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Family Moves Out of Blighted Neighborhood _ Home and All

July 22, 1996

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) _ Maybe it was the junkie Lex Patterson caught shooting up behind his home or the drug deals his children were forced to watch.

Whatever the final straw, Patterson and his wife Mindy decided enough was enough.

They packed up their stuff and moved everything _ including their two-story, 105-year-old cream-colored Victorian home _ out of their troubled neighborhood.

``I love the neighborhood and I love the diversity here,″ Mrs. Patterson said. ``But I’ve been here for 20 years and I finally reached the conclusion that things aren’t going to change.″

Last October, after a wave of drug dealers moved into their west Eugene neighborhood, they decided it was time to literally pick up and move across town.

``Leaving the house was never an option,″ Mrs. Patterson said. ``I’d never sell it.″

She bought the house in 1976 for $42,000 when it was a triplex. She got married in it in 1981, and later converted it into a single-family home.

But the deterioration of the neighborhood made the Pattersons concerned for their children: sons, Ashley, 14, Cameron, 11, and Miles, 7, and a 4-year-old daughter, Sophie.

``We’ve seen some guy shoot up right behind the house,″ Ashley said Monday.

Ashley even saw a few drug deals take place on his street. ``Not too often, but often enough to bug you,″ he said.

On Sunday, long before the sun came up, a hauling company jacked up the house and started moving it and a fast walking pace.

It cost $58,000 and took eight hours to go just five miles.

In relocating the house instead of moving to another, the Pattersons did find one benefit _ they didn’t have to hire a moving van.

``My clothes are still in the closet and the crackers are still in the cupboard,″ Mrs. Patterson said.

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