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Mayor of Bayo Vista steps down

Corky and Boomer during their last day of moving from the Bayo Vista Avenue house.

Corky and Boomer during their last day of moving from the Bayo Vista Avenue house.

Mary Morrison and other neighbors call him the Mayor of  Bayo Vista, but his real moniker is Corky Chapman and he’s taken Boomer and Susie and left town and the neighbors are sad.

So liked is this 29-year resident of the street that the neighbors threw a farewell 3100 Bayo Vista block party for Corky and his wife Susie and their beloved Boomer, an Australian herding dog. The Chapmans are moving to Oakdale. Corky’s mother and brother live not far from therein towns near Oakdale.

“Close to 100 people must have shown up,” Corky said Sunday. He and Susie moved the last load from the house Monday and headed out.

“We’re going to miss him terribly,” Morrison said. “He walked around a lot with Boomer. He knew everybody. He’d call if he saw something. I feel like he prevented a lot of burglaries. And he had a Statue of Liberty that people used around town for events. And he was the flag guy, always supplying flags for us for holidays. He’s a very special guy.”

Turns out Corky provided the flags for the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles. And in 1976 when the country was celebrating about its 200th birthday, he and the neighborhood kids popped 200 flags in his yard and a bunch more in flower pots in the neighborhood.

A self-employed, “semi-semi retired” designer of produce displays for consumer products, Corky and Susie are heading back to the hills of Oakdale, not far from where he grew up.

“I turned 72 and I pulled a measuring tape out to 80 inches and looked at 72 and saw that 80 is only eight inches away,” he said. “I figured I’d better start fishing and doing those things now, while I can still wade into the stream.”

The Chapmans didn’t have to list their house to sell it. When she heard they were moving, a woman and her husband asked if they could buy the house. The woman, Amanda, was a year old and lived on the corner when the Chapmans moved into their house. Today the 29-year-old owns the house and even the swinging bench on the porch that she and her little girlfriends once enjoyed. Susie decided to leave it because Amanda loved it so much as a child.

“It’s the block of miracles,” Corky said.
And, it turns out that her parents moved to Oakdale a while back, so there will be some homies in Oakdale digs for Corky, Susie and Boomer.

The couple will be back; their names are still on the block’s roster to participate in the two or three annual neighborhood events.

“We have lots of friends here, and we’ll come visit,” Corky said.