Last spring, Victor Wogen showed up to the DeKalb Area Women’s Center (DAWC) while university students and others were painting the place. The DAWC building is an old church, and parts of it reach to a third-floor level that the volunteers simply couldn’t reach. Wogen told the DAWC director, Anna Marie Coveny, that he knew where to get hold of a boom truck with which to finish the job and that he’d be back the following weekend. He never returned.

Come summer, and the DeKalb Community Development Department began asking when the paint job would be done. The inspector was referred to Wogen and phoned him. Nothing happened.

A bit over two weeks ago the story reached me. I notified the 3rd Ward Neighbors Helping Neighbors group and others were activated as well. Neighbors Helping Neighbors began planning. That’s when I screwed up.

Not knowing yet the part about the city contacting Wogen, I thought it possible that he had actually forgotten. Also I saw on the last (Oct. 22) City Council agenda that Ms. Coveny was scheduled to accept the Mayor’s Proclamation of Finnish Culture Day. I e-mailed Wogen to remind him of the 6-month-cold promise, to note that Ms. Coveny would be there and to wonder if he might have news for her? He responded, also via e-mail, twice: once to tell me that he had tried and tried to get the truck but had failed; and secondly, to let me know he had obtained use of a truck after all, for the following weekend. If you caught the ward reports at the end of the council meeting you know he said he intended to finish the Women’s Center project. Furthermore he told Ms. Coveny he had use of the truck for the next two weekends.

Weekend of October 27th: No call, no show.

Now, it could be that Wogen will show up the weekend of November 3rd but even if he does there’s a lot more building to cover than he can do in one weekend. We need volunteers who can paint and who have equipment that can get us up high enough to do it. And if we have enough people who are willing & able to pass the hat maybe we can rent equipment as well.

If you have something to offer in DAWC’s time of need please visit the 3rd Ward Neighbors Helping Neighbors group via the link on the front page of this blog.

My apologies to NHN and the other interested parties for delaying this project a whole week through my naivete’.