Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And all that was left. . .

*This* was once a home . . . This shell on Tuscola this past spring. Now all that's left are shards of broken glass, a single carved chair leg and gaping holes where wiring and plumbing were ripped out of the walls by scrappers who moved in as soon as the last family moved out. And now the house is to be torn down.

You have to look under the orange shag carpet and behind the crappy panelling to see what was once here, but that isn't so far to be allowed to see what isn't here anymore, (and I don't think Superman could've done better).

The house once had oak on its floors, high oak base boards, and thick oak mouldings surrounding massive oak pocket doors and large, well-placed windows.

I decided to pause for a second as the woodwork was being disassembled, place a hand on the worn-smooth newell cap and reflect on the people who once lived here.

There were random keys and a century-old dime under the first tread (under which the carpenters had signed thier names in a Spencerian script), and piles of wood shavings from the finishing of the stair that had gotten sealed in before the first family carried their possessions up these stairs with thier faux-Chinoiserie bannisters.

I did a complete walk-through before the volunteers began removing doors, hardware, base mouldings, stairway, etc. In less than two weeks all raditors and heavy plumbing had been scrapped; you could see the marks where the heavy objects had been drug over the floorboards. . .

When I came up from the cellar, Sarah was standing exactly where I had left in the center of the dining room. She told me she couldn't go down there with me because she was too afraid the ghost of a dead baby would come up from behind and touch her (She has issues with babies, this girl).

This is when I raised one eyebrow, pointed a glass doorknob at her and and said, "Look, in my other-other life I'm a bartender, and do have any idea how many people try to touch you as they get drunk?" I said I'd take dead babies any day over a linty old man with a pitcher of beer in one hand and my backside in the other . . .

Sarah still wouldn't go into the cellar, but did agree that there are worse things than dead babies in this world.


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