“You’d Best Make Damn Sure the Squeak Needs the Oil” by, Patty L. Fletcher #Blindness, #DisAbility, #Discrimination, #Safety, #Housing

“You’d Best Make Damn Sure the Squeak Needs the Oil” by, Patty L. Fletcher #Blindness, #DisAbility, #Discrimination, #Safety, #Housing

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“You’d Best Make Damn Sure the Squeak Needs the Oil”

By, Patty L. Fletcher

Friday May 3, 2024

Moon Phase Waning Crescent

A Friend and Sponsoring Member of Patty’s Worlds author and public speaker Tony Candela says, “Saying allowed what should not remain silent.”

I say, “Doing so is damned hard, lonely, and sometimes dangerous.

Even residents who in their secret self-praise my efforts at raising awareness about serious issues happening where we are living will not stand with me publicly, for fear of losing what little they have.

There are those who have no other options. This breaks my heart and tares at my spirit in ways I cannot put into words.

I knew it would stir things. I knew it would upset the apple cart. I also knew and know, it was necessary.

Today, I got a good read on things when I went out into my community. Some who were once casually cordial, were politely dismissive. There were others who were themselves and we stood together in a small group for a moment when Blue, working with all his might, kept me from crossing the drive when I did not hear the car passing.

One of the ladies in that group called out to me to say there was a car and that he was telling me the truth.

I was embarrassed and relieved all at once.

We stood together and though we exchanged less than 100 words between us, the mood was real, warm, and alive as it always had been.

I have been gently reminded recently that I’m not responsible for anyone else’s actions or reactions.

I am only responsible for what I do and say.

This is true. However, there are times when one must make a stand. It is not OK for maintenance issues to be left undone. It is not OK for conditions where residents walk to be unsafe. It is not OK for me to feel unsafe when I try to walk to the dumpster to throw away my dog’s leavings. Especially when there are some who don’t even pick up after theirs.

I had someone call out to me the other day saying, “Be careful when you go around that tree. The neighbor walked their dog there late last night and couldn’t see to pick up after it.”

“What?” was all I could think to say. Then, after taking a calming breath I said, “Well, it’s dark for me all the time and I pick up after mine. He could use the flashlight on his phone.”

How flipping ridiculous! You can’t make this stuff up. It really happens.

Yesterday, I happened to hear the maintenance department and manager pounding on my neighbor’s door. She is quite deaf. She hears a little out of her right ear if you’re standing right beside her and little to none in her other ear.

I misremember what her diagnosis is, but I assure you it is real. I’ve a doorbell in my apartment which lights up with a strobe light as well as ringing a bell and I’ve always felt she’d benefit from it. She told me she’d requested it before but never got a response.

I know how she feels, let me tell you.

Well, when I heard that racket, I went out and politely said, “Hey, would it be helpful for her to have a doorbell like mine? I’d be happy to have you all take it from here and put it there instead.”

To which he immediately replied, “Oh, she’s got selective hearing.”

To which I replied, “No sir, she is truly deaf. She is 100 percent disabled.” I kept my voice in a regular tone. I’ve no idea how. I wanted to beat him over the head with my cane. How dare he stand there and say that!

Something must have shown on my face, because after a beat he turned, went back inside, and asked, “Would you like to have a doorbell for the deaf put in?”

I walked away at that point. I couldn’t believe I’d just had such an exchange.

This to my mind is unacceptable. This person no more has our best interests at heart than the man in the moon.

Sure, a trip to the theater and out to eat is a lovely thing and is what is supposed to happen here. In fact, I feel he is best suited for such things. We always get great food and other types of donations. We always have grants available for rent and other assistance when available, but for the other things, well…

So, there’s nothing wrong with that. Why on earth they don’t just put an assistant with him is beyond me. I in fact qualify for such a position as an AmeriCorps Vista and offered it when I first moved in. It would’ve been a win for everyone.

Now I’m so frustrated and blocked at every turn that I just want to go. I am on the waiting list to move into a better place. I’m thoroughly checking to make sure all is as it should be for me, Blue and our needs before I do but for now, I’m where I am. Things are as they are, and though I wish no one any ill will, I wish everyone would get a reality check, stop the negligence and do as they’re supposed to do.

I thought, elderly and disabled abuse and discrimination was illegal in this state, but when you try to contact the HUD hotlines for such things, you’re told to either write a letter and mail it, apply online, or dial a number. When you dial the said number, you are routed to several different automated systems, and no one ever picks up.

They make it as hard as possible to file a grievance, and they do so to keep people from doing what I’ve managed to do.

I made a lot of phone calls. I wrote honestly and openly about it on my social media and blog, and I freak in refused to shut up and go away.

I know it has put a few of my friends who are close to the situation in a hard spot from time to time but rather than complain or walk away we just drew good boundaries, and they quietly support me in whatever ways they can provide.

Now that things are afoot, they may not be stopped, and that is as they should be.

Sometimes it truly is the squeaky wheel which gets the oil.

Well, my daddy once told me, “You’d Best Make Damn Sure the Squeak Needs the Oil.”

He taught me to pick my battles, and make sure of myself. I did, I am, and so ends the first lesson.

For now, all is quiet, the weekend is to hand, Blue has been walked, groomed, worked, and is now napping on the bed.

I know we are in the palm of the creator and that we are utterly and completely safe.

Thanks for reading my post.

May Harmony find us all.

Blessid Be.

About Patty L. Fletcher

Patty L. Fletcher lives in Kingsport Tennessee where she works full time as a Writer with the goal of bridging the great chasm which separates the disAbled from the non-disAbled.

Follow her in Patty’s Worlds here.

This post was brought to you by Sponsoring Member author and public speaker Tony Candela. See below for more.

Anthony's book cover for Vision Dreams: A Parable: A Black background with the iris of an eye. The iris has dark blue edges, lighter neon blue inside of that, a light green color inside that, then gradually darker green as you near the center of the eye. The pupil is black. Around the eye is a luminescent blue light. The title and byline of the book are centered at the top of the cover in silvery block letters shaded like an eclipse. "Vision Dream" is in the largest font with "A Parable" beneath it with lines on either side of the words to center it. Above the title is the name of the Author.

AD: Books by Anthony R. Candela

By Anthony R. Candela

Christian Faith Publishing, 2019


Vision Dreams: A Parable

This is a sci-fi novella about how a dysfunctional society forces people to go to extremes, including four blind people who seek out artificial vision.

This novella increases our understanding of what it means to live in a society that is supportive of its citizens’ daily happiness and humanity. Perhaps after reading it you will be more on guard against what can happen when nations decide to be hyper-vigilant. As the plot unwinds, you will see the lengths to which people will go to achieve their humanity. In the midst of the subtle kinds of strife that leads many to live lives of quiet desperation, there are heroes willing to take risks.

Stand Up Or Sit Out: Memories and Musings Of a Blind Wrestler, Runner, and All-around Regular Guy

A memoir about life lessons learned, especially through sports.

The story related in these pages will occasionally give you cause to chuckle or even shed tears of sadness or joy. Above all else, it will enlighten you about why things happen the way they do. Ultimately, this memoir increases our understanding of what it means to be truly human. Perhaps after reading it we will be kinder and gentler to each other. Most importantly, perhaps we will be kinder and gentler to ourselves.

About the Author

Tony Candela has worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor, supervisor, manager consultant and administrator for more than 40 years in the field of blindness and visual impairment. His work has included promoting literacy and employment of blind persons and a special interest in enhancing the career preparation of blind persons who wish to work in the computer science field. He is a “retired” athlete, loves movies, sports, reading, writing, and music, including dabbling in guitar.

Buy Tony’s books here.


  1. Thank you for your fine writing. The credible nature of your experience is acutely obvious. You do an excellent job of conveying it, BRAVO and thanks for being both vocal and persistent. You are a true warrior on behalf of the disAbled. Thank you and bless you, Tasha

  2. Some of these people are very elderly. Some of them are quite frail, some of them have very stages of Parkinson’s, dementia, and other things, and they have to have somebody to speak up for them. I would hope somebody would speak up for me if I couldn’t. Thanks for reading.

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