Aurora Restoration Project Part 20
by Christopher Wilson - Published March 11, 2016
I find it so difficult to write about the past when current events are getting very interesting. Don't get me wrong. In the last year our progress has been outstanding and I am thankful to all of those who have contributed to the progress of the Aurora.
My story left off in early to mid 2009, We have Dr. Mitchell trying to sell the Aurora and we have Indy's new crazy live aboard watchman ( Butch ) on Indy's ship docked in front of the Aurora. What a great combination.
Our crew was working out fantastic but most members of the crew had limited time and had to go home and take care of business as most of them had actual jobs and lives to get back to. Some were able to stay aboard all of the time and continue the larger projects. Our whitewashing of the Aurora was taking shape. It turned many heads and the general public could see big progress. But tit took forever.
So many good things were happening. Areas were being re energized that had not seen power in many years. There's nothing like watching something that had been dead for many years suddenly come back to life. Rooms that were entirely full of junk were being cleared out and repaired. We were moving forward fast.
Unfortunately we had Indy's watchman on the property that felt his duty was to watch over all of us and drink a lot of booze while doing so. He felt that he was helping us out but in the eyes of others he was a time bomb. We all knew it was just a matter of time for this wacky character.
Butch was a friend of Indy's but from what I could tell at the time they were not close. Indy needed a watchman and Butch needed a home. When Indy offered him the position Butch seemed like a good guy but a bit abrasive and dirty and greasy like he didn't shower often. He do love to chat however. It dint take long to learn that hi problem was alcohol. He loved to drink and was very loud when he did.
At any given night he would walk the property with his flashlight and search for anything out of place. Normally this would be a good thing but not when your a drunk who loves to scream and yell at nothing. Literally nothing. It was almost like he saw things that were not there.
After a couple weeks Butch had discovered the local bar / seafood restaurant that was near by and sat down for drinks. His first few times at the bar were from what I heard were pleasant. But that was about to end. After a few times at the bar he started to shine. he had more then a few drinks this time. He began arguing with another guy at the bar and a fight broke out. I can't imagine it was a very good fight to watch. Butch did not look like a skilled fighter by any means, but it was enough to get the attention of the local police. I heard the Butch took a good beating and left the scene somewhat bloody.
Butch fled the scene before law enforcement showed up. Where was he headed??? You guessed it back to Indy's ship. But this time he lost his key, likely during the fight. He had no way to get back in the main gate. So he was trying to squeeze through a hole in the fence when the police caught up with him and arrested him.
He was then handcuffed and placed in the back of a police car. After an hour of sitting in the back of the car Butch was then taken to jail overnight and released the next day.
That next afternoon we had our favorite local reporter standing outside of the Aurora. He wanted a story and I wanted to let him know that we had nothing to do with Indy's boat or Butch. I also let him know that I would no longer talk to him as his articles were bogus.
Unfortunately again that's not how it was written in the next newspaper. The city clearly knew that we were not one in the same project. The Aurora was gaining momentum while Indy's ship was sitting with a drunken drug addict aboard each day and night. But we had to be treated the same as the lease determined.
Butch would continue to go out on the deck of Indy's vessel and scream at the top of his lungs at nothing. Passers by would look as he embarrassed himself. He had to go. Indy didn't feel the same way. He needed a watchman and Butch was his friend.
The newspaper article that came out the next day began making us all into reckless drunks that wandered the town looking for fights. Recruiting dirtbags from Craigslist and robbing houses. Running a homeless camp and dumping our sewer overboard. This newspaper guy was doing everything he could to make a name for himself. The only good thing was that the city officials had this newspaper reporters number. This wasn't the first time this reporter embellished to boost his career.
After the crew of the Aurora had a chance to read this lovely article they all decided to take a walk to the local newspaper and have some words with the publisher and the reporter. Many of my crew at this time were of high education and doing fairly well in life. So they spoke. Needless to say the next article became more positive for the Aurora after this enlightening meeting. The problem is that you can have hundreds of positive stories written about you but one negative story can ruin everything.
After this mess we still had Butch living on Indy's ship and Dr. Mitchell was advertising the ship for sale all over the Internet. We actually had people coming to the ship that had left Dr. Mitchell large deposits and wanted to view the ship. They were buying. I didn't know what else to do so I gave them the tour as each of them showed up.
I felt that this made it obvious that Dr. Mitchell was a liar and a scam artist. Everyone who left a deposit knew they had been ripped off. I didn't know how to deal with this problem other then let them see the truth. As far as I know none of them got a dime of their deposits back.
Meanwhile Dr. Mitchell had been speaking with the local paper and with the City manager acting as a man named Xavier and claimed to be from Sovereign Cruise Lines. He said that his company was willing to get rid of this troubled ship for no cost to the community. The local paper tuned into Xavier's slick talk.
Of course this prompted yet another article in the very next paper. But this time at least I called his bluff? There was no Xavier working in the office of Sovereign Cruise Lines and all I had was the same jerk trying to steal a ship. The newspaper article reflected this information and Xavier was exposed.
The coming months would get better and better. We had a hell of a roller coaster ride to this point and I was still very green to the world of ships and the greedy people who came with them. I was getting the education of a lifetime.
This is the same stuff that put this ship in a bad situation to begin with. If I was to save this ship I had better gain some traction fast. It seemed that I would take a step forward just to be pushed back two or three steps.
More to come....