Friday, July 30, 2010

Student Housing

A few minutes ago, Adam called to say we need to pay the rent on his apartment by August 1.  He's going to share the apartment with 3 guys -- that is, assuming the building is completed by move-in on August 27.  Can you imagine a brand new 4 bedroom, 4 bath apartment for junior year?  No wonder the average college student these days takes 5 years to finish school!

I'm reminded of the 4-room 20' x 20' house I rented for 3 years of law school.  The $100 monthly rent was pretty sweet even then.  Rev. J.C. Burnett was our landlord.  The activity next door prompted one friend to comment, "I hear the safest place to live is next door to a Mafia don."  Two doors down the other way was an African-American church that often provided dinner music.  I figured it took me a half-hour to dig each square foot of my garden, a former junk heap that yielded buckets and buckets of broken glass.  I also rented a couple 25' x 50' community garden plots that kept me busy shelling peas while I cradled a 15-pound textbook in my lap.

"Did you feel safe?" asks Virginia.

Always -- except for the night I went fishing behind the stove for a salt or pepper shaker that had fallen.  My wire clothes hanger fishing pole found its way into an old 220-volt receptacle that had never been disconnected.  Fortunately for me, the current grounded on a metal conduit halfway up the wall.  Unfortunately, the metal conduit carried natural gas to the stove.  The metal melted instantly and became a blow torch.  Fortunately, the firehouse was only a few blocks away.  I threw bucket after bucket of water on the wall until the firefighters arrived.  The house lasted another couple years before it was condemned for a new street right-of-way.

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