From the Daily Pilot:
COSTA MESA — It will be a Charlie Brown Christmas after all.
Though Jim Jordan’s foreclosed home at 2269 Santa Ana Ave. now belongs to Wells Fargo, the plywood psychiatry booth, character cutouts, Santa Claus stage in the backyard and other “Peanuts” features that entertained the community for decades, still belong to him.
Over the weekend, Jordan worked out a deal with city CEO Tom Hatch to take the “Snoopy House” display to City Hall.
“We’re going to make it happen in one place or another,” said Jordan, 59.
“We talked about bringing the Snoopy House to City Hall to continue the rich tradition that’s been here for many decades,” Hatch said. “Hopefully this kind of display can bring the community together.”
There’s a Save the Snoopy House Facebook page, a Twitter account and residents looking to help Jordan financially.
One real estate company owner offered a vacant Eastside lot a block away. The owner said with a lawn mower, some trash bins and volunteers, Jordan’s “Peanuts”-themed Christmas display could be a short walk from the old Snoopy House off Albert Place, where it stood every winter for the last 44 years.
Chick-fil-A offered to set up the Peanuts gallery in front of its location on Bristol Street and MacArthur Boulevard in Santa Ana. Costa Mesa residents also offered their lawns.
Two loyal supporters, Jackson Dugan, 10, and his sister, Dayle, 8, set up shop Saturday at the Snoopy House home and sold lemonade at 50 cents a cup. On Monday the entrepreneurial duo handed Jordan $230.
“People were giving donations,” explained Jackson and Dayle’s mom, Lisa Dugan. “They just wanted to help him. They love the Snoopy House … it’s been there every year. It’s the magic. It’s the spirit of Christmas.”
Jordan set up a trust over the weekend that accepts donations. The money will help Jordan pay for his lawsuit against Wells Fargo; he’s fighting to keep his house, which he uses as a rental property.
Jordan claims that shortly after the home went into default in August 2010, the bank told him it had stopped moving toward foreclosure while considering his loan modification application. Three months later, the bank bought the house and told Jordan that it had not stopped the process.
“I’d really like to get them back to the bargaining table,” Jordan said.
On Monday, Wells Fargo referred to an earlier statement on the matter.
“While we work hard to prevent foreclosures, it is not always avoidable,” said bank spokeswoman Edna Silva.
In the meantime, the city is looking for volunteers to help set up its newest Christmas display. “With everything going on in this world, it’s almost like the last hope,” Lisa Dugan said. “It’s the bright spot in this dark world.”
Anyone who would like to volunteer can call Sylvia Chalmers at (714) 754-5099.
Construction will begin Friday and should end by Monday. The display will be officially opened with a lighting ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 13. Santa Claus will also make nightly visits from then through Dec. 23.
Donations to Jordan’s legal fund can be made to the Snoopy House Trust, P.O. Box 2852, Costa Mesa, CA 92628.