Holdout homeowners near National miss neighbors, enjoy bustle

By: Gene Petriello Email
By: Gene Petriello Email

News 12 First at Five; April 9, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Nestled among all the new Masters parking lots are a few homes that people did not want to sell to the National. We take you to those people to see what this week is like.

Car after car files into the new lots and there are two couples that get to see it all from their front porch. The Augusta National has arrived in their yards.

"It's just awesome, really," says Herman Thacker.

"I like it," says his neighbor Mary Ann Richards. "It's very different, but I've gotten use to it now."

"It's not bad at all," adds Herman. "I mean, we enjoy it. We enjoy meeting people just walking by."

"It's nice to sit down and watch the cars go by," says Mary Ann.

Both Herman Thacker, along with his watchdog -- and neighbor Mary Ann Richards have a new view from their porches this year.

"Oh my goodness," exclaims Mary Ann about the thought of people parking right next to her home. "What do I have to look forward to?"

"We do miss our neighbors," says Herman. "Between (their home) and Walgreens (on Stanley Drive) there were 5 homes that are now gone."

News 12 did a story back in Sept. of 2006 when the construction started for the new lots. We talked to Herman then and now.

"I raised 10 children here," says Mary Ann talking about her home for about 58 years. "The house means more to me than all that money I would have gotten for it."

Some homes in the area went for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of dollars. It's money the two did not take.

"It's just unbelievable," says Herman. "We've never seen this many cars in this area before, it's unreal."

"Look at the cars and look at the tags to see where they are from," says Mary Ann. It's those cars parked in the new lot, right next to Mary Ann's home that she checks out. She says she's seen cars from all over the country.

I asked her if she enjoyed it.
Mary Ann answered, "Oh yes we do. We thoroughly enjoy it."

"I haven't heard it in a while, but the roar you could actually sit here in our backyard and listen and hear the roars," says Herman.

I also asked her if she would ever give up her home.
Mary Ann answered, "No... Never."

"Well, I didn't say never," says Herman.

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