Cohoes Man Furnishes Apartment With Things Found Dumped Along Road
Published March 12th, 2017
COHOES — As a pampered only child who lived in his parent's basement until he was 47 years old, Phillip Jabber wasn't always the resourceful type.
“My folks did everything for me,” the now 52-year-old house painter admits. “They cooked, they cleaned, they paid my bills — hell, they probably would have wiped my ass had I asked them to.”
But a stretch of road that meanders along the Mohawk River — connecting the northern-most point of 787 in Cohoes to the towering eastern face of the Colonie landfill five miles to the west — would soon change all that.
“A few years back, I was driving home from work along Crescent Road when I spotted a lightly soiled mattress just sitting there,” said Jabbers. “I couldn't believe my eyes. So I pulled over and loaded it into the back of my car. It was like hitting the Lottery.”
Within a few days, the same stretch of road would yield a moderately scuffed dining room table and three matching chairs, a perfectly good console television set and an 8x10 area rug that smelled faintly of cat urine and cigarettes.
“For the first time in my life I had belongings.”
Soon, the self-described “nobody” was perusing the want ads for a place of his own, and in 2012 he settled into a modest two-bedroom apartment on the hill. He would spend the next five years filling the flat with discarded treasures found along what he would soon come to call the “boulevard of slightly damaged dreams.”
“I owe everything I have to Crescent Road,” said Jabbers, his voice cracking with emotion. “All my furniture and appliances, even my cookware and cutlery. That road changed my life.”
Cohoes Public Works Commissioner Carl Hotts said his department fully supports Jabbers.
“Before Phil, we were out on Crescent Road at least three times a week picking up shit that people illegally dumped,” said Hotts. “It was a pain in the ass. But now, hell, we can focus on other equally important things, like all the shit people are illegally dumping along Western Avenue, Columbia Street, Simmons Island and the Mohawk Hudson bike path. ”
Upon hearing Hotts’ praise, Jabbers turned contemplative.
“The bike path, huh? I wonder if there's a decent toilet bowl up in there.”