Last night my family joined Erik Root‘s family in Fuquay-Varina for the town’s celebration of Independence Day. Fuquay has always had a wonderful fireworks display, but since the town has grown tremendously over the past few years, finding parking for the festivities has become increasingly difficult.

There is, however, an old farmhouse within tolerable walking distance to the park that used to charge celebrants for the privilege of parking on the lot. This year, however, there was no sign in the yard for parking, but there were several cars parked there. Not seeing anything else anywhere close, we decided to pull in and check, and sure enough, the woman met us.

I asked her if she were charging. She said no, the town of Fuquay-Varina forbid her from charging because she wasn’t a business. She was taking “donations.” She told us with note of what-are-ya-gonna-do resignation in her voice (we all know that sound ? we all make it when trying to describe clumsy, unnecessary bureaucratic meddling and favoritism) that some locals who ran their own businesses out of their homes didn’t have the same problem as her.

The latter bit she told us after we gave her our donation. We pooled together $7, which was considerably more than she charged in previous years, but which was made out of consideration that other drivers likely didn’t care to donate. When we “donated,” we informed her that we were happy to give because we believed in property rights. “Really?” she said. “Oh, yes ma’am.”