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Family grateful to future neighbors

Posted: August 5, 2014 10:20 a.m.
Updated: August 6, 2014 5:00 a.m.

My brother and sister-in-law, Bart and Kathleen, have been eagerly anticipating their move to Camden since purchasing a beautiful home in April. This decision to relocate did not come easy, as their roots are deeply established in Ohio, where both have been vital residents in their community, making significant contributions in their professions and with their service and philanthropic work. Children and grandchildren are also there. But Camden was calling.

Since Rick and I moved here in 2002 and my parents in 2003 (now deceased), Bart and Kathleen have made numerous visits. Many of you know them and have always welcomed them warmly, especially the Rotarians and Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishioners. Townley Redfearn found the perfect home, renovations were under way, and then -- disaster -- the house burned down two weeks ago. There is good news, however: they had not yet moved in, so only a few personal possessions were lost; no people or animals were injured; they are insured; and the steady rain on that Monday surely prevented the trees from catching fire and spreading devastation through the entire area. Painful memories of the catastrophic 1980s hunt country fire must come to mind for so many of you as you read this. But the fire department did an incredible job of confining the fire and vigilantly returning to the scene throughout the night and the following day to be certain the risk of danger was over.

Bart and Kathleen, still in Ohio, have only seen pictures of the remains. Somehow, amid the charred ruins, the front door was left untouched by the flames and heat. I finally and reluctantly, removed the flowering wreath of welcome that has hung there since the day that they closed on their home in April.

My brother has asked that I include this message from him: “Camden has responded and displayed a caring attitude. From neighbors, firefighters, our realtor, friends, our contractor, and relatives Paddy and Rick. We are more sure than ever that we will rebuild and for the remainder of our lives, be residents of this caring, loving community. With new plans, I will have a bigger shower! Townley, find us a rental so we can be there by August 15. No more winters in Ohio. Like it or not, us Yankees are coming to Camden.”

Bart’s sense of humor has always been one of his greatest assets, as you can tell. He refers to us alternately as “B and B Salvage,” “House Hunters” or “Love it or List It.” So onward we go. One thing for certain, is they will rebuild on the site. This will take time, so we are searching for temporary housing in Camden, as they have to be out of their Ohio home in a few days. So far, no rental prospects. But we have faith that this will be resolved and the salvaged wreath will find a new front door.

On behalf of Bart and Kathleen, I thank all of you for the support, concern, and love that you have expressed.

And we want to let you know that they have secured temporary housing in Sumter.

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