Some people are just never happy. Charles Williams’ neighbors, it seems, fall into that category.
Some people are just never happy. Charles Williams’ neighbors, it seems, fall into that category. You might have your own gripes about mechanics. Their fingernails aren’t clean and they occasionally smell of solvents or diesel fumes, but hey, someone’s got to make sure your lawnmowers, golf carts and pickup trucks stay running.
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In fact, that’s exactly what Williams was doing before he invoked the wrath of his insufferable neighbors. Williams is not just a mechanic — he also belongs to another group of contentious and detestable human beings: disabled people.
As we all know, it’s much preferred that someone who’s suffered a horrible construction accident which renders them devoid of legs should be reduced to a sentient couch potato, rather than stay occupied by practicing a hobby that benefits their community. Right?
Let No Good Deed Go Un-Punished
Well, old Charles clearly crossed the line there, because not only does he offer mechanical services free-of-charge to members of his rural Delaware community, but he also does it in one hell of a badass, hand-built custom garage that he himself put up to provide a workspace following his unfortunate accident.
Despite his lawnmower-repairing prowess, Williams’ neighbors feel he’s in violation of city codes that prohibit business activities from taking place on land zoned for residential use. This is odd for a number of reasons. First, the garage, from the outside, looks like a normal garage, with standard residential doors like these, and without any clutter or mess. Second, and most importantly, is that he does NOT run a business. He repairs people’s cars for fun, and lets his friends use his shop for free.
Still, the neighbors are peeved enough that they’ve taken Williams to court, multiple times. Local courts have upheld Williams’ right to practice his hobby — however, neighbors Margaret Foulke, John Kane and wife Carrol claim they will “take this all the way to the Supreme Court, or farther if we have to.”
We’re not entirely sure what they mean by “farther than the Supreme Court,” although the unhappy threesome have posted threatening messages on Williams’ property, calling the man “the unlawful one” and suggesting that Jesus himself is going to return and strike Williams down — with his breath.
The Case Against Williams
Pressured by their video interviewer, Foulke and the Kanes describe their case as a complaint that, by violating code — which, since no money is being exchanged for his services, he is decidedly not doing — Williams is spurring others around him to do the same. They also claim that unpleasant noises and smells occasionally escape from the garage, though Williams says he does his best to keep things clean and quiet.
The facility — which is decked-out with four lifts and a tool selection that would make Tim Taylor do a backflip — is nearly spotless. Sadly, Williams’ bank account is in worse shape following the tens of thousands he’s been forced to pay in legal fees to continue defending facts that have already been established. His family even started a GoFundMe campaign to keep the garage open.
It seems even Williams himself is fine with getting a permit to call the thing a business. He tried, but the city declared it unnecessary. As for the “slippery slope” argument, none of his neighbors have opened up shops thus far. We’d bet the owner of the Boxer over Brentwood can identify with Mr. Williams’ ire.