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The Times-Picayune publishes their tenth story about us this morning.

Saturday, August 26, 2006
Stephanie Bruno
Contributing writer

NOTE: In the past few weeks, Bart Everson and Christy Paxson have seen a lot of activity, even if the pace of work on their Mid-City home has slowed considerably.

Bart Everson says a lot is happening on North Salcedo Street, but not much of it has to do with the renovation of his flooded basement.

“In fact, the renovation has hit a few snags,” he said. “Remember that donated door that fit so nicely in the downstairs opening? Well, on a windy day, it blew off! The hinges were ripped from the jamb. So when our contractor returns, he’ll have to re-install it.”

That isn’t the only thing the contractor and his crew will have to contend with.

“Not long after the plumbing was complete, we noticed that something was wrong with the cold water taps,” Everson said. “We know you can’t expect to get really cold water out of the cold-water faucet during the summer in New Orleans, but scalding hot water? That’s not right.”

Everson said it cools to a normal temperature in a few minutes, but in the interim it causes Everson and wife Christy Paxson more than a little discomfort.

“It’s bad enough brushing your teeth with boiling hot water, but sitting on a john filled with scalding hot water?” Everson lamented. “That’s a really peculiar sensation.”

Everson’s plumber sent out a crew member to try to test a theory that the hot and cold water lines are too close to each other, allowing heat from one to transfer to the other.

But after that theory was discounted, the crew member left as puzzled as Everson. So now Everson is waiting until his lead plumber can get to the site and apply his years of experience to solving the problem.

Everson said the wait will likely be longer than desired because of a funding glitch.

“It was two months ago that our mortgage company agreed to release the second installment of insurance proceeds and told us the check was in the mail,” Everson said. “After weeks of waiting for the check to arrive and calling about it, I finally just told them last week to stop payment on the first check and write a new one. As soon as they stopped payment, the check arrived. So we have to start the cycle all over again, and I am sitting here with a check for $18,000 that I can’t use.”

Without the money, the renovation crew isn’t on site, and without the crew, progress isn’t being made. But that doesn’t mean that life has been uneventful.

Everson can rattle off a litany of additional aggravations over the past several weeks.

“Let’s see. I got a scraped-up head riding my bike on the South Jeff Davis bike path, because of the low-hanging tree branches. Then my bike was stolen last Sunday night, so I had to walk to work at Xavier until a friend gave me a beat-up bike to use.

“The week before, there was a nasty confrontation with one of the absentee landlords who owns property in our area. The tenants across the street from us were being evicted for reasons Christy and I thought were unfair, and it turned into quite a shouting match with the landlord.”

Adding to the tumult, Everson said, officers were there to serve the eviction notice when the new tenants arrived to replace those being evicted, and there was an impromptu garage sale of the former tenants’ belongings. Not to mention the donation of an orange kitten — now named Milo — to the Everson-Paxson household.

The trying events could have been overwhelming for Everson and Paxson, especially with the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on the horizon. But the couple seems to be taking it all in stride.

As Everson wrote in his Web log recently, “It’s hard to be mad about anything when you have a cute kitten that needs lots of TLC.”

. . . . . . .

Stephanie Bruno can be reached at

Published inNew OrleansNews & MediaOur House

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