Oliver Lynch had been living in his neighborhood for a quarter of a century, and as he approached his 80th birthday, he no doubt expected to settle down to enjoy his twilight years in peace. However, when his neighbor attempted to claim some of his land as his own, the elderly gentleman simply refused to back down.
In 2015 Lynch was living in Osceola County, Florida. He had lived a peaceful life in the neighborhood for around 25 years, but although he was 79 years old, Lynch was certainly no pushover.
In fact, Lynch wasn’t afraid of speaking his mind no matter what the subject. “I just hate to be bullied,” he admitted to WFTV in 2015. “I have a little fight left in me, and I hate to see somebody bulldoze over me.”
So when Lynch didn’t see eye to eye with one particular neighbor, he decided to set them straight. The neighbor had recently moved to the area and was building his home on an empty plot next door to Lynch. However, Lynch soon discovered that they were unlikely to become friends.
That’s because one day Lynch returned home to find that the man had annexed a part of his property. In fact, he had laid a row of cinder blocks right down the center of Lynch’s driveway and was actually claiming that the small patch of land was his own.
Furthermore, the neighbor had already cemented the bricks down, so there was no way for Lynch to easily remove the blocks. It seemed that Lynch was left with little option but to put up with the situation – for the moment at least.
According to Lynch, his neighbor’s seemingly hostile move came completely out of the blue. And it’s safe to say, his apparent brazenness shocked and angered the pensioner. “What’s he going to do with these extra few yards of concrete?” the exasperated homeowner asked.
When Lynch failed to resolve the dispute straight away, he had to prove that he owned the land his neighbor had claimed. So he produced some records that stated he was allowed two adjacent 12-foot driveways on his property – but that wasn’t enough.
Why? Because although an Osceola County official confirmed that Lynch’s records were accurate, there was nothing they could do. They therefore advised the pensioner to employ a surveyor – or take his neighbor to court.
But Lynch couldn’t believe that he would have to take legal action against his new neighbor. So before he consulted the courts, he tried to talk to the man on a number of occasions. However, he still had no luck resolving the matter.
Lynch believed that his neighbor’s behavior was at odds with how he portrayed himself. “He said he was a minister or something like that,” he told WFTV. “[A] God-fearing man. But I don’t think that’s very Christian-like.”
So Lynch felt he was left with little choice but to return to the county and hope that an official there would agree to help him. However, he believed that he’d have a long, arduous process ahead of him before he could reclaim his driveway.
Because of this, he contacted the local media, which agreed to cover his predicament. The media in turn attempted to contact the neighbor in question, but they couldn’t make contact with him either.
Still, the publicity Lynch’s story received did win him many supporters. “This is not Christian-like at all,” one reader said of the neighbor’s behavior. “You’re destroying what could have possibly been a great neighbor over a meaningless few feet of land.”
Another added, “Way to make an impression on the neighbors. My thinking is that if this didn’t come up before you purchased the property, you are indeed being a bully to the elderly neighbor whose driveway was there before you.”
So it’s safe to say that Lynch’s spat with his neighbor got local people talking. As the days passed, however, the issue remained. Then, a week after the story broke, Lynch contacted WFTV once again.
Lynch revealed that he and his neighbor had made a breakthrough. After lengthy talks, the pair had finally agreed to put their differences aside and remove the row of cinder blocks from Lynch’s driveway.
Lynch also revealed that the man had approached him to tell him that he had meant no harm. After everything, then, it seemed that the issue had been one big misunderstanding.
Unsurprisingly, the resolution was welcomed by the online community. “Happy things work out for this elderly man,” one Facebook user wrote. “He said he doesn’t have much fight left in him. So I’m happy the neighbor let him have his whole driveway back. Praying this issue is finally resolved so this man can live his life in peace.”
Now, hopefully, Lynch and his neighbor have moved on from their skirmish. After all, they would soon be living just a few yards away from each other. And their story goes to show that even the hardest of divides can be bridged with just a little perseverance.