As the president of the Board of Trustees of the Wyatt Earp Birthplace, Inc., I think the time has come for a little discussion about the situation at 406 South 3rd Street. Unfortunately, you, and you alone are now being held accountable for the situation, and for the complex and precarious position you now find yourself. We are all answerable for the things we do in life. The difference between success and failure in life is the ability to recognize the fact that we take responsibility of our own actions.
The reason you were given the opportunity for the lease-purchase of 406 South 3rd Street is due to a set of circumstances you apparently either know nothing about or are pleading ignorance. One of your criticisms of me, personally, is that I was not physically working on the property. I live in New Mexico. For the past five years I have been dealing with my father’s Alzheimer’s Disease, his subsequent death a year ago, my mother’s precarious health, and the absolution exhaustion that goes with it. No, I’ve not been to Monmouth in several years. I suspect anyone who has an ounce of humanity or common sense can comprehend why. Melba first contacted me about fundraising ideas for you on November 7, 2014. At the time my father had just died. I was unable to even consider any ideas. You and I were in touch, via email, on March 20, 2015, where I made several proposals, all of which were rebuffed.
During this time frame, we lost one of our most active voices to cancer. Mark Dworkin was a close, personal friend to the Matsons and to me. His death is a loss we all feel. Another of our more active board members is dealing with an ongoing family crises. We had a fantastic location manager who relocated to be near her family. There have been several other losses, and changes in status which are a part of living. For you to accuse any of us for not being physically available to deal with the property is patently intellectually dishonest and childishly unreasonable.
One of the canards you have continued is implying that there was no non-profit, no real ‘museum’, no officers, board of directors, or anyone affiliated with the Wyatt Earp Birthplace, Inc., with the exception of the Matsons. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Speaking for myself, I have been involved in some way or another for at least twenty years. One of the highlights of our summers would be the annual ‘day’ in august, when people would come from throughout the country, and even international visitors, would gather for an entire weekend of activities celebrating the life of Wyatt Earp.
You were the answer to prayer. Bob and Melba were thrilled when you contacted them with your ‘resume’, your alleged knowledge of all things Wyatt Earp, and the fact that you presented yourself as a disabled vet on a pension. Very patriotic, and pure small-town middle America, that last fact touched Melba’s heart. She was quite careful to let us all know you were on a pension because of your disability and your service in Iraq.
Before you agreed to a lease-purchase of 406 South 3rd Street, the Matsons created a full inventory of the museum property, along with photos of that property. Part of your agreement was that you were NOT to do anything to the museum portion of the building. You violated this agreement, numerous times. We have the before and after photos and inventory to prove it. You claim that, when you assumed control of the property there were broken windows due to vandalism. If this were true, you should have immediately contacted the local police and filed an incident report, which would be on record. I am told you said you reported it to the police. Good. There will be a record to compare against future vandalism.
You obtained the house on a lease purchase agreement. Part of any lease-purchase contract is the following: “Buyers are often responsible for maintaining the property and paying all expenses associated with its upkeep, including taxes and insurance. ..” Not only did you not maintain the property, but you allowed it to fall into embarrassing disarray. On April 4, 2015, the board voted a $100 contribution towards outside repairs on the corral, etc. The Matsons agreed to pay property taxes for 2015. You did not have that responsibility. They bought a new power mower for the property, doing what they always did, paying for repair and maintenance out of their own pockets.
From what I gather, you did not take up residence at 406 South 3rd Street until around March 17, 2015. By September 18, came news about the changes you made to the property, none of them authorized by the owner. The wording on the contract stated you were not to alter anything on or in the building or in the museum rooms, the garage, or the OK Corral adjacent lot.
You did quite a bit of unauthorized work, displaying the fact that, contrary to what you may have implied, your physical status was such that you were perfectly capable of doing basic repairs which we had authorized. You said you had no volunteer help save for two kids. If you were capable of removing a $4500 furnace, and installing solar panels on the roof, you were quite capable of making the needed repairs to the fence, and painting the house, etc. We would have helped pay for the paint. As for yard work, even my father, when he was 85-years-old and suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease was pushing a lawnmower.
Your claims that we are cyber-stalking you are bogus. You have been removed, legally, and officially from the property. You have no claims to it. You are currently involved in a prevarication that 406 South 3rd Street is going to be demolished, which you are on record, on local television stating. I’m not quite sure if you are delusional or simply patently dishonest when you state that the media is now reporting the building is going to be demolished. Yes, they did file the report, quoting you.
It is time to cease and desist. A person needs to take responsibility for their own life and their actions, good or bad. It is time to stop blaming others for your mistakes. It is also time to stop lashing out at others, because you have been caught doing things which are now no longer alleged to be dishonest, but that must be proven in a court of law, in a criminal case. I believe it is scheduled for November 13. I don’t know why you are incapable of comprehending there are other people in this world, which does not revolve around Kelly J. Semande. You had a wonderful opportunity to do something exciting. Instead you squandered it. That is quite sad, tragic.
President – Wyatt Earp Birthplace, Inc.
Author of TRAVESTY: Frank Waters’ Earp Agenda Exposed
A Church for Helldorado