No Horsing Around

No Horsing AroundView More Photos

Having had a half-waking and somewhat turbulent night’s sleep, I found myself at office even an hour before my earliest, which afforded me time to get my brain re-calibrated and head into a new day. After having a good long reflection on the happenings of last evening, I came to the conclusion that beyond a doubt, there’s no good deed that goes unpunished, and all I’m gonna say about that business of the cell phone I found yesterday, is that should I ever happen upon another, I’ll simply ignore it and move on.

With it being the first days of the month, I had some banking to do, as well as accounting which kept me busied within the office, and glad for it because today’s heat felt like Mother Nature had opened the door of a broiler oven.

Before noontime arrived, one of my clients who’s very talented with woodworking, asked if I wanted to stop over to his shop and and take a look at a project he’s working on, and since I didn’t have that much going on, I headed on over.

When I walked in, I noticed he had a very old staircase completely dis-assembled, and only because the stringers were badly damaged and in need of being replaced just so the stair treads and backs would fit properly into their slots. The more I looked at it, the more I realized that some poor devil spent a great amount of time drilling and then cutting those many slots, and by the looks of it, there were absolutely no power tools used because it was all done by hand. I could even feel the chisel marks in those grooves.

It appears he’s going to be able to replicate those stringers with modern tools, but what I thought to be funny, was his insistence of never having seen a set of stairs built like that before. Well, jaded me has seen enough of them over the years in homes built back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. He said nearly all the wedges were gone, so he’ll have to be making new ones to keep those steps firmly in place. I know from experience that most owners of old homes, wouldn’t take the time to investigate why their stair treads were getting loose, so instead of checking to make sure the wedges were all there and securely in place, they’d start pounding nails into the steps and stringers to keep them secure. For sure that was the most damaging thing they could’ve done to their hand-built stairs.

I’m sure the main reason many of those vintage stairs became a constant battle, was due to the wood getting itself seasoned, along with the shrinking and expanding of the wooden components due to changes in temperature and humidity. The best remedy for keeping those old stairways noise-free and rock-solid, is to get them fully sealed with several coats of floor varnish, and if but one squeak gets started, investigate and fix it.

After my show and tell was over, I headed over to one of my listings which is in the process of being painted. When I got there, it appeared to still be a work in progress, so hopefully it’ll be finished up before the closing day arrives because I definitely don’t want any issues with the buyers.

On my way back, I did some circling of blocks in our Downtown, and believe you me, that district which if you draw straight north/south lines along Washington Ave. on the east, and the railroad tracks on the west, and then a straight east/west line from 5th St. NW between them, and then draw another east/west line between them on 3rd St. SW, that’s they area I’m talking about. If you go around each block and then up and down their alleyways, you will be horrified by the amount of trash, junk, abuse, dis-repair and everything else you’d not expect to see. After seeing what I did today, there’s no question we’ve got investors owning many of those units, and after today, I believe that’s all they’re doing, is milking them. Since I’ve lived here nearly all my life, I can assure you that district has never looked as bad as it did today, and I mean never!

What I find to be exceptionally ludicrous, is seeing our City throwing hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of dollars on dead animals like the Music Man Square and the Southbridge Mall, along with giving tax incentives to out-of-State and definitely for profit, builders who’re erecting flimsy apartment complexes on the fringes of that troubled district. Not that I care, but I also found it laughable when seeing our Chamber of Commerce getting some prestigious do-good award. Hmmm…I’m still seeing the same dysfunction in those multi-family and residential districts surrounding our Downtown, along with noticeably too many vacant store fronts. What gives? What’s the plan? Who’s in charge? Where are the tax dollars going and are they being spent wisely? These are all questions we must start asking and getting straight answers before casting our votes whenever there are City Council elections, and that goes for our County Supervisors as well.

The highlight of my day, was when looking up from my desk and seeing a trail of horses with riders trotting by. I got up and went out to get a better look, and then decided to go and get my camera to take some photos of them.

Well, by the time I got my camera readied, they were gone, so I got in my car and started circling the Downtown until I found them over at The Good Shepherd Heath Care Center, and since I was in the right position, I snapped enough photos to create a photo gallery for your enjoyment tonight. I heard later that the event was set up to visit various nursing homes in our City, and by the looks of it, the residents were enjoying the show. That was definitely a heart-felt act of kindness. Of course you know how much I love horses and by the looks of today’s riders, there was no horsing around.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Listen once in a while, because it’s amazing what you’ll hear.

Joe Chodur

About the Author | Joe Chodur

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