Letter to be sent by certified mail
to all residents of Goldenwood,
Goldenwood West and Radiance.
December 18, 2009
My name is Roy H. Williams. I make my living as an advertising consultant.
In March, 2004, my wife and I went to great trouble and expense to host an open house so that our future neighbors might be able to meet us and ask any questions they might have about our plans for the 21 acres we had purchased on Crystal Hills Drive.
During this meeting we were told we “had no right” to buy the property. Additionally, we were told that Crystal Hills Drive – a public road – was a private road and that we were expressly forbidden to use it.
We patiently endured an evening of threats and shouting, believing in our hearts that if we were sensitive and accommodating, we would finally be accepted. That evening ended when a neighbor mocked us for naming our business school “Wizard Academy.” My wife and I were at a loss for words. We thanked everyone for coming, then turned out the lights and closed the door.
But still we hoped for the best. We continued to believe in you.
ABOUT THE NAME “WIZARD ACADEMY”
1998: My first book, The Wizard of Ads, was named business book of the year and my publisher, Bard Press, received an award for the book’s title and cover design.
1999: Secret Formulas of the Wizard of Ads was named the number one business book in America by the Wall Street Journal and became a New York Times bestseller.
2000: Wizard Academy was born, a nonprofit business school aimed at helping mom-and-pop businesses compete against the big chain stores. The school is attended by business owners from all 50 states and a number of foreign nations. My wife and I receive no income from the school whatsoever. Further, the part-time staffers of the Welcome Center are paid by my wife and me – not by the school – so visitors will find clean bathrooms and ready answers to their questions 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.
2001: The third book in the Wizard trilogy was published and likewise became a bestseller. “Wizard” is the modern spelling of “wise-ard” or “wisard” The translators of the King James Bible rendered the plural of this word as “wise men” in 1611. (Matthew ch. 2)
2004: We purchased 21 acres of appropriately zoned private property on Crystal Hills Drive and invited our neighbors to meet us. You already know how that evening ended.
Let’s take a look at what has happened since then:
2004: When we finally took possession of the land, a group of neighbors informed us that we needed to compensate them for a pole barn they had erected on the property to stable their horses. According to Texas real estate law, the pole barn conveyed with the property, of course. But in the interest of good relations we cheerfully paid the $7,500 they requested. The pole barn was then torn down.
When the city-approved driveway was built according to plan, a neighbor brought it to our attention that the headlights of cars leaving our property at night would shine into the windows of their home and asked if we might relocate the exit. We accommodated this request and paid to have a new exit road built.
When we received a complaint about the noise of a wedding party at Tuscan Hall we responded by forbidding the use of amplified music outdoors.
When a neighborhood representative of the Friendship Alliance asked us for a donation to help fund the legal opposition of an irresponsible developer, we immediately gave $1,500 to help with the cause.
These are only a few of the things we did in an attempt to win your friendship. I will not bore you with more.
Sadly, our efforts to be good neighbors have consistently been met with hostility, antagonism, harassment and vandalism.
Here are just a few examples:
Carefully executed vandalism to the float valve on the recirculating pump at Chapel Dulcinea causes the catchment basin to overflow and the pump to burn up when all the water is gone. Replacing that pump cost us $1,400 per incident. Following the third incident we realized this carefully repeated vandalism was probably a misguided effort to protest our use of water for beautification rather than drinking. We eliminated the fountain.
Likewise, repeated vandalism to the chapel, including the use of large stones to shatter the clay tile roof, has been patiently endured. When a group of boys was finally caught and reprimanded for throwing rocks at the chapel, the response of the father, a neighbor, was, “You can’t tell us what to do. This is public property.”
That man was mistaken. This campus remains private property and is protected by law.
We built Denny House – a caretaker’s house with an observation balcony – so that the property might be monitored. Neighborhood restrictions – as with all the lots on that side of Crystal Hills Drive – required us to build no less than 2,800 square feet. Although this was much larger and more expensive than we would have preferred, we built an elegant home to help protect the property values of our neighbors.
When we asked joggers to enter the property through the main entrance rather than jogging through the yard of the caretaker’s home, the response was to continue jogging through the caretaker’s yard with an upraised middle finger extended at the end of an arm held high.
I won’t bother you with the details of dozens of other incidents of petty theft and destruction other than to say that the cumulative effect has been discouraging.
The most heartbreaking of all these incidents, however, is the one that happened most recently.
A number of months ago my wife and I were approached by a group of semi-professional actors who showed us the script for a Christmas play they proposed to hold on two consecutive weekends along the walking trail located on our property.
We have kept this walking trail open to the public since the purchase of the property on March 29, 2004.
The script they had written was a work of historical fiction entitled “The Journey of the Wise Men.” Delighted, we gave them $2,000 to design and manufacture professional costumes and rent professional lighting. A team of 5 workmen on our payroll spent 3 days preparing event stations along the trail.
When we happily posted a banner advertising this free, neighborhood event, the banner and its light were repeatedly vandalized. Each day we would repair the banner and buy a new light but each night they would be destroyed.
Finally, a representative of one of the homeowner’s associations went to the city of Dripping Springs and requested that the city call us immediately. We took down the banner as instructed.
I am stunned. My heart told me the vandalism had to be the work of a misguided nut. I never for a single moment suspected we were being officially rejected by a neighborhood association.
Unlike the incident of the repeated vandalism to the recirculation pump at Chapel Dulcinea, I can guess no motive for this animosity. I dare not allow myself to believe it to be the work of a self-righteous atheist or a formalized rejection of Christmas by the well-meaning adherents of an Eastern religion. Such vitriol would be unthinkable in 21st century America.
I am truly at a loss for words. Your actions leave me no choice but to turn out the lights and close the door.
Official signs forbidding trespass will soon be posted. If these signs are not effective, a protective order will be sought in court. I regret that you are no longer welcome at 16221 Crystal Hills Drive.
It took me 5 years to understand what you were trying to say.
You finally made it clear.
Roy H. Williams