By CRAIG MILLAR OCT. 4, 2014
RALEIGH, NC — In a case of keeping their collective commune of eyes on the ball, Oakwood residents continue to obsess over offset doors and modernist architecture, which leaves local entrepreneur JJ “Flip” Locklear free to continue selling crack, meth, and, on the side, sex with his prostitute of six years around the stately downtown neighborhood.
When the new house at Euclid Street went up on what was formerly a vacant lot, Locklear lost prime real estate for doing trade. “It wasn’t just business,” he said while chopping up some newly cooked crack in his kitchen on Bragg Street. “That was a lovely vacant lot where I could throw bags of trash. I don’t need the five-o going through my sh*t if I can help it.” Fortunately, much of Oakwood wasn’t about to put up with a house built after 1870 unless every effort was made to have it resemble a decrepit, rotting piece of crap right down to the siding color.
“It doesn’t even have a siding color,” moaned Larry Wiscitz, an Oakwood resident for the last two years who spends his days shoring up plaster columns and trying to get doors to close properly on his 1868 Greek Revival. “Why did I move down South and put up with the horrible summers if I was going to have to look at unpainted wood instead of a vacant lot? That lot had character,” he said. When asked why, in fact, he had moved to Raleigh, and specifically Oakwood, he said, “I dunno. The low taxes, the schools, the seasons, the people, the low crime rate except around Oakwood. Why?”
Once the North Carolina Superior Court ruled in the homeowners’ favor, Locklear was worried attention would be back on him. Fortunately for the crime magnate surrounding the historic enclave, 19th-century realtor Gail Wiesner decided to appeal and the neighborhood’s obsession over naked wood continues without interruption. “I was relieved, to say the least,” he laughed, before spraying a volley of bullets down Tarboro Street from his Crown Vic.
“I’m not saying I had anything to do with focussing everyone’s attention on ‘the Clid’ [Euclid Street], but I might have a boy on the Planning Commission,” said Locklear.
For a while, crime in Oakwood seemed to wane as residents became more vigilant. “I was having to sell Desiree’s services in the [Oakwood] cemetery. Can you imagine?” said Locklear, loading up a 13-year-old “mule” with bags of heroin to sell at his school. “That was tight, and not in a good way. I’m glad the folks around here found something else to worry about.”
Wiscitz, for his part, isn’t backing down and supports Wiesner 100%. “Along with every other problem with this house,” he said, “is how’s a Peeping Tom going to see anything through those narrow windows?”