How Could I Always Be So Lucky ?

I had to make a trip up to my North Texas Ranch yesterday. It appears the people that own the places all around me seem to be ganging up and deciding everything is always my fault.

The wild hogs are terrorizing everyone and everything. On top of that coyotes are very prevalent and seem to have everyone in the area scared out of their wits. I’m not sure why it’s my fault, but I guess since I’m the largest landowner anywhere nearby, they think I’m the one that needs to take care of the problem.

I ignored them for awhile but now they got the government authorities also hassling me.

Let me explain. My ranch is kind of like the old joke about the Texans sitting around bragging that goes like this:

There’s only one big difference. My ranch is 21 acres of less than prime real estate in South Dallas, otherwise known as Oak Cliff.

The fork in the highways at the bottom of the photograph is where I-35 and US 67 split off, the “my ranch” the part that is encircled in red. Of course when I say “my ranch”, it is really belongs to my wife and me both. But in all actuality I was the the one that made the trade for this fabulous piece of property, therefore a reason it is my ranch.

I’ll tell you how I came about that little piece of heaven. I did a project in Houston several years ago and the people didn’t pay all the money. I placed a lien on the property for an amount of a couple of hundred grand. After a year or so that company wanted to sell their Houston property and my $200,000 lien was holding up a 25 million dollar deal. They agreed to sign over 21 acres in Dallas they owned free and clear if I’d release the lien.

Heck the acreage in Dallas was right along I-35, so my reasoning was how could I go wrong with that trade. I was seeing huge dollar signs. That prime real estate should be selling by the foot, especially if I was patient. I think I was using words like “sure deal” and “no-brainer”.

We no more than got the title transferred to us and we got a notice from the City of Dallas that we needed to clean up the thousands of tires that were dumped on that property. About $20,000 later we got over that hurdle.

We sent a crew up and installed cable barriers all across the front where no other scumbags could back in a dump stuff on us.

Then TxDot came along and reconfigured the frontage road and moved the exit ramp where it bypassed our property. No longer a frontage road in front of our property. I hired an attorney to see what he could do about that. After spending more money than I wanted to, he decided it was going to be a long shot to go up against TxDot.

There was a city street that leads into the back of the property, so we had access so they considered that they hadn’t shut us off from our property !

Then TxDot established a fenced storage yard all across the front of my property, to show me who was really the boss.

Then there is the tax bill that shows up every year. The dollar signs for the worth of this property started looking smaller and smaller.

During the 15 or 20 years that we’ve owned the property there have been a barrage of notices from the city demanding that we cleanup our property, which has a alleyway running along the back side. Most of the stuff on our property is the trimmings and trash from our neighbors. The warnings “cleanup and trim you property or the city will and bill you for it”. I decided to test them on that one time. A bill for several thousand dollars showed up in the mailbox.

The Oak Cliff Dumping Grounds

We put the property on the market a couple of years ago and got a low offer, but we decided it was time to cut and run from these hassles. So as the details were worked out, the buyer was needing to make deals with the city, etc, then COVID-19 hit. So month after month we wait. Everything everywhere seemed to grind to a halt for the past 15 or 16 months.

Now the homeowners association is frightened by wild hogs and coyotes. Did I mention that one of the homeowners is good personal friends with a councilperson. The Code Enforcement Folks overreact every time they they get a call, about the property that is my little piece of heaven. Hence my trip yesterday to hire a local fellow for another $2000, to get a month or two of relief, hopefully.

Where the “North Texas Ranch” really comes from; if I had held out for the $200,000 from the Houston project, plus all the money we have spent on this dog of a piece of real estate, I could have purchased a nice size ranch.

It time for me to forget the cheese, just let me out of the trap!!!

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