Ninety-two-year-old Violet Hobaugh does not flinch at the prospect of a winter without electricity or running water.
She has already been through several.
Hobaugh, who lives alone in a weather-beaten house in Lebanon County, has become a local legend for her reclusive ways and her hostility toward many of the people who have offered to help her. She told a reporter, years ago, that an electric company crew that came to her house was actually “casing” the place.
She vowed to be ready for them, with a crowbar, if they returned.
“I say what I think,” Hobaugh said recently. “I don’t pull any punches.”
Metropolitan Edison Co. provides electrical service in Hobaugh’s area. Spokeswoman Karen Baxter said that, because of privacy laws, she could not comment on a specific customer.
“We can’t force anyone to take electricity,” Baxter said. “That is a choice, a lifestyle choice, in essence, that people make.”
Linda Hubbard, who lives about two miles away, is one of the few people to have regular contact with Hobaugh. Each Sunday, Hubbard delivers food and fresh water.
“She is not hurting herself. She is not hurting others,” Hubbard said. “She is a great gal to sit and chat with.”
Age, Hobaugh said, has made her solitary daily activities take longer.
But, she said, with mental focus, “You can do anything.”
Pay no attention to the word “Help” on her house….