The first home I ever owned, responsibly for taxes and upkeep and mortgage-free, was my little one-bedroom light-green trailer on a pleasantly-vegetated one-acre Walnut Street rental lot in Johnson City within easy walking distance of university grounds and the fresh-cut butcher shop and the cigarette store. I paid all of $1700, cash on the barrel for it, back around 1965. The vehicle registration/ownership certificate was in my name alone because I paid for it all with my own money -- although I was married then to my first and only East Tennesseean husband, a lifeguard and aspiring "society" scholarship golfer named Ronnie One, who never tried to claim it or anything else I owned for himself (although I gave him my forest-green Mustang coupe, and returned the oversized Tiffany-set diamond engagement ring, in a goodwill parting gesture that worked).
Following several months of homekeeping assistance and company with a few women friends, I sold the trailer at around its original purchase price in favor of communal residence, where we feasted most memorably on fried slices off basement-stored salty country hams and sweet shavings of home-crafted North Carolina barbecue schlept from overmountain friends, with modern-housing rental "digs" for the country-and-blues Mother Jugs Dirt Band under-the-railroad-tracks near Milligan College, where our "harps" player and lead singer was enrolled. The Muse was our deity and Galax Fiddlers' Convention "mountain jam" our annual pigrimage mecca -- musicians spread cross-legged generously all over the instrument-hewn, blanket-strewn grounds and roaming mingling sounds as smoke rose early into the arms of dawn.
I transferred straight As from those 60s ETSU times into the following 70s Richmond VCU student highest honors era.
So many years later I owned mortgage-free my wood-siding A-frame on the banks of the Shenandoah. I paid all of $24000, cash on the barrel for it, back around 1977. The deed/ownership certficate was in my name alone because I paid for it all, including furnishings, with my own money and -- being a premarital purchase -- by Virginia law it never belonged to my later ex-husband there, although he temporarily refused civil requests to relinquish possession and residence until served a trespassing warrant via Court order post-Christmas 1998.
Climate change forced me to sell that acre and its three building structures shortly thereafter in a private transaction at fair market value then as determined by independent realtors and at a reasonable profit on investments.
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