installed when the deadbeat city
employee did not, as required by his terms of probation.

If anyone downtown is interested, I could and likely will write out the
whole history of 1704 since 2001 when it became very clear it was a thriving
24/7 crack/heroin minimart. The
<> Sun might find such story
interesting, as they did when we opened the well used police break room here
at 1708 Madison. At the time, I thought handing it [1704] over to the city would be
a good thing. That was a big mistake. If you have any questions as to why,
I'd be happy to sit down with you and a few others (so there's no question
what was said) and review it to see if such fiascoes can be prevented in

I am concerned that the handling of 1704 is indicative of the way Housing
has handled other such properties. I have friends who have similar stories
of bungling and delay in Reservoir Hill. I can tell you that SCOPE is a
misnomer as far as I can see. Efficiency ain't the word any objective person
who knows the facts would use to describe how 1704 Madison Avenue has been
handled. That's clear. Why is the handling of such properties taking so
long? Why is a city bureaucracy perpetuating the damage of slumlords and
those who've abandoned the city?

So, if you're interested in exploring what's happened with 1704 and can set
aside the defensive, let's go. If you want to talk to me on the phone only
and attempt to appease me: no. The huge factor too many downtown don't seem
to grasp is this: I live here. You do not. And you don't tell me what's good
for my neighborhood. I tell you. If you have a problem with this, I suggest
we meet where you live and discuss what the same problems in your
neighborhood would mean. I would enjoy it. Someone in Housing has to
understand what it is to live in a block like this. Obviously no one there

Bryan Taylor
1706-08 Madison Avenue

I'm waiting to see if there's a written response to this.

And if you're wondering: Until the fat lady sings. Till the last day. Till we've removed the last of our belongings. Till we have the closing "party" for the substation. Until then, I will fight for what I still consider to be my home. Against crack and heroin gangs, slumlords, dumpers and petty bureaucrats alike. Someone has to. Not just sit around bitching like a Mr. G.B. in his rarefied mansion on the other side of the block.

Tuesday, January 10, 1:30pm: Called 311 last night to report the generator driven floodlight not working again. Though the operator seemed a bit confused, shortly after the call one of those small Jeep type police cars came up and parked at the intersection. They tried for about 20 minutes, but could not make it work. At least while they were here, the dealers who had been hanging out next to it and in the darkened school yard wandered away. I wonder if the dealers keep breaking it. I wonder if it will be fixed.

I was skeptical it had any value anymore even when working, until one of the special officers told me it allows him to see into their hiding spaces at the school. No one would want to pursue these guys into those dark doorways where they hide from the cops, waiting for their customers. As I've written previously, anything that makes the officers safer is worth it.

Saw the truck belonging to the owner of the new security firm a few times late last night and early AM. When I saw him, I noticed two cars parked next to the school had disappeared. He's a good deterrent, when he's seen. The cars belonged to two dealers who were hanging out in them and likely using them to stash the drugs, based on their frequent, quick visits. The owner of this company, unlike any previously, actually works shifts here too. A big improvement.

3:30pm: Vaughn came by a bit ago and said "I think they read the website. Things have gone back to where they were before the substation." He had seen the same blatant dealing at the corner I've been seeing more of lately, in part because it's near the first.

I replied, "That's fine. Maybe they'll leave us alone. Knowing we'll soon be gone, why do anything to us now? They've won like they said they would." It's their block, not ours and we're leaving them to it.

Monday, January 9, 6pm:Reluctantly granted the extension requested by the prospective buyer here. We're ready to go! This will be his last extension, as I made clear to him. He will forfeit several thousand if he fails to close in a couple weeks. If he fails again, we will list the house. We're selling. That's decided. Just a matter of when. We're that ready.

Haven't seen the special officers for Pedestal Gardens at all today, and I've looked many times. Doesn't mean they haven't been here. They could be dealing with trouble at any of the three other properties including the big courtyard across the from school. They're all troubled. I've noticed these officers have a tendency lately to be in their cars and/or together more. Not so visible as when they first started. It has been colder at times, but still I hope this isn't a trend.

Haven't seen a single city officer either or heard one use the substation. That's unusual. I hope it's just coincidence with a new Central District Major. I'm tired of having to plead for help from them. This will be the fourth Major we've known in as many years. With all the diverse needs of this district, there's a long learning curve, expensive to our progress.

The cage around the gate at PG is finished, but the gate still sits there, doing nothing. I notice more of the PG residents don't even bother parking in their lot. They need a permit. Ah, but why do I fret this? I know what the fence is about and it ain't about protecting residents, the tenants, neighbors or officers.

Our generator driven floodlight is on sometimes. Sometimes not. Sometimes all day. Sometimes not at all. Unlike the dealers. I can find at least two every day across from the school beginning midday and running till about 3am. Constant runs to their stashes in Pedestal Gardens. Nothing's changed. They just don't deal as flagrantly from PG or in front of this house.

The new landlord at 1712 has failed to provide any means for his tenants to dispose of their garbage so they just toss it into the alley, sometimes in flimsy bags. No cans. The yard is a dump. Sanitation Enforcement Super Dale Thompson has vowed we will see enforcement officers each week now. I hope this guy gets a hefty fine. That seems the only way. I made clear to him in a most friendly and hopeful manner what the rules were months ago. Apparently only fines will help him care. It's all about money, nothing else.

Got news from Paul on Linden Street. I think he expresses it best:

Happy new year again.

Lynn's car was stolen last night. From in front of the house on Linden Avenue.

Also, the castle is back in action proving that you can't keep the American entrepreneurial spirit down.

I love city life.--------BELIEVE it Hon.
In 47 years living in the suburbs I never had a Christmas Door Wreath, tools, or a car stolen from a house or watched nightly news about home invasions or daily murders around me.

I applaud the police for the work they do in the face of a culture that glorifies thuggery, mayhem and Grand Theft Auto through music and video games. We don't pay them nearly enough and yet they keep on plugging away. Why do we underfund the police and teachers, cut mental health services and find a way to build a new hotel downtown? (Yes, I know its a complex issue. Hey! Its my turn to vent.)

Let's urge our representatives to find money in the budget for the police and to make Maryland a "Shall Issue" state. Why should carjackers get away with shooting pregnant women and teenagers run around armed holding up stores when law abiding, properly trained, taxpaying, voting citizens are denied the constitutional right to bear arms for self defense in public? The candidates who back SHALL ISSUE in Maryland are the ones who will get the support of this once flaming liberal democrat.

A nice Officer ... promptly came out to take the theft report after we called 911. He was a young guy who seemed to really like his job. He was professional, friendly and had good advice about City living. He regularly patrols this sector and has seen a lot of improvement and sees more coming as more homeowners move in. Still he wisely cautions to be careful coming home after dark. Good advice from a professional. I trust he will not be chastised for being straightforward with us.

Well, so much for today's To-Do List.

Now the fun part. Dealing with the insurance company and the car rental folks.


I want out precisely to avoid becoming even more angry and disillusioned. I'd like to get away before there's not a lick of idealism left inside. I fear it may be too late. Perhaps when I leave here, I should turn over the website to those who are staying. They will doubtless have many more interesting and troublesome stories than I will where I'm going.

Saw an ad for a row house two blocks from Druid Lake. A good price. In better structural shape than this. I've been thinking I should invest in this housing boom. Figured across from the lake, it can't be that bad. My first clue was the sight of a generator driven floodlamp four doors away. Just like ours. The other clues were young men loitering on every corner, crappy little corner markets, and about 3 of 4 houses boarded. Never bothered to get out of the car. I'm not interested in making a killing in real estate here by being an absentee landlord to those would be willing to live in these places or flipper to those like us too stupid to know any better. This greedy swarm of investors is simply going to make the problems of some areas in the city even worse. And the city does nothing to stop, in fact encourages them.

Wednesday, January 4, 2pm: Heard pounding out front this morning and looked out to see workmen constructing a cage around the area where the new driveway gate is supposed to move when opening.

gate work

Apparently it dawned on the property management firm that the moving gate needed to protect the kids who would play on and around it. There are so many kids with nothing to do here and I've often said too many people walk around with Leviness, Tolzman and Hamilton ("personal injury" lawyers) business cards in their wallets, ready for any opportunity. You can see that downtown when people step off the curb before the light has changed and walk at a snail's pace. Funny, I've noticed this more when riding in my friend's Lexus than when in my dented old truck.

I can't help but say again this whole fence thing has been nothing more than a delaying tactic. I watch the dealers let into the apartments all day long. They have made their rounds today past the workers. The fence will do nothing but waste more taxpayer money. It's only purpose seems to have been to delude a police commissioner and HUD into giving an uncaring slumlord and his irresponsible property management firm more time at the taxpayer feeding trough. And I know for a fact everyone from former Central District Major Skinner to beat officers has their doubts about fences. "how do we get in?"

Speaking of lawyers, and I use that word with the worst possible connotation, Warren "all my clients are the victims" Brown was quoted in an article in the Sun today "It's a real feeling out there that in certain neighborhoods, the Constitution has no place." He was referring to a hearing today at the War Memorial where Police Commissioner Hamm and State's Attorney Jessamy plan to discuss whether city police are violating people's rights when arresting them for loitering in certain neighborhoods.

Here's a link to the article.

Cops can't win. If they harass dealers and others, they get flak for it. If they don't, they get flak from homeowners and others who care what happens in front of their house. And it's not always dealers. Yesterday afternoon, I saw a woman sipping her Colt 45 on my steps. Spoke to an officer and suggested maybe she'd take him more seriously than me. He said, "I just asked her to move along not 20 minutes ago." He then asked if those clothes piled in the vestibule were mine. She had left her and her boyfriend's malt liquor bottles, take out lunch debris and a pile of discarded clothes for us to clean up yet again. Turns out boyfriend lives across the street at PG. Surprised? Admittedly, such nuisance is the least of my concerns here, but it sure is aggravating to see the contempt people on this block have for themselves and everyone else.

It is no one's constitutional right to loiter on sidewalks and in streets. They are thoroughfares. Unless you have business there. And in most cases, the business here is peddling death, nothing more. Not a right, though too many seem to think so. That it happens a lot in poor African American neighborhoods does not mean enforcement of loitering laws is racist, though I doubt Warren has ever found an issue that wasn't about race and his ego mania. I always remember the day when a beat cop came into my print shop near Canton a few years ago. I asked him about the dealers on each of three corners outside my door. One was Hispanic, one pasty white and the other African American. We agreed drugs are an equal opportunity destroyer. You need only visit some blocks in the South and Essex to see that clearly.

The City Council is studying bringing back a law allowing the police commissioner to impose a curfew on those little convenience marts on so many corners. Those which are little more than fronts for dealing. Like the hole in the wall store two doors south of here, on the alley, where one can find at least three dealers in front doing a bang up business all afternoon and night ... right across from the elementary school. There's another, no better, a half block over and one on the other end of the block too. Stale twinkies sold for three times what they cost in a real market, individual cigarettes for 50 cents, rolling papers, crack pipes. All the necessities of life. Another example of those making a profit on the addictions and ignorance of others, just like the absentee slumlords. And I suspect in many cases, the market owners get a kickback from the drug trade in front of their stores, if they're not the dealer themselves. Same thing I suspected of Clarence Weston's crack house next door.

If you agree, please send your council member an email supporting this tool. Your district and their addresses can be found at  A copy to Council President Dixon would be helpful, too: SDixon @ (take out the spaces).

The prospective new buyer here spoke to me today. Apparently, his financing is taking longer than planned. He needs an extension of three weeks. He says he's willing to pay more in earnest money for it. Money he will lose if he doesn't come through. I guess he's earnest enough for us to wait a bit longer, but it's driving me crazy. Crazier than usual that is. We're trying to decide now whether to give it to him or to begin actively selling it ourselves. This guy helped convince us it was time to sell. Now, we're just anxious to get on with our lives.

January 3, 2006, 1pm: New Year's Eve turned out quiet for us. Vaughn and our neighbor friends from a block up went to the harbor to see the fireworks. I didn't like the looks of the dealers and other's loitering, so I stayed home. The officers across the street said there was a lot of rowdiness, as one would expect. One incident involved a bucket full of excrement dumped on someone's car. Not a cute prank, but surely better than shooting a car as happened here last fall.

New Year's Cake

Jenn and Amelia came by with a flat of waters, cupcakes and a sheet cake. Thank you both very much. They indulged my reminiscing about the substation and doubts about leaving. Like so many, they don't consider us to be running away. I like to say our tour of duty is over, but in truth we are quitting. Yet, I will allow that does not mean complete failure. At the very least, we provided a convenience for officers who deserve appreciation. Probably the most lasting result: we have encouraged and inspired. You can't hope for much more than that.

From Paul, one of the TechBalt Team on the Linden Avenue front of the war:

At the Canape Evening Going Away Party [we're going to have some sort of reception the day we close the station], How about giving everyone a baseball bat and playingDealer Baseball.  Sgt. Wimmer can be umpire.  Homerun for cracking one so hard his stash flies out of his knit hat on the sidewalk in front of a Police 1st base coach.  Triple for breaking a leg and watching customers rummage through his pockets.  Double for two customer headlights/tailights.  Single for getting cursed at as a wild eyed dark haired Jew (Adam), an Irsihman (You) and a Mexican (Me) (reminds me of an old joke) walk toward a cluster of runners and touts swinging 34 inch Louiville Sluggers chanting, Hey Hey Ho Ho, YOU'VE GOT TO GO.  Maybe I can get the RHIC Board to join as a fundraiser? 
You have inspired us from day one and we thank you for that.  Even though we shamefully haven't been by lately, hardly a day goes by when I don't stand at the window or on the roof snapping shots for Sgt. wimmer that I don't think of you, vaughn and the substation. 

The game plan is just fantasy, I'm sure, but his anger is palpable. And I understand it absolutely, completely. Paul has rebuilt a row house on LInden in Reservoir Hill from the ground up, almost literally. I think only the shared walls remain. He is a door away from a shell with a collapsed roof. Dealers operate across the street. Madison Park North is a block away. That's a Section 8 property every bit as bad as Pedestal Gardens has ever been. There I go again: slumlords large and small are the problem. (Seems especially true of those we taxpayers subsidize.) Homeowners are the solution.

Speaking of homeowners, someone called the real estate agent whose sign is posted on 1704 Madison still. It's for sale again. The "developer" chosen for the former crack house seems to have backed out. And still it sits. You know why? The bright bureaucrats downtown have made it a requirement the developer have $375,000 available to make the renovations. They think this is Fells Point or Canton. Pity, with $100,000 that building could be a nice home and apartment for someone. That would help this block. Making it financially undoable for the little guy, someone who might want to live here himself, is no help at all. Selling City Owned Property Efficiently (SCOPE). Yeah, right. What a joke.

Back to Paul and Linden Street. They're working with Sergeant Wimmer, our very effective drug squad sergeant. You may remember what he did a year ago last month at Pedestal Gardens.

Final totals 222 gel caps heroin, 53 vials of crack, 23 bags of marihuana, plate with 39.4 grams of heroin, 22 illegal prescription pills, $1,847.00, packaging material, scale.
Sgt. Wimmer

I would bet we have the same inventory at least in one of the apartments of Pedestal Gardens across the street. And likely the same in the slumlord's apartment house at 1700 Madison, across the street from the school.

Very early New Year's Day I was sneaking down to swipe a cop cup cake and was caught in the attempt red handed by three officers munching away. This was after much of the festivities had died down and most revelers had passed out. We had put out some nice hot cider, too. The officers all thanked me and one asked "so, it's true, you are selling?"

"Yeah, we've signed a contract so it looks that way, but we haven't closed yet and we'll keep this open as long as we can."

One said something to the effect that "whether you agree with his opinions or not (gesturing toward me), this is a good place. Who can argue with a decent break room?" Who, indeed? It's been a no brainer.

Less than two days to the deadline, but the buyer called me to schedule the appointment for Friday, which is fine with us. I can feel my heart clenching as write that.

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