50 Main Street, Binghamton, New York

ceiling leak with trap in apartment at 50 main street in binghamton NY

This has nothing to do with food.

I’ve been thinking that it’s about time I posted a bit about my father.  I haven’t been able to bring myself to look at the funeral photographs and personal effects I shipped from Binghamton to CA right after he died, but I think I’m ready now.  Today I would like to provide a little information about my father’s apartment.  He lived at 50 Main Street in Binghamton, New York.  He was at 50 Main for a number of years, making it a habit to pay his rent well before it was due.  He was a good tenant.  What I provide here for your viewing pleasure is a photograph of a contraption he had up on his living room ceiling to deal with a leak he had for a number of years.  Repair was apparently attempted, but never worked.  When it rained, he had to cover his computer table in order to collect and direct water (via this device he built and affixed to the ceiling) to a large container on the floor.  When it rained hard, he would get up every couple of hours all night long in order to manually drain the water so the weight of it would not pull his funneling device down.  It was bad enough that he was not able to use a good chunk of his living room when it rained — and that it looked so bad — but the kicker is that a senior citizen lived like that for a number of years, being chased up at all hours of the night in order to protect his things and prevent a flood.  In February of 2006, at age 68,  he was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He became increasingly debilitated, and it was a nightmare for him to deal with the leak in his ceiling.  During months of chemotherapy he became weaker and weaker but still had to stay up nights when it rained.  By the end of Summer my 6′ 5″ dad was down to 138 pounds.  There’s more.  My father told me that for years he did not get sufficient heat and had to run his gas burners in order to sit in the living room.  He said this had to do with a thermostat (or some such thing) move affecting his apartment, and that he talked with Bronson America, Realtors, about this numerous times, but the problem was never alleviated.  My dad was, among other things, a trained HVAC guy so he knew about this kind of thing.  When I was finally able to get him out of that apartment he only had 6 weeks to live.  I cannot tell you why he did not report Bronson America, Realtors, to the city agency in charge of such things at some point — even well before he became ill.  When I offered to do so he asked me not to, so I did not.  I believe he did not want to add any negativity to what little time he had left on this earth.  But I didn’t say anything about keeping it off my website.  If you read this and you have parents who are getting older, don’t let them blow you off when you ask about the state of their four walls.  Even if you live 2700 miles away you have to get on a plane and check things out.  Take it from me that you do not want to deal with substandard housing issues when someone you love is diagnosed with a debilitating illness.

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