Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Birthday, ATA and R.I.P.

    I choose to honor this memory in a positive light.

    This photo was taken at the house on Crest Drive, April or May 1979, fairly soon after we got it (as you can tell). We'd just torn down the wall between the family room and the kitchen. The old copper appliances soon made way for modern black ones. See how the tile was PINK with black trim? LOL We had already started to fill in the door to the hall and had cut a new doorway between the family room leading directly across the hall facing the bathroom door. That way you didn't have to walk all the way into the kitchen practically to get to the private living spaces. 

The dust all over was from Sheetrock having been cut. OMG it was everywhere. We rewired the whole house, replumbed it, installed heating and air conditioning (lowering that huge unit through a hole in the floor we had to create because the unit was too large to fit in the crawl space opening), poured concrete, built stone walls, roofed, tiled, shingled, painted, sheetrocked, installed tongue-in-groove flooring (tap, tap, tap, nudge), sanded old flooring, installed wall-to-wall carpet with those dreadful tack strips – ouch – and kick stretcher thingy, linoleum in the kitchen -- there was NOTHING we did not do to this house. I could have built a home by myself when this project was completedThose were some of the best years of my life.

We bought a black Ford Econoline van with the 351 Cleveland engine, standard utility van bought with straight-out cash. Went into the showroom after working on the house and the sales people wouldn't even talk to us. Thought we were bums. We cut that diamond-shaped window in the back door, did the tuck-and-roll interior (it was GORGEOUS – gave me a new appreciation for what a chalk line can do), built the bed, covered the bed in faux fur (LOL), installed the captain's chairs, put in the carpet, and so on.

We Z-bricked the kitchen walls halfway up, painted them the rest of the way to the ceiling. We installed the appliances ourselves -- all black. Replaced the kitchen sink. The countertop was custom black slate, I'm thinking - or granite but I'm pretty sure it was slate. Hard to recall now.
You'd think those memories would last forever.

We hung kitchen wall cabinets (all solid red oak), installed bathroom and kitchen counter cabinets, countertops in both rooms. We painted, stuccoed the outside, leveled and gravelled the driveway. We graded the yard, planted a peach tree (remember that, Patrice?). Kids, trust me when I tell you, you DO need basic math skills in real life!

Built new stairs for the
 back porch, poured cement stairs out front. Bunch of stuff.

The last project we did together was the fireplace and insert in the front room and connected it to the whole house heating system. We moved doorways -- the original doorway between the front room and the living room had been in the center of the wall. We moved it to line up with the front doorway.

Wish I had even a single photo of the finished product or the man I worked shoulder to shoulder with through this labor of love, but I don't.

Oh, Dear Reader, if you've read this far I'll give you a treat. On the table in the lower left-hand corner is an ashtray. Full of forbidden green delight. Home-grown. Good stuff. :)

If I still smoked, I'd light one up in your honor on this, your 65th birthday. Salut.

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