Sunday, October 25, 2009

This Old House . . .

. . . Ain't What It Used to Be
. . . But It's Gettin' There

Back in 1985 the manufactured home -it was called a mobile home then -
that I bought and lived in was brand new but the years since have taken a toll on the place little by little.

Bob Vila on television explains by the week - or did for a while - how to renovate/fix/re-do "This Old House" but he never got to my place and told me how to fix my manufactured home.

A computer friend of mine up in New York owns a house in a town where I lived and worked , a two-story place once occupied by a baby/young girl named Susan B. Anthony, who later in life sprang into action to get women the right to vote in this country.

I like to say sometimes to new acquaintences that Susan B. Anthony was a neighbor of mine. Then I watch as a quizzical look comes upon my listener's face until I explain "many years ago and across town." (I'm not a native of that town).

Right now that birthplace home of Susan B. Anthony is being renovated into a museum. It's 191 years old, has been owned by a number of folks over the years and was facing probable demolition a few years ago when it slowly degeneratated, even to a point when a part of its roof fell in.

Cost a lot of moola to buy and then fix but soon the old homestead will be a treasure for Adams, Massachusetts, a tourist draw as a musuem reminding women of who lived there once and eventually made them part of the country - voters.

Well, back to my somewhat younger manufactured home. Once I vacated it for others quarters, the place became tenant-occupied. Without labeling ALL tenants as - what shall I say - undesirable, some are pretty sloppy and uncaring for the property of others.

Leasing with a set of rules to keep a place clean, have no pets, (they can soil and ruin a new carpet in weeks), fix things one breaks, maintain the lawn, pick up trash etc, seldom work.

Of course, age has an effect on the construction materials used in building the house. I have found - now 25 years after construction - that in 1984 or 1985. there was not much quality control, there were inferior materials used and even shoddy workmanshp.

So after putting out large amounts to fix collapsing floors, underpinning, exterior walls and installing some up-to-date equipment and carpeting
(still to be accomplished) , re-painting the whole place and cleaning up an acre, my 1985 property is nearly new-looking again.

The Anthony House museum has/is costing Carol Crossed (of Rochester, New York) a bundle, maybe 40 times my projects and her contribution to the memory of Susan B. Anthony has earned her the first and only "Woman of Achievement" award ever given by the Northern Berkshire (Massachusetts) Business and Professional Women organization to someone not from that county.

Congratulations Carol.

- 30 -

1 comment:

  1. Hi, my name is Chuck and I've been following your blog for about a year and since I've been looking at this one about your 1985 vintage mobile home for over a month thought I'd change the "0" at the bottom of the page to at least "1".

    Your essays are fantastic to read. Keep up the excellent work, but only if you are up to it.