The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

January 2, 2013

The stone wall

Efforts must be made to save Fayetteville’s historic, and crumbling, stone wall

— Talk about an ironic metaphors.

Getting someone to take responsibility for a crumbling fixture in Fayetteville is like talking to a stone wall.

No one is stepping up.

The ownership of a crumbling, historic wall on Keller Avenue in downtown Fayetteville has caused confusion. No one is quite sure who may be ultimately responsible for its estimated $200,000 repair.

The town, the adjoining property owners, and the state have all denied owning the beautiful and expensive stone work.

Fayetteville was named one of the “Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Travel magazine in 2006.

What’s going on here isn’t cool.

A compromise should be in the works.

Meanwhile, the folks in Fayetteville are caught between a rock and a hard place.

No one seems to want to bite off more than they can chew.

No one wants to dig a hole for themselves by taking on the expense of repair.

Many are blowing hot air while some others claim they’re making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Letting this situation get out of hand would be unfortunate.

Yes, there are many that don’t have a dog in this fight.

No axes to grind.

But every cloud has a silver lining.

Maybe whomever decides to repair the structure will hit paydirt, discovering some kind of hidden treasure inside, worth thousands of dollars.

That would leave the others green with envy.

They’d have it made in the shade.

Raking in the dough.

In this dog-eat-dog world though, many would come running to claim their share of the booty then.

Few would care to wash their hands of the matter.

Their face would likely be red as a beet.

But really, town officials dealing with this issue should do what they can to nip it in the bud.

The stone wall could be, and is, part of Fayetteville’s beauty and appeal.

The apple of many a tourist’s eye.

The sandstone structures were built as retaining walls by one of several local Italian masons between 1910 and 1920, according to a 1990 study of Fayetteville’s historic district.

Our hope is that a compromise will be made, or that someone will take responsibility for the repairs.

Before the wall falls and injures someone.

Then it might be too little, too late.

Hopefully they’re not planning on crossing that bridge when they come to it.

Because the need is now.

It’s as ridiculous as tired clichés.

That’s it in a nutshell.