A Derecho Following Behind

For it being the Tuesday after a holiday, there wasn’t that much activity going on in the real estate world here in North Iowa, which was fine by me because I had enough to keep me busy the entire day.

I was compelled to call my dear friend to see how she’s been since we last spoke. We had a nice visit and glad to hear her mobility is getting better by the day. Of course I had to bring her up to speed with a recent happening which should have never taken place, but there’s nothing I could’ve done because it was something that came totally out of left field, and when such things happen, I turn into a not very pleasant person.

What surprised me the most, was her insisting I read this weekend’s letter to the editor written by John Skipper regarding the “bridge to nowhere”, the “ghost hotel” and Southbridge Mall. After hanging up from her, I proceeded to look for and subsequently find it on line.

After giving it a good read, I’m now convinced Mr. Skipper knows or can “sense” that something’s happening with that whole project of Rachie’s which as far as I’m concerned, has been an intentional milking of close to two million dollars out of our City’s coffers. Because I’ve followed Skipper long enough, he’s definitely one who does everything he can to stay in lock-step with those he believes to be the winners. Something has now changed.

I called my friend back to tell her I found and read it, along with mentioning how shocked I am that nearly all of the general population of our City, has no clue that the City of Mason City co-signed on Rachie’s mall loan with Clear Lake Bank and Trust, so if David Rachie happens to skip town which will come as absolutely no surprise to me, it’ll be the third time our City has owned that cursed Southbridge Mall. When will they ever learn? The biggest gripe I have, is the willful waste of our taxpayers dollars. Some weeks ago, one of our residents who’s one of the most intelligent ones I’ve come to know, mentioned something about not being the least bit surprised if someone files a complaint with our State Auditor’s Office. Heaven help us if they’re not following protocols when it has to do with the spending of our City’s public funds.

The sale of 36 S. Illinois is slowly moving in the direction of my seller getting that purchase agreement signed. It would’ve been a cake-walk if there hadn’t been some mixed messages coming from the buyer’s side which needed to be clarified. I finally got the answers I needed around mid-afternoon, so I scanned and emailed the offer to the seller for signatures. At first I thought he’d have them right back, but unfortunately he was having problems with a printer, so perhaps I’ll have it either later tonight or first thing tomorrow morning.

Having received the full confirmation of the sale on 666 – 9th St. NE today, I went over and placed a sold rider atop my sign. Since I was there, I figured I might as well do a quick walk-thru on it for old time’s sake. Yes, my mother really did enjoy living there those many years, and I have no doubt the new buyer will feel similarly. I can’t believe how big that native red cedar tree is now because it seemed like yesterday when I planted it back when it was only about eight inches tall. I purposely planted it there because it was a seedling off of a red cedar growing on our home place. As a reminder, red cedars are the only native evergreen tree to Iowa, and if you don’t believe me, do some research.

With 36 S. Illinois now sold, I’m focusing on getting our few remaining active listings under contract. Since last Friday, I’ve been getting a number of calls from Realtors asking about and wanting to show 702 N. Jefferson. As I mentioned, we’ve already had one offer on it, and as I’ve said many times, once there’s a first offer that doesn’t come together, there’ll be more to follow, and especially in these times. There are already three showings scheduled for it tomorrow. I absolutely love the gorgeous hard maple floors and woodwork that home offers. The few times I’ve been there, I’ve had a burning desire to walk up and hug those massive maple pillars.

There was an unexpected call from one of the trustees over at First Baptist Church asking in a desperate tone if I’d be willing to play their vintage pipe organ during their 150th Anniversary Celebration which will be taking place on Sunday the 17th of this month. I told her I’d be willing to do it, but I’d have to race over from St. Paul after I’m finished playing for them. They have a keyboardist who’ll be playing the bulk of the music, but the trustee wants me to play preludes and their offertory hymn on that organ because the original pipes are as old as that church is which comes as no surprise because they appear to be very old. Without question, the keyboard console on it is much newer because it’s electrified which makes it much newer than 150 years. I asked what hymn she wanted me to play for their offertory and her only response was, “You’ve been doing this a long time, so you pick something appropriate.” After paging thru some of my offertory hymns, I came across one I’ve not played in years which is called, “All That We Have”. After reading the lyrics, I’m pretty sure I’m going to run with it.

It came as a bit of a shock when hearing we’re supposed to be getting pounded with severe thunderstorms and possibly a Derecho following behind. I’m already saying my prayers we’re not going to be getting hit like Cedar Rapids did several years ago because they’re still not fully back to normal. When being a little sassy with a clerk several days ago while talking about all the more wind we’ve been getting, I said, “That nasty wind has been blowing in every direction but up.” Be sure to button down your hatches.

Tonight’s One-liner is: I don’t believe in all these headline-hunting interviews.

Joe Chodur

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