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Friday, December 28, 2007

The Perkins Place: We Don't Need a Bulldozer...

What we need is a small tactical nuke...As promised yesterday, I took a drive by the artistic outdoor showroom of the Reverend Seymour Perkins this afternoon and my experience was much different than the first time around. I'm almost embarrassed to complain about the occasional bout of graffiti in The 78250. I won't stop complaining mind you, but it as though we live on two different planets.Knowing where the infamous home is, I drove down Nevada so I could pull into the little convenience store across the street to evaluate the situation. Other than a hooker on the pay phone, the shop was fairly empty. I pulled around trying to get a good angle for a picture and saw lots of folks further down the street on Nevada.I opted to drive around the block and come back from the other way just so I could see what the commotion was about. Turns out, it was just a drug deal. Some white lady in a white car was buying drugs from some black kid on the street. On the block between Cactus and Hackberry, there were lots of people hanging out and several cars seemingly lined up to make buys, or perhaps they were all like me just wanting to drive by and get a glimpse of the place. Sure, that was it.As to calling code compliance, what about this house on Cactus, one of Rev. Perkins neighbors. Really, is this place any better? Oh wait, perhaps that is also art.

I'm starting to get the bigger picture here and I think it isn't about the outdoor display of art or sculptures or the fact that Rev Perkins has some sort of church going on. It really is no more difficult than what some of his neighbors complained about before, and that is all the prostitution and drug dealing taking place by his property. Unfortunately, I think his property may be unfairly targeted. Oh, I don't know for sure, if he is or isn't inadvertently promoting these things by being so open to the ho's and dealers that he is trying to save, but I do know that the problem extends beyond his property line.

I had lost all confidence in an attempt to either talk with Rev Perkins or perhaps stop and at least take some detailed pictures of his art. There were two reasons to be honest. First, I had not come equipped with a shotgun, and second, it was clear to me that as I made my first full trip down the street and back around the block to come to his house a second time, I suddenly looked no different than the other cars who circled the place looking to buy drugs or pick up a quick piece of ass.

Oh, and I shutter to even imagine who the incredibly desperate people are who would engage in anything that involved physical contact with some of the "ladies" along Nevada and Hackberry. Thankfully, my wife keeps a bottle of Purell in the van on the off chance that I may have caught something just breathing the same air. I know this sounds harsh, but please understand, these were some very unhealthy women in need of serious intervention and a good solid scrubbing. These are not the same women I saw the first time I drove by.

The other disturbing thing is, this was in broad daylight and there was nobody even the slightly bit paranoid that I was driving by - a stranger out of place. I could have been a cop or a mayor or a newspaper reporter, but it seemed more likely that I was just another person looking to buy drugs or the aforementioned STDs.
Just to be clear, none of what I saw was on Rev Perkins property or even directly in front of his house. You may notice in fact, that he has a sign on his porch that asks people to call 911 or 311 if they see anyone selling dope. No, these people were all along the street around this neighborhood.

It is not my intention to say that Perkins should be able to have such a disaster of a home, or at least, the visible to the public portion; clearly, this guy needs to get his act together in terms of getting the place cleaned up. But what I saw today was that there is a problem bigger than just Mr. Perkins and his yard gallery and ministry. He isn't the only person in that area who could benefit from a visit by a Ty Pennington.

What I did not see was any police attempting to scare off the people openly selling drugs. And bulldozing Mr. Perkins house won't solve that problem by a long shot.

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San Antonio, TX, United States
I love to observe the odd things happening around me as I go about my day. I especially like it when I can get a picture of people being themselves. Here, I attempt to report the various people and events I have encountered in my neighborhood, and my city. I'd also love to hear from you. Feel free to e-mail your experiences and photos of life in San Antonio.

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