A little over eight years ago, I moved to western Pennsylvania and dedicated the majority of my time to a haunted attraction that lived in the yard of the owners. A huge chunk of my time over the next four years ended up being dedicated to yard clean up, both inside and outside the maze. This not only meant beating back weeds, but also putting haunt stuff away, and keeping trash from piling up on the outside of the maze as much as I could. The problem with doing work such as this - work done when hardly anyone is around - is that most people have no idea exactly how much you're doing.until you stop.
I stopped providing this service in 2008.
This weekend, a small horde of us showed up to clean up roughly four years of neglect that was about to result in a hefty fine from the town.
It's a testament to the friend who owns the property that the six of us wanted to help. I've learned during my stay out here that unless there's something in it for the individual, the average person will not go very far out of her or his way to help another person out..but here we were, overfilling four rather large trucks with broken plywood and doors, monster-sized weeds, and varied other things left outside for far too long.
It was pretty amazing.
I'm told there was a concern expressed by some of my ex co-haunters that I was only there to steal stuff, that I was going to destroy things, and a stated intent to come watch to make sure I didn't do any such thing. Heh. Weather and neglect has done more to this shell of a haunt than I can describe, and I wish that those expressing concern would have bothered to focus that energy on not letting this haunt we all used to love become the husk it is right now. But then, if they'd cared enough to do this non-glamourous work in the first place, things wouldn't have deteriorated to this extent.
Drama and hand flailing - and watching people work - is, apparently, more appealing than doing the right thing and cleaning up one's own mess. But this is not my surprised face.
What matters, of course, is that the result of 7 people working a total of 63 hours/roughly 2 days was 4 dump trucks filled with crap that is no longer on our friend's property. A good start, indeed.
<i>The last truck of the day - it would soon be as overfilled as the rest were.</i>
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