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Friday, October 24, 2014

You can do this

When Beth lived upstairs on Whitcomb, Jan and I were just starting our weaving business.  Back in Mentor, every time a daughter moved out, I put a loom in the bedroom.  First Beth’s room, then Shelly’s.  Then in the dining room.  Down in Akron, after she and Tom married, Jan put a loom in her old bedroom.  Then one in the dining room.  They still ate meals there, until a second loom went into the dining room.  That’s when we bought this house, with the studio.

In the beginning we bought far too many looms.  Good looms are never a bad investment.  We learned from our looms, and then sent them back into the world, generally at a profit and never for a loss.  Until we learned a good deal more about them, we gladly went to look over looms that folks wanted to sell.  

The only Union Loom we ever owned we purchased in a distress situation.  The owner loved it, but needed the money.  It was a wrench for the woman to part with it; she had happy memories of learning to weave on it when she was a teen.  But, we paid up and loaded up and the deal was done.

Driving back we knew we really didn't want it, but…..   Let’s give it to Beth.  She can weave rugs!

I knew Beth was away on a business trip.  I also knew Chrissy had a key to take care of the cats.  Chrissy was very reluctant to agree with my request to let us into Beth’s house, as she should have been.  It was extremely presumptuous of Beth’s mother to put a loom in Beth’s dining room and wait for Beth to come home and find it.  But she let us in, and Jan and I hauled the loom up a long set of stairs and set it up in the dining room.  We put on the first warp and threaded the heddles and the reed.  Then we went home and waited for the phone call.

When it came I caught heck for involving Christina, but not for the loom, which really interested her.  In our ignorance of Union Loom braking systems, we put the first warp on the wrong direction.  Beth fought her way through it, and was a downhill weaver thereafter.  

She bought several looms and wove steadily for us until Bill came along and distracted her. Beth owned her house by then and all the looms lived in the garret.  Shelly and I finished emptying the looms up in the attic of desperately needed fabric while Beth and Bill made goo goo eyes downstairs.  By the time they married, all the looms were out of the attic and sold.

The Union Loom never made it to her attic; it did its service on Whitcomb. That’s where Ann learned to weave.  The Union had been pressed into service for fabric by then and Beth wove a couple of yards each night, when she came home from work.  Ann moved in with Beth temporarily, after selling her home, before moving to Wisconsin.  She came home from work earlier than Beth, and looking for something to pass the time, picked up a shuttle.  She accumulated her own looms in Wisconsin and wove for us until we retired. 

The  Union Loom we sneaked into Beth’s house?  The original owner said she’d like to buy it back.  So, having done its job, the loom went back to the person who loved it most.

Christina, the cat sitter who let us in.
During her harpsichord phase, twenty years ago.
She grew up to be a New York attorney.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

More levity in a 6 x 8 foot bathroom

The three red trucks on the end yielded five plumbers on Tuesday,
to tackle the drain issues we've tolerated for twenty six years.
(Remember Mom's carpenter friend Bill? Yes, he "redid" everything, and winged it more often than not.)
I now know more about drains than Bill probably ever did.
Bathtubs have two inch drains.
Shower stalls require three inch drains. It's something about the way the water goes round and round.
Bill left us with two inch drains where three inch drains were required.

How many tradesmen fit in a 6' x 8' bathroom, stripped down to bare walls?
Three. For a few moments, four, but three was the consistent number.

 More plumbers downstairs.

This one stayed upstairs.
Between all of them, including Jim and Mike,
they removed the old cast iron stack in the corner 
and put in shiny new PVC.

It's a balancing act with the rotten old floor removed.
They gave young Mike the toughest perch of all. (The forward pointing toes.)

By Wednesday's end, new flooring and a good deal more prep work done.
Jim couldn't reset the toilet; I slept upstairs!

When I came in from work today, the shower stall was framed in. Jim was even putting down the sub floor, while Scott, a leftover plumber, was finalizing the terlit hole.
I think these guys are pleased me and my camera are missing a good half of every day!

Still holds three people, but one is now technically in the bathtub. Well, the shower.

Concrete, to set the shower base.
"You know you're standing on something!" Jim explained. 

I'll bet a hammer and a crescent wrench are standard tools for setting the last quarter inch of a reluctant drain.

The plumbers are gone, it's back to Jim and Mike.
Contemplating the wall.

End of day four.
Jim reset my toilet for another night.
I'm sure the poor old thing thinks perhaps I love it and it, of all the old fixtures, will prevail.
Ha! This time next week there will be a lovely tall toilet there.
Keep checking back.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sad, sad, sad

I wrote about this house earlier this year, in March. It was far too cold to prowl around, so I linked to a very good article about its history.

Today I received a comment to moderate that simply said this house burned to the ground today, and gave me a link.

A beautiful house, for you to look at one more time:

Firestone family home to be relocated

  • Published: Sat, August 13, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.
Crews are preparing to move an Italianate-style home owned by the Firestone family, known for its tire empire, just east on Lipply Road in view of Pine Lake. The house is currently next to the Firestone tire-testing facility.
Tom Ellison of New Springfield said he purchased the Firestone house partly as a way to create work for his company, Tom Ellison Excavating.
By Ashley Luthern

A piece of local history will have a new location — albeit only 900 feet from where it has stood since 1880.
Crews are preparing to move an Italianate-style home owned by the Firestone family, known for its tire empire, just east on Lipply Road in view of Pine Lake. Tom Ellison of New Springfield purchased the home, and his company, Tom Ellison Excavating, and Stein House Movers of Cortland are transporting the house.
“Too often we munch and crunch these old buildings,” Ellison said.
Ellison purchased five acres on Lipply Road through David A. LoGiudice, a real-estate broker and appraiser with Boardman-based David Realty, and first expressed interest in the house in October.
Ben Strawinski, supervisor of the 400-acre Firestone tire-testing facility that is next to the house, called the situation a “win-win.”
“We would have recycled parts of the house, but that was a last resort,” he said.
The Firestone company has maintained the house since the last occupant, Beatrice Webber, a Fire-stone family friend, left about six years ago, Strawinski said.
The space where the house is will be turned into a parking lot for visitors to the testing center.
Strawinski said the home was used by Harvey S. Firestone’s sister.
Visitors to the testing site still can look across the street and view the area where Firestone went camping with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison and the remains of a horse track where Firestone first tested his rubber tires.
The Firestone Homestead where Harvey S. Firestone was born and grew up was moved to Greenfield Village at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich., in 1983. The homestead, which included a barn, was built in 1828.
Ellison said he owns several older homes and rental properties and acquired this home partly as a way to create work for his company.
LoGiudice said by moving the house down the road — and avoiding crossing state Route 7 — the task of temporarily disrupting electric service was made easier. Ellison added the house likely will travel “at a creep” down Lipply Road in about two weeks.
Once there, Ellison will renovate the house and make a circular driveway. But the house isn’t for him — “I already have a home on the other side of the lake” — and Ellison said he will sell it.
“This house will be a thing of beauty,” he said.
Harvey Firestone introduced vulcanizing of rubber; he, Henry Ford and Charles Goodyear gave us cars with tires.