Dee Hall, who described herself as “Summerfield’s finance officer for a few more days,” in an email to the Rhino Times last week, then stated: “The Rhino ran the article when I accidentally parked in a handicapped parking space in 2020 that Don Wendelken sent you. I was bullied for years.”

Hall continued, “Now Don has parked in one in broad daylight. I respectfully request you call him out too. I know he’s one of your biggest advertisers, so I guess I’ll be surprised if you do. See the post on Summerfield Strong’s Facebook page this morning.”

Wendelken owns a town newspaper and runs a popular Facebook Page that deals with town politics  – “Summerfield News,” formerly “Summerfield Scoop.”  For years, he has been making videos of town meetings and posting them on Facebook.

 He is seen by many in the town as too critical of Summerfield’s government and too anti-development – and it’s certainly safe to say that there is no love lost between Wendelken and Hall.

On the Summerfield Strong Facebook page – which is often critical of Wendelken and his political allies – there was indeed a picture of Wendelken’s truck parked parallel to the cinderblock building behind the Summerfield Community Center.  The building houses a public restroom.  In the photo, Wendelken’s truck was parked parallel to the side of the building, covering a handicapped spot.

Here’s the history of the feud.  In 2020, just before a Summerfield Town Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, Hall parked in a handicapped spot at the Summerfield Community Center, where the Summerfield Town Council was holding its February meeting that year.

Wendelken took a picture of Hall’s car parked in a handicapped space, though he didn’t mention her name in his post.  Another town employee heatedly jumped online to her defense, and, using an assumed name, called Wendelken a “stalker” among other things.

 The incident blew up from there.

Hall said at that time that it was a simple mistake and that she didn’t realize it was a handicapped parking spot because there was no upright sign in front of the space and because the handicapped marking on the pavement was somewhat faded.

Wendelken said at the time that he was “dumbfounded” at the way the simple story had taken on legs of its own: After he posted the photo and the other town employee had come to her defense, there were nearly 100 comments on the post – with some people angry at Wendelken, calling him petty, while others were angry at Hall for parking in the space.

The incident became so heated in the small town of 11,000 people just north of Greensboro that the Rhino Times wrote about it.  The Rhino, like Wendelken, did not use the employee’s name – though, by that time it had become well known by the townspeople through word of mouth.

So, imagine Hall’s delight when someone, four years later, shot a photo of Wendelken’s truck parked in a handicapped spot.  Wendelken had pulled his truck up next to the restroom entrance of the building behind the community center.

That picture was posted on the Summerfield Strong Facebook page,

On the Facebook post, those who dislike Wendelken had many vitriolic comments, and, among other things, labeled him a “hypocrite” and an “asshole.”

It was about 11 a.m. on a weekday when Wendelken parked his truck in the handicapped spot near the building’s entrance – a time of day when the lot was virtually empty and there were plenty of empty-non-handicapped spaces available.

Wendelken explained to the Rhino Times why the truck was parked the way it was.

The entire Summerfield town staff recently all resigned so there’s no one to maintain town facilities. Bathrooms have been getting disgusting and all sorts of routine town maintenance has been left undone for weeks.

So, at about 11 a.m. on a weekday morning, Wendelken loaded cleaning supplies into his truck and he went out to clean up the bathroom behind the community center.

Since no one was around, and Wendelken wanted access to his cleaning supplies and easy access for loading bags of trash onto his truck, he just pulled up next to the entrance.

“I didn’t tell anyone – I didn’t want any credit for it,”  Wendelken said of going out and cleaning town restrooms and doing other chores that town staff would normally handle.

He added that, while he was cleaning the restroom, he was always very near the truck and he was constantly going back and forth to it and he said he would have moved if someone had pulled up with a handicap placard and wanted that particular spot for some reason.

So, he did park his truck next to the deserted building in the practically deserted parking lot to have easy access to supplies, be able to load trash, and save some time in order to get on to other tasks helping the town.

Wendelken has been known to perform many similar good acts on behalf of the town over the years.  For instance, years ago, the Rhino Times called him during a bad snowstorm that brought down limbs blocking roads, and, early that morning, he had taken his chainsaw, gotten in his truck, and spent the morning cutting and removing limbs to make the streets passable.

As for the latest incident, he said, “I was eight feet away from the truck the whole time,” said Wendelken who was scrubbing toilets and cleaning the floors and unloading wastebaskets that hadn’t been tended to.   He reiterated that there was no way it would inconvenience anyone and if a handicapped person had shown up he would have moved his truck.

After he was finished cleaning that restroom, Wendelken went to the town’s dog park and loaded his truck up with bags of dog feces that had been piled in and around overflowing disposal cans at the dog park.

“When I got home that day my truck stunk so bad I had to wash it,” Wendelken said.