“Everybody knows ya’ll Patten Towers people call the ambulance just to get a free ride to the hospital.”
I mean, this woman was standing there purple and looking like she was about to suffocate and that’s what the ambulance driver said to her. That’s the way Chattanooga treats the people at the Patten Towers—it’s always “ya’ll.” “I know how all ‘ya’ll’ are.” And it’s just because we live in the Patten Towers.
I was in here one time and this guy was in here causing trouble. I don’t even know how he got in here, but he was just out of control and starting trouble. I was getting ready to bust his head but my girlfriend was in here and kept telling me, “Be nice. Be nice.” I said all right and I called the cops. And listen to this. You know that cop showed up with a cup of coffee in his hand? Man, it pisses me off every time I think about it. I told him what had been going on and he just got real smart. “Don’t call me,” that’s what he said, real smartass, and turned around and left. Now what are you supposed to do? I was doing the right thing and this cop shows up here with a cup of coffee saying, “Don’t call me.”
That’s the way Chattanooga is, man. And the city’s acting like they ain’t got nothing to do with what happened with that fire. Pointing their fingers at PK Management all the way out in California. PK only had this place for a year when the fire happened. Chattanooga’s acting like they forgot this building’s been right here on the corner of Eleventh Street a hundred and something years. How many times have the fire trucks been here, because the ventilation systems over the damn stoves don’t work? You burn a piece of bread and there’s fire trucks at the front door.
It used to happen nearly every day—two or three times a day. How much does that cost the city every time that happens? And nobody’s inspected this place? The mayor’s saying this and that and everybody’s pointing their finger at a bunch of people out in California. Nobody checked to see if this place was ready to burn down the ninety-nine years before PK bought it? All those fire trucks every day.
And most everybody who lives here is from Chattanooga—Chattanooga can’t look out for its own people? Forget about the building—what about the people who live here? This building has probably never been up to code and has been full of people for a hundred years, man. Come on, where’s the common sense? Down here in Chattanooga they just don’t give a damn.
Just like that CARTA man and that ambulance driver at the Motel 6—it’s always “ya’ll” this and “ya’ll” that. We’re just like anybody else. Most everybody who lives in the Patten Towers is decent, law-abiding, rent-paying people. PK is here to try and make this a better place. They had no idea they were walking into all this crazy Chattanooga shit. Chattanooga is a dark place, man. You got a city here but the ones who want to run it try to keep a fence around the parts they want to take care of and the only ones they want to let through the gate are the people just like them. The rest of it is—“ya’ll” stay over there, or “ya’ll” need to get on the bus, or “ya’ll” come out here and inspect this building. The Patten Towers was probably one of the worst buildings in the world PK Management could have bought. I guarantee you they’re regretting it now.