Towse: views from the hill

May 13, 2005

PhotoFriday challenge: ‘Space’

Filed under: photographs,travel — Towse @ 7:47 pm

challenge: ‘Space’

The Greek theatre in Siracusa, Sicily.  Posted by Hello

May 10, 2005

He looks so young.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 6:05 am

I mentioned this picture in a comment a while back …

HS Graduation Picture c1942 Posted by Hello

He looks so young. Ready to take on the world.

High school graduation photo, 1942. He wouldn’t turn eighteen until December 1942, and (the way I heard it) his mom wouldn’t let him or his twin brother enlist while they were underaged and needed her signoff.

He went off to MIT for the fall/winter term and enlisted after the end of that term, after he’d turned eighteen.

Turned out to be a good thing that he’d spent that time on campus. After the war, when GI Bill students flooded the colleges, MIT would only take on GI Bill students who were returning students, which he, with that winter term completed, was. He re-enrolled and finally finished with his PhD with four children (later to become six) in tow.

Love the “colorizing” that was the rage then.

I told my mom how handsome I thought he looked in the picture and she said, “Handsome?”

‘Yes, “handsome,” Mom.’

May 6, 2005

Step by step. Inch by inch.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 5:05 pm

Yesterday the same mover guys who moved six hundred boxes of books last month showed up again, at 8A.

We were mostly ready for them.

Of the three guys (and a big truck) from last month, only one of the guys was the same. This guy had impressed me last month because he is hugely strong. How strong?

We’re moving most everything out of here because come Monday morning 8A, the painter and his crew arrive to paint the entire inside — and some places inside that had never been painted before — Frost white. (Frost? I’d said when the stagers said that would be the color to use. Frost was the new Navajo White way back fifteen years ago when we were landlords. Isn’t there a new Frost yet? Seems nope.)

The plan was this: (1) Move all items tagged with blue painter tape to the loft. (2) Move all items tagged with purple masking tape up here to my office, where we’ll be camping out to keep an eye on painters and carpet layers, &c. Purple tagged items are items the stagers plan to use for staging and will need to be moved up to Hill or the loft once the house sells. (3) Move any large items that aren’t tagged either blue or purple to the garage where we will (a) give the items to the Cleaner Guy’s church group or Goodwill or StVincentdePaul or Salvation Army and (b) give any items the nonprofits can’t use to any CraigsLister or Freecycler who’s wants ‘em. Free! Recycle. Recycle.

Toss any items left over after the non-profits and the Freecyclers and the CraigsListers have taken their picks into a 40 yd drop box. Boy, do I hate throwing anything into a drop box.

His nibs walked the guys around. The hugely strong guy was the foreman this time, and the only crew member who had much English at all. My Chinese is nil except for xie xie and ni hao ma, if that, so the directions and conversation were um. interesting.

The eight-panel coromandel screen gave them pause. We showed them how it came apart at the hinges, but no, they didn’t want to take it apart. Easier to move if they take it all at once — with padding. But … There was much discussion and they counted the panels again and decide to break it into two sets of four panels for moving.

“It’s heavy,” I said. “Yes, heavy,” the foreman answered.

They at first decided they’d have to make two trips with the truck, but finally decided they could tamp it all in. What with needing to shift the staging items up to my office and to shift the giveaway items to the garage, they wouldn’t have time if they made two trips to San Francisco.

Luckily for us, the painter called to delay his arrival until Monday, instead of today. The main house is still not ready for him. EVERYTHING needs to be out of there before he can get started. I have most of today — except for the chimneys inspector at noon and the guy who’s going to try to get the jammed poolcover open, also at noon. We have most of tomorrow and perhaps a bit of Sunday.

The truck was loaded and the furniture shifted around by 1:30P or so. We stopped to grab a Togo’s sandwich to take up for lunch, circled back to get my cell phone, and made it up to the loft about fifteen minutes before the truck arrived. His nibs stationed himself at the front door, to protect against robbers and vagrants and bears, oh my! as required by the homeowners’ association. I was up in the loft to point out where various items went.

His nibs would call on my cell phone and say, “The two bookcases from the front room are on their way up.” “The magicians are on their way up.” “You need to figure out where the trunks will go.” “The waterbed” “Another bureau” “The coromandel screen is on the way up.” “MORE BOXES!”

The trunks, filled with cloth and tablecloths and other fairly light items just kept coming: ten trunks in all. I’d been planning to line them up against the walls, but ran out of room and wound up stacking some on top of others. Most of the trunks were trunks Great great aunt Burta had used while she was nosing about Japan and India, Afghanistan and Egypt, back in the late 1800s — sturdy stuff with beaten up old labels for different hotels in Rome, Zurich, elsewhere. The leather straps have all broken, but the metal latches still latch. A few trunks had belonged to his nibs’ dad, used while Pop was in the Army AirForce in WWII.

We brought both sofas, although we’d been thinking of leaving the Kroehler sofa behind and just taking the matching chair. I had such mixed feelings. The Kroehler sofa is busted, but comfortable. The crimson fuzz is worn in spots, but we cover it with Indian bedspreads.

The folks who sold my parents’ our house in 1960 left the Kroehler sofa and chair behind in the garage, probably because, even then, you could flip the sofa over and see where one of the wood supports was busted. Yesterday, the movers said, “Mister. Mister.” and pointed out the broken support to his nibs. Yes, his nibs said, we know it’s broken and won’t blame you for busting it.

How cool is the sofa? I finally found a picture of a similar sofa in an ad for sale on eBay. c1935. The lower sofa. Picture burgundy /crimson fuzzy upholstery. No wonder the sellers left the pair behind. Not only was the sofa a bit busted, but it was twenty-five years old in 1960. Eeeeew.

Of course, now it’s seventy …

The foreman told me, in broken English, ’round about 4:30P, after he’d move up three bureaus and five bookcases and boxes and two sofas and a chair and a suite from the turn of last century, if not before, “I liked the last move better. All boxes. Mix of things is much harder.”

And hard it was. These guys worked hard from eight o’clock until six o’clock — ten hours, with their only rest, the trip up to the loft from Dale, if you don’t count the extra hour we were charged for their trip down from San Francisco.

We made sure they each earned a sizeable tip above and beyond the contracted expense.

So how strong was the foreman? He and another guy were moving in the pinball machine we moved this time — the stagers want to use the other pinball machine for the staging and we gave away our third pinball machine [a 1941 "Majors of 41" by Chicago Coin Machine -- "needs work"] to a pinball freak couple we know.

I wanted the pinball machine we were moving into the southeast corner — situated away from most neighbors who might complain about the noise. The movers rolled the machine over on wheelies front and back. The foreman had the other guy hold the wheelies on the front end while he took off the back end set of wheelies and lifted the pinball machine as close as he could to the wall.

We wanted it close enough that he couldn’t just stand behind the pinball machine and move it in. What to do? He and the other guy talked about it and he finally just got under the pinball machine and arched his back and carried the load to the proper position near the wall, with the front end wheelies still in place.

Still holding the pinball machine on his back, he signalled to the other guy to kick the wheelies out from the front end of the pinball machine and he lowered the machine down to the floor, ON HIS ARCHED BACK.


What with taking the boxes they were dropping off in the middle of the floor and moving them here and there, sorting them out by the labelling on the sides, I wore myself ragged. This morning I ache. Majorly.

Wonder how the foreman and his crew feel.

Yikes! The pool cover guy is here, two hours early!

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