Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Couple mows vacant yard for 30 years - FOX 4 News

DALLAS -

For almost three decades an elderly Dallas woman and her late husband have mowed the lawn next door to their house even though no one lives there anymore.

Ozell Cunningham has been a part of the fabric of her Love Field neighborhood for half a century.

"We moved here May 3rd, 1950," she said.

She and the late Major Cunningham began cutting the grass in front of their neighbors' house on Amhurst Avenue because they'd given them their word.

"The people left here in 1987 and gave us the keys and told us to take care of it. So we've done our part. My husband mowed it until he got unable. And then I took over and mowed it until last year. And I had a heat stroke out there in the morning and I had to let up," she said.

She mowed the vacant home's lawn twice this spring.

The property's owners are now deceased so the ownership is unclear.

"I'm 89 and I'm getting up there to the point where I don't need to be mowing, I tell you," Cunningham said.

She's hired neighbors. But she's counting her pennies on a fixed income.

Her great grand nephew also mows periodically. But he can't keep up with it either.

"I'm worried about her. She had a heat stroke last summer," Garret Carruth said.

"The city keeps telling me I don't have to do it because they'll do it, but they haven't made no effort yet," she said.

The city said it didn't take action because it assumed someone was taking care of it.

"Keep contacting the city and let those weeks grow so we can come and record it. We've got to make sure we've got that documentation," said Councilwoman Pauline Medrano.

Dallas workers have since promised to mow every three weeks, taking a growing problem off Cunningham's hands.

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