Crozetians have been complaining about conspicuous obscene graffiti on the sides of abandoned buildings on the former Barnes Lumber Company property for months and the junior members of the Crozet Volunteer Fire Department had finally looked at it too long. With paint and supplies donated by Blue Ridge Builders Supply, they painted over the bad words in quick fashion March 26.
“My daughter Grace was bothered by it,” said CVFD fireman Gary Dillon. “She’s offended every time we come by. That’s how it came about.”
“Die!’ said Grace Dillon, a Crozet Elementary student, as she took a turn with a paint roller and battleship gray smothered the nasty screed.
On the crew were Will Von Henert, Mark McGill, Christian Torres and Anna Rumsey. The CVFD has six junior members now, firefighters in county training classes but not yet 18 and eligible for regular membership. Not available for the painting day were Connor Evans and Ethan Cole.
“We joined to serve the community and because it’s fun,” said Von Henert, a student at Western Albemarle High School. “It’s like doing a sport because of the [duty] time it takes and all the [training] class time.”
Property owner Frank Stoner came by as the job was being done and promised to remove a steel ladder that has allowed access to the roof of one building where the graffiti got billboard elevation. The job requires a cutting torch.
Stoners said he does not plan to demolish the buildings soon.
Teens interested in joining the junior department should contact Capt. Mitch Fitzgerald at the firehouse.