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Originally published: 2012-12-10 15:04:24
Last modified: 2012-12-10 15:04:24

Holiday gets the boot

On Sunday, Nov. 25, my family made our annual trip to Boone to get our Christmas tree. We started a tradition several years ago with our kids, which was interrupted this year.  

The last couple of years, we parked at a lot at the intersection of West King and Water streets without incident. We went across the street to the Mellow Mushroom to have lunch, and when we came out one hour later, our car was booted.  

We called the number posted on our door and within minutes two young men arrived to take off the boot and collect our $60.  

The two men stated that until recently, parking was allowed at this lot on weekends, but as of four months ago this changed.  

I parked facing Water Street and the sign in front of me read, "Customer Parking Only." I was going to be a customer of Mellow Mushroom, so I thought parking was allowable, as it had been in previous years.  

However, the two men told me there were more detailed signs posted at the entrance of the lots. Sure enough, I saw them when I left, but obviously when I drove in I did not see them. My mistake.

LMS Parking is under contract to patrol this lot for the lot owners, and when I called them on Monday, Nov. 26, to discuss this, I was not allowed to leave a message because the mailbox was full. Perhaps other aggravated visitors were leaving messages.

My point to this is that it took $60 to enforce parking in an empty parking lot on a Sunday afternoon. Allow me to let other merchants in Boone know how I paid that $60. We did buy our tree at Dark Mountain Tree Farm, but did not buy a wreath. We did not go to the Mast General Store to buy candy from the bins. We did not go to a restaurant in Boone for dinner.

I was in fact wrong and should have been more careful entering the lot and read the new signs. I owed and paid the $60 for my mistake. However, I guess it is just another sign of the times that the owner of an empty parking lot on a Sunday does not have the generosity to allow visitors to park in it to help the greater community.

Bill AmadioDavidson