Those darling dinosaurs, happily grazing in a Texas yard brought smiles to the faces of children of all ages. The grumpy board members of the inevitable HOA, not so much. They decided that the dynamic duo had to leave “or else….” Well, you know what they can be like – a little power and they lose their heads. But this story really is all about the power of the people, the ability of the neighbors to appreciate a couple of beautiful sculptures that give such joy to the folks next door and across the street. Notwithstanding the grumpy ones, the residents of this neighborhood all wanted a pair of dinosaurs of their own – at least for a while. And thus began an amazing journey and a lesson for all of us, including the grumpy group. Are you listening?
By the way, you do not have to be a board member to be grumpy and not all board members are grumpy.
Nancy Hentschel joins us On The Commons to give us an update on her ingenious plan to share her dinosaurs with her new friends in the neighborhood. She explains how her generosity is helping make money for the charities. The plan is simple and brilliant. Any neighbor who wants to have the dinosaurs spend a little time in their front yard will have to make a $50 donation to the charity of their choice. Charities are getting much needed money, especially at this time of the year. Smiles, grins, joy and photo ops these big prehistoric beings bring continue. It is a win win for all. Although Nancy is in the process of moving to a saner, kinder neighborhood where grumpy people are not allowed, she is generously allowing her dazzling dinos to remain behind. They are defying the traditional HOA wisdom about uniformity and conformity protecting property values and proving that a little fun can go a long way in making a happy community. Talking to Nancy I was reminded of a short story I read online called A Flock of Lawn Flamingos . Nancy, thanks for reminding us of what is really important in life.
The peeps are rebelling! Finally! No longer do homeowners believe that uniformity and conformity enhance property values. Nor do they believe that a homeowners associations creates “community”. They are tired of living in fear and refuse to be silenced any longer. With every negative story about HOAs that hit the media, hundreds and thousands of people have been commenting. Oh, I admit, a handful still repeat the inane sound bites like “you agreed”, “if you don’t like it, move”. Agreed to what? Being abused and losing your home? What idiot would do something like that? Move? Where to? Their comments make no more sense now than they ever did. By far most of the comments are pro homeowner and passionately anti HOA. Are you listening, CAI?
And did you ever think that an HOA could actually do some good?It’s ingenious! Keep reading and tune in to the show.
Nancy Hentschel joins us On The Commons this week. Nancy and her husband live in a large Homeowners association of single family homes in Texas. A few weeks ago they finally bought a couple of dinosaurs they fell in love with over a year ago. Once the dynamic dino duo took up residence in New Territory, something quite remarkable happened. Predictably they heard from the association but they also heard from their neighbors. As Nancy said, she met more of her neighbors than she had in all the years they have lived there. They not only came to the house but they wrote all over the internet. Some of the comments were short and to the point, “keep the dinos. Please, oh please”. “I think this is really cool, I wish they were my neighbors” and “Putting the neighbor in the neighborhood, one big claw at a time.” But there is more. Thanks to Nancy’s ingenuity and generosity, what started out as an expression of individuality, is doing some real good. The dinosaurs are moving around the neighborhood and checking out other front yards. For a $50 donation to any charity of their choice, all her New Territory neighbors can host the dynamic duo for 3 days before they move on to another yard. With approximately 5000 homes in New Territory, the dino walkabout can do some serious good. Cheers to the Hentschel’s, their “authentic community”, a neighborhood that refuses to be silenced and a couple of prehistoric creatures who have come back to show us the error of our ways. What fun!