The Loss of Innocent Childhood

I remember those wonderful times of youth, when Mom sent me and Brother Greg to the back yard to plant some tomato seeds. How fun it was to water our tiny plants each morning and each evening race down to the flower patch to see which one of us possessed the the “Magic Touch,” that mysterious “Green Thumb” most of us only wish we had.

One summer it was grapevines we planted. They climbed right up a trellis on the side of the house. From our perch in the big bay windows we could all see the growth, although we never seemed to get any mature grapes.

These days I’ve discovered that planting a home garden is something akin to murdering small puppies or trying to set an arson fire in Dad’s lawn mower.

Yes, those innocent days are gone and most of our kids will never know how idyllic a childhood they could have had. Yes, here come the HOA Nazis to warn us that if the garden isn’t torn out by evening, our parents will be fined 50 dollars a day.

Knowing my parents, they would have fought for our rights as kids to have their own patch of garden. But we loved our parents and we would never have willingly brought on all this stress.

I’m sad to say those little green vines were all ripped out by evening, the dying roots were given a solemn burial in the trash can.

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Ward Lucas is a longtime investigative journalist and television news anchor. He has won more than 70 national and regional awards for Excellence in Journalism, Creative Writing and community involvement. His new book, "Neighbors At War: the Creepy Case Against Your Homeowners Association," is now available for purchase. In it, he discusses the American homeowners association movement, from its racist origins, to its transformation into a lucrative money machine for the nation's legal industry. From scams to outright violence to foreclosures and neighborhood collapses across the country, the reader will find this book enormously compelling and a necessary read for every homeowner. Knowledge is self-defense. No homeowner contemplating life in an HOA should neglect reading this book. No HOA board officer should overlook this examination of the pitfalls in HOA management. And no lawyer representing either side in an HOA dispute should gloss over what homeowners are saying or believing about the lawsuit industry.

5 thoughts on “The Loss of Innocent Childhood

  1. seashell55

    Yes, yes, yes. How many kids are growing up not knowing that not everyone has to consult a thick manual or ask permission before painting their house or buying a new vehicle? How many kids think that the way to get along with their neighbors is to report them to the Board of Directors for some infraction, and not just ignoring it or settling their differences amicably over a cup of coffee? And how many kids are growing up wondering if taking a gun to a neighborhood meeting is a safety issue?

  2. p

    What the hell has happened to Americans? We babyboomers, the anti establishment people who grew up with freedom are the very same generation who are more concerned with property values than property rights. And the silly restictions don’t protect anything. Even in a non HOA neighborhood, I watched my childless neighbors start reporting kids fun to the police. I couldn’t believe it. The arrogance of some to make the rules for others. SAD, SAD.

    1. seashell55

      P – You are right. At the community level, we’ve somehow traded ownership over relationships as a guiding light. Or at least, that’s been touted as the new model for ‘successful’ communities.

      I’m not sure we can condemn an entire generation, though. It’s likely that every generation has its share of command and control types. The difference now is that there are plenty of opportunities for these autocrats to find positions in HOAs where they can command and control large groups of people legally but without oversight.

      1. anonymous

        “more than 20% of our populace has blindly stepped into an entirely new form of government.”

        Well, we’ve stepped in something. That’s for sure.


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