Two feuding North Carolina families took their dispute to the next level this month, with the creation of a fence between them made entirely of used tires from the local landfill.
It’s more than 200 feet long and contains between 150 and 250 tires, depending on which of the two families is doing the talking.
Both families have a lot to say about it, as long as they’re not talking to each other.
Karen McKinney says she hasn’t communicated with her neighbor Jennifer Best Guyer since November. McKinney believes Guyer’s “tire fence” was put up as an act of revenge.
“This is not a fence,” McKinney told McClatchy. “It is a solid waste spiteful pile of trash, hazardous to the environment and an eyesore to look at.”
Not true, says Guyer, a former crafts store manager who created it.the l
“It is a work of art,” says Guyer. “I don’t think it’s ugly. I love it.”
Her creation, which stands four tires high, can be found in the Pleasant Gardens community, outside Marion. Both families say they have lived there for years.
Trying to pinpoint how their disagreements began isn’t easy, but it seems to have bubbled over in a dispute over someone using somebody else’s private driveway. That led to hiring a surveyor to check the property lines, and that led to a belief a fence might be a good idea.
Guyer says she got the idea for a tire fence off the crafts site Pinterest. She adds that it’s the only type of fence she can afford.
Her plan was to have it up indefinitely, like a monument, but things changed abruptly in the past day, she says.
News of the fence reached McDowell County officials, and Guyer says she was told Thursday she has 30 days to take it down. After that, she says, she’ll be fined $50.
McKinney, who has lived in the area 21 years, is not convinced that will settle things, however, and she says she’s braced for whatever Guyer might do next. “As long as it’s environmental friendly and isn’t an eyesore, we don’t care,” McKinney says. “If they will stay on their own property, mind their own business, leave us alone, we can all live in peace and it will all be fine.”
Guyer says she’s already making plans.
If the tires have to go, “other art will be going there,” Guyer says. “Especially now that I know it’s not about the tires or my fence. It’s how (McKinney) don’t like anything I put there. I am trying to come up with other ‘art’ and my wheels are turning!”
Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs