I was raised in Wheeling and have resided in Tarpon Springs, Fla., for the past 28 years, where I am a private physician. I have always taken great pride in my heritage and given every opportunity to tell others how beautiful and inviting Wheeling always was when I was a child. I say "was" because I recently travelled to Wheeling and visited the graves of my parents, who rest in the cemetery located on Stone Church Road.
My experience of the houses located in that section of Wheeling leaves me with a taste I will likely never shake from my mouth. As I drove up Stone Church Road, my only thought became how sad, pathetic, disgusting and vile the City of Wheeling has allowed that neighborhood to become. When my family made the decision to purchase plots in that cemetery, Stone Church Road was beautiful and tree-lined and people took pride in their homes. What I saw recently made me sick to my stomach. Wrecked cars, junk piled in front of houses and houses falling to the ground in rotten heaps. It would seem that city officials have turned their backs on what is a huge problem in that section of the city.
Not only is this an appearance problem but is a serious health hazard. Where is City Council? Where is the local board of health? It is a disgrace for Wheeling to maintain a cemetery with conditions such as that located nearby. Wheeling truly has allowed itself to become a mockery.
I write this letter with such a sour taste that I will likely never again be able to take pride in what I once thought was the most beautiful city God created. I will not promote a city I have lost faith in and that is very sad. I am in the process of inquiring as to how I can have the remains of my family moved from Wheeling to Tarpon Springs because it saddens me that my parents' final resting place is in the midst of a disgusting junkyard of waste and debris. Get your act together Wheeling, or else close the door and shut off the lights. I visited downtown Wheeling as well and, well, that mess is grounds for an entirely separate article. Disgraceful.
Dr. Matthew Dehass
Tarpon Springs, Fla.