The Guardian newspaper of London continues its series on retracing the path the Joads took in John Steinbeck’s novel, “The Grapes of Wrath.”
Sunday finds the series in Valle Vista, a subdivision north of Kingman, Ariz., on Route 66. This section of the article stuck out like a bald head in the Arizona sun for too long:
Of nearly 900 properties at Valle Vista, more than 100 have been seized by the banks, or abandoned along with the mortgages, or, left only half built, the money for construction having run out.
“People are moving out of their homes and taking all of the fixtures, anything they can take out of the house,” says Andi Martin. “That’s unusual. Stripping the houses when they leave. Plumbing, toilets, carpets. So the banks are left with these houses that aren’t very marketable.”
A number of half-built properties will almost certainly have to be torn down. Four-bedroom houses with magnificent views of the mountains have been abandoned with roofs incomplete. The rain has worked into unprotected insulation and inner walls.
No wonder Valle Vistans are ticked off about a biodiesel plant and a solar-energy complex being built nearby. They residents are so crabby as this point, they’d probably oppose a monastery being constructed in their subdivision.