Written Thursday, July 01, 2010
When I was seven years old my parent bought their first house. We moved
in in October. It was a fixer-upper, by that I mean we spent a week
hauling out trash from the house, and Dad spent 4 years fixing it. I
learned a lot about home repair while helping my Dad install plumbing,
wiring, a fuel oil furnace, and a bathroom. The toilet was originally
in the living room closet and the sink was 40 feet away by the back
door. We also learned togetherness as a family that first winter,
because we all tried to huddle as close to the living room stove as
possible while turning to keep one side from burning while the other
side froze. That first winter my brothers and I hauled lump coal in
from the tumbledown shed by the back door in to feed the potbellied
stove in the kitchen and living room. The end of the shed with the door
had folded down flat so we entered through a hole we made in the wall
by pulling some boards off. By spring we had pretty well emptied the
coal shed. In the back of the shed we found a corn sheller. Bob ,
Jerry, and I ran field corn and walnuts through it and had great fun
cranking the handle while the wheel turned and corn magically came out
the bottom and the cob was spit out the end.
The outbuildings were full of old tools and farm equipment. Dad needed
money more than he needed old tools so he sold all of them off,
including the corn sheller. The money went to buy the oil furnace so I
guess it was a fair trade.
Over the years that corn sheller became something that I really wanted
to have. I'm a Galoot, freely admitted. I wanted one but could never
justify buying one at the prices people thought they were worth. Every
auction with a corn sheller either was too far away or the price jumped
right over $200.00 and out of the range I was willing to part with.
In the fall of 2009 I went to another auction. This time to buy a trunk
for my wife. She had wanted one as a storage place for afghans and
blankets in the family room. While there I saw a fixer-upper of a corn
In the family tradition it was full of trash and was going to take a
lot of work to make it right, but all the iron was there. I carefully
didn't look at it much, and when the bidding time came I bid $15.00 and
it was mine.
After 6 months of off and on work at night and on weekends it's done.
After finally getting all the parts together on Saturday (July 25th, 2010), I
spent Sunday cranking the handle, smiling, and remembering. This
ones not for sale.