Lenwood Johnson's Last Stand

APV is more than his home. It's his life. No wonder he can't let it go without one final struggle.

"Now that it's time for him to work with these people, he's not, and I can't make any logic out of that," House says. "I'd always told Lenwood, 'Here's my strategy, and it's guaranteed to work.' But he never would use it. I said, 'Hey, Lenwood, stop talking about housing for poor people. I'm tired of carrying folk on my back with my tax dollars.

"Because HUD made it clear at that meeting that they're moving on without Lenwood. They made it very clear."

Lenwood Johnson understands that, of course. But he knows no other way. After so long, compromise would be selling out on his ideals -- both his personal ones and the ones he holds for the future of Allen Parkway Village. To him, the battle to save Allen Parkway Village has been, and always will be, a "guerrilla operation."

That metaphor seemed misplaced with George Rodriguez standing nearby in a white shirt and tie, rocking back and forth on his heels while he watched Johnson and his supporters prepare to leave HUD's second-floor offices.

One by one, they drifted away. Johnson, his calm face belying the turmoil churning in his gut, seemed reluctant to leave. Finally, with no other choice, he stepped into the elevator, Wessie Scyrus at his side.

"Have a nice day," said Rodriguez, as the door slid shut.

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