'This Old Crack House' #1: Introduction

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Blog entry by Dusty posted 02-18-2007 11:12 AM 4458 reads 10 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of 'This Old Crack House' series Part 2: The lot »

She never liked me.

I knew this.

Somehow I needed to talk her into selling me her house.

I had tried several times over the last three years to buy it from her. No luck with that.
I was tired of the constant traffic that stopped in front of the house. The cars would slowly approach the house – then suddenly someone would jump out of the car and run up the front porch and hand cash through the missing screen window.
It wasn’t uncommon to see two police squad cars out in front of the house. We had been warned at our annual block party that that house was under surveillance for drug activity.
Imagine our surprise finding this out.
It was only a few months ago that right behind us, one of the largest teenage prostitution busts in recent years, had just occurred.
So much for the “stable, friendly, safe neighborhood” that the realtor who sold us our home had promised was the case.

I was always curious why there were different teenage girls mowing the lawn in mini skirts and stiletto high heels.

Now I know.

A murder, kidnapping, domestic assault, and numerous police visits to this house was all part of its history. Not to mention the Pit Bull that was staked out in the front yard.

Yet, I still dreamed of the day I could buy this house.

Besides overcoming all of these problems and the shortcomings that seemed to be in the way – there was one other major problem.

The city was trying to condemn it. This was confirmed with phone calls.

I couldn’t let that happen. Something told me and tugged at me to prevent that happening.

It didn’t.

In retrospect maybe the city should have just condemned it. There were many days I felt like this.

The next several blog entries’ I hope to tell this story with pictures and in my own words, using my personal experiences to form the story that I am going to call, “This Old Crack House”.

If you choose to read the story there will be a firsthand account of my struggles, setbacks, challenges, and a complete emotional breakdown following the death of my best shop Buddy -Spike lee – my male basset hound. Affectionately known as’ “Bull”.
It is in memory of him and my gratitude to many friends who stood by me every day -even when I wanted to quit – throw in the towel in and give up, that I write this story.

The reason I want to tell this story is simple.

With hindsight, there were times when I felt so overwhelmed –had I known better, maybe I should of just walked away and called it quits. However, it’s my hope that if I can inspire even one person to follow their heart -dare them to chase an impossible dream – and do what they have been told they couldn’t do but never thought they could, the story will have served its purpose.

I hope that you will at least be patience with me while telling my story. I feel like I need to tell it to begin my healing. I’m not a writer, just a simple humble man who loves woodworking.

That’s all.

It’s been a long three years.

(Protected by copy write, all rights reserved ,D.Jerzak 2-20-2007)

-- Dusty

9 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4305 days

#1 posted 02-18-2007 12:06 PM

Dusty, I for one want you to share your story with us. So far, it’s an amazing story of how you didn’t give up on your dream.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4155 days

#2 posted 02-18-2007 01:32 PM

not a writer?? You have me hooked and waiting for the second chapter!!

thank you for sharing.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4294 days

#3 posted 02-18-2007 02:04 PM

Very good, I’ll be waiting for chapter 2.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View frank's profile


1492 posts in 4200 days

#4 posted 02-18-2007 02:15 PM

Hi Dusty;
—-great story you’ve got going here!

“She never liked me.”
“I knew this.”
“Some how I needed to talk her into selling me her house.” have set up the makings of a fine story here and in those first three sentences you have baited the hook, cast your line and set the hook. Keep this story coming, my ears are waiting to hear your word story!!!

-- --frank, NH,

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4150 days

#5 posted 02-18-2007 03:37 PM

The Picture you see isn’t after I started the Demo. It is the actual picture of the bedroom in the basement of the elderly mother who can to live with the daughter who owned the house. This Picture was taken the night I first go to see the inside of the house….....

Enough said….... thats part of chapter two

a humble nod and thank you to all who are patience enough to read my long winded drible of my story and helping in begining in my healing of this long journey….

-- Dusty

View Dusty's profile


785 posts in 4150 days

#6 posted 02-18-2007 03:43 PM

I have a question now. Maybe someone can help. I asked Martin and he said that is fine to post pictures of remodeling which are coming soon. I realize this picture isn’t but its part of the story that will get us to that eventually. I hope this is the right place to post these pictures and to tell this story.

If not could some one tell me where I am to do this? And if I’m violating some rules I’m sorry and to tell me that and I will stop. Do I post the actual remodeling pictures here or under projects or?

Boy am I lost.

-- Dusty

View Martin Sojka's profile

Martin Sojka

1893 posts in 4467 days

#7 posted 02-18-2007 05:06 PM

Dusty, if you’re writing series about the remodeling process it is great to post it as the entries in your blog (together with the pictures). And the finished project can definitely go to the projects section.

This is ideal scenario for LumberJocks – logging the progress on the project in the blog and then posting the final piece under the projects.

Thanks, Dusty – keep the chapters coming ;)

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4321 days

#8 posted 02-18-2007 06:31 PM

We’ve appreciated the after… now seeing the before, and hearing just a glimpse of the story, we appreciate the work you’ve put into it all the more. Maintaining and old house is one thing, Taking a house the city wants to tear down, and turning it into a showpiece that attracts tours and television, is something incredible!

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4071 days

#9 posted 04-13-2007 07:47 PM

I got hooked on this story somewhere around chapter 20. Great story! So, now I return to the start for all the background. You seem to be an accomplished a writer as you are a wood worker.. and may I say you are a great one of those!
Keep up the good work!

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

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