In the spring of ’07 I said goodbye to apartment #92.  It had been a good run, a lot of fun and low stress living alone, but I had really outgrown that small little one bedroom apartment.  But the main reason why I moved on was my new rig, the Jeep Wrangler.  Like I said, it was early spring time, so the weather wasn’t perfect yet, but I was anticipating taking the top off the Jeep to enjoy the warm weather that was approaching, but my apartment had no garage to store the hardtop, or a topless Jeep.  So, I decided I really needed a bigger place.

I searched for a bit online, when nothing good turned up, I turned to a property management place.  When I walked into one near my place, I grabbed their free listing sheet and looked in over.  I then saw a 2 bedroom / 2.5 bath listed on Bechelli for a very fair price.  Hmmmm… I thought, Bechelli is a long street, some of it nice, some of it not so nice, I knew it might be very convenient to my work, and I figured it was worth investigating.

So I made my way down to Bechelli, and soon realized that the place was on the North side of the road.  Good start, the North part in general is nicer than the rest of the street.  So I made my way up the road and soon found out that the place in question was in the “Bluffs”.  The “Bluffs” is a funky 70’s era condo development up on the bluffs that overlook the river and Redding.  The place in question was on the street, without any of the great views this area is known for.  But I immediately got interested, it had a full car garage, and I knew it would be super close to work.

I bolted back to the property management place and expressed my interest.  They asked if I wanted to check out the inside, I of course said yes, and they handed me a key.

When I arrived back at the place I noticed a sign by the door, it was the address and name of who I assumed was the owner, “Mr. Fratti”.  (It actually had his first name listed, but I’ll leave that off the blog)  So I opened the door, and entered Mr. Fratti’s condo.

I immediately wanted to live there.  It was HUGE (at least compared to my tiny little #92) and stuck in the 70’s.  The kitchen was tiled avocado green with matching appliances, a huge disco looking chandelier hung over the dining area, nice popcorn ceilings, huge open living room with 20′ plus ceilings, half way up the stairs was a landing with a built in planter box (nice touch!), then 2 bedrooms upstairs, with the master having a balcony overlooking a large lawn area, pool, and a funky 70’s era waterfall / creek.

Quickly I returned to the rental office, and I said I wanted the place, and soon I was living the “Fratti Life” in the Bluffs.

It was awesome, I had plenty of room for my Jeep and all my other stuff, and I could be at work in about 5 minutes.

I soon learned some other things about the place.

I was definitely in the minority.  I came to find out that most people living in the Bluffs were retirees.  And not just retirees, but elderly retirees.  It was great, the place was ALWAYS quiet.   There were tons of amenities that NOBODY used.  There were two swimming pools, one was across the street that I didn’t even discover until weeks after I moved in.  A super funky indoor hot tub, that I frequented all the time, and I don’t think I ever saw anyone else in there.  There were also tennis courts, and a very ugly 70’s poop brown “club house” that I guess could be used for parties or meetings.  (I never used it)  And one of the coolest things was the actual bluffs.  You could walk down to a couple viewpoints and see the river and the city “skyline”.  Some of the condos down here were awesome, and updated with modern touches.

There is one funny story from my stay at Mr. Fratti’s that comes to mind.

THE ALBATROSS

I learned after agreeing to rent the place that I needed to get a fridge.  This was a first for me, and while things were good at work, I wasn’t really interested in spending hundreds of dollars on a new refrigerator.  I mentioned this to a few amigos, and asked if anyone had a used fridge they wanted to get rid of.  Pecos said he didn’t, but a neighbor did, and he said it was FREE.  Sweet!  I told him I’d take it.

Well, Pecos came by a day or so later and delivered it to my place.  When he pulled up, I eyeballed it, and it looked like a perfect match for the place.  Not avocado green, but certainly from the same era as the condo, it was a nice saddle tan color.  We unloaded it from the truck, brought it into the garage, it was then that I took a closer look at it and managed to get a nice whiff of it…

EWWWWWWWW!!!  

The thing smelled like a family of rodents had taken residence in the thing and some had died in there.

“I can’t use this thing?!” I said to Pecos.

“Just clean it, I was told that it works, it just smells like a hooker died in there.” he replied. (or something to that effect)

“Not a chance.”

That thing didn’t seem fit to store perishables, let alone a dead body.  A couple of days later I tracked down a pretty nice used fridge on Craigslist for $50.  So the stinky old thing sat in my garage for months.  Just wasting space, and reminding me of how gross it smelled every time I walked  close to it.  Pecos had suggested just rolling it out to the road with a “FREE” sign on it and just leaving it there.  He said something about how “someone will eventually come take it, just like I did.”, but I didn’t feel comfortable white trashing up the Bluff’s Condos.

Some months later Pecos brother Roberto needed a fridge, and volunteered to come haul that albatross fridge away.

Apparently he was able to clean the thing, rid it of the stench, and squeeze a year or so of life out of it.  Braver man than me…

THE END

Unfortunately my stay at the Bluffs didn’t have a happy ending.  I had met my wife to be in late 2007, work was great, and life was really good in my big 70’s condo.

One day in the spring of ’08 I came home to find a notice on my door.

I had 30 days to move out.  It wasn’t an eviction notice.  (and they stated as much, they mentioned in the letter how I had been a model tenant)  But, apparently Mr. Fratti was moving back to Redding and was going to live in his Bluffs Condo.  CRAP!!!  I wasn’t ready, let alone in any mood to move again.  I had found the perfect place, and my hope was to stay here until I was ready to actually buy a house, which I figured was still at least a couple of years away.  I had only managed to enjoy the Bluffs for about a year.

So, a week or so later, with much sadness, I started gathering my stuff up, and soon thereafter I was moving into a new place YET AGAIN.