Full disclosure.

I bought a 12,500 square foot building, including a 4-bedroom (GORGEOUS) apartment, with a sizable parking lot, on Valley Street, to open an arts center, for $78,900. THERE IS A REASON FOR THAT.

In Chicago, I would have paid a million dollars. Well, not really, because I don’t HAVE a million dollars. My dream would have simply gone by the wayside waiting for the moment I hit the lottery.

But here, in central Pennsylvania, I can have it. I can DO something – START something, OWN something I otherwise couldn’t in a progressive urban environment.

Today ‘Sam’ dropped by. He was a curmudgeonly, wry, sarcastic, kindred spirit who had apparently been hunting me down for weeks! He wanted me to paint something for him. We exchanged sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek pleasantries while I continued staining the floors.

When Sam had to go he made sure to mention that there were ‘at least five squad cars’ parked down the street. ‘Never can tell what’s going on in this neighborhood’. My heart only sank for a moment. I already knew what we were up against. All the more reason to make amazing things happen.

We finished the floors – closed the place up – speculated about the commotion and headed back home. Once inside I was able to check the interwebs for the latest and greatest.

‘Meth Lab Busted on Valley Street’. – Ugh.

My street.

OUR street.

Good news is, they were busted. Bad news is, they were ever there.

I’m not naïve. I know. I really know and that’s exactly why I will not stop, relocate, give it up or move away…

We are doing the right thing. We are where we need to be. Call me crazy but we are going to change things. If things can get worse, why the hell can’t they get better?

They can and they will.

We’ve got back-up. Our back-up has back-up!

Evolution now.

We’re ready.

Author Julie Ufema

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