"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Feb 6, 2014

Doña Quixote

I don’t blog much anymore; not that I don’t write.  I’ve got electronic volumes, but I really miss being able to just pick up a journal, or letter, and flip back and forth without effort.  I included letters with my Christmas cards to good friends far away, and was thrilled to receive something in my mailbox in return.  Don’t you look closely at a foreign postage stamp, and the date stamp, just to see how well the Post Office is doing?  I recognized Brit Pam’s penwomanship immediately as I sorted through the junk mail.  Boy, you have to be careful these days.

Anyway, the blog.  Here’s the truth for anyone reading:  I’m being thrown off the property I’m currently parked on.  It’s a long story, and no, I didn’t do anything wrong.  Except maybe not following my old boss’s advice to stay low in the foxhole.  If you're short on time, here is my argument which I've been forwarding to legislators:  Position and Property.

I live in an RV, or Recreational Vehicle.  It’s my choice.  I don’t have children; nor a partner at the moment.  My companion has 4 paws, and we enjoy being on the road.  It’s an older model:  1988, before they had all the slides and fancy gizmos of modern rigs.  Just like old homes.

Unfortunately, the County Code only allows (inhabited) RVs on private property one month in twelve if a home is already on the property; three if vacant; nine if building.  Fine; I’ve been subletting.  Caught between the Oregonian Hatfields and McCoys, my presence was reported and I was given the proverbial boot.  Luckily the County official has been more than helpful with extension requests, but the Ides of March herald my doom.  FYI, I'm not alone in the local crackdown, which is the main reason for my fight.  I'm confident BC and I will land on our own six, but there are too many others out there who will wander public places.  It's no fun being run off.

The problem is compounded because of what I’ve been hollering about for over a year:  RV parks are increasingly denying long-term admittance (to economical monthly rates) based on the RV’s age, and mine is too old.  Imagine a motel or restaurant denying you admittance because your car’s not new, or pretty, enough.  You’d be up in arms.

It’s supply and demand caused by the housing crisis; it’s discriminatory; and I’m forced on this crusade out of necessity.  While I have the money to move to an RV park just up or down the road, I'm being ripped from my health care, the support of friends, and if I was allowed inside a church, my faith.

I consider myself a migrant.  I’m an artist who could enjoy traveling to various art festivals around the country.  Or I could take my dog treat mixes on the road, participating in Pet Expos in major cities all year long.  I tried that the summer of 2012, which is when I first ran into the age discrimination, so I skedaddled back to the safety of my friend’s property in Southern Oregon.  But I’m being run out of here, too. 
Legal Aids can’t help because the discrimination involves none of the so-called Protected Classes.  We have seven:  race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, and familial status.  Googling around, I stumbled upon a United Nations guideline for the rights of migrants.  They have the same seven as us, but included are economic position and property.  They can’t be evicted en masse; they have the right to dispute and, if valid, be compensated.

So basically, Columbians and Egyptians are afforded rights ignored on our own soil, because if what I described isn’t discrimination against my Property, I don’t know what is.  I’ve read about the fight to include Poverty in the Protected Classes; perhaps this is just another spin on the issue.  Now that I look at it, where’s human Age and Education?

People like me are the Gypsies of America, and if you have any sympathy for the Roma in Europe, consider us, too.  

What’s the difference between the fox and hare?  One is running for his supper, the other his life; and I’m paddling as fast as I can.  Responses from the Powers-that-Be are dribbling in, which offer encouragement, and when I live somewhere with decent reception, I'll try to find others in this fight. 

If you know of anyone who could use this argument, please pass it along:  Position and PropertyAnd if nothing else, it informs you a bit more about an issue which, quite honestly, if you're not experiencing it, you'd likely not realize. You’d be surprised how many heads nod as I ramble.

Thank you.

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