Monday, August 25, 2008

Gary Gives Birth

A long, long time ago, the cellar door at Blackrock disintegrated. And in the grand tradition of Blackrock, the old, splintered, rotted door just stayed there for a good long time, doing nothing to keep out rain, snow, and various critters. We wanted a new door, but it's not like we could just go to Home Depot and buy a cellar door. No, nothing at Blackrock is easily replaceable. We needed a custom door built for us. Do you know how hard it is to find someone willing to do one small job like that? Probably not, so I'll tell you--it's damn near impossible.

Then, at a political fundraising party the MiL held here, I met a man named Gary. Turns out Gary was a carpenter and did small jobs when he wasn't working his regular carpentry job. And he was willing to build a door for us. Alleluia!

This was in October. I was hopeful we might actually have a door before the winter set in. Gary started by repairing all the crumbling masonry in the stairway that led down into the cellar. It was then we noticed that Gary, while an excellent craftsman, was very, very, VERY slow. Meticulous, but SLOW. Progress limped along for months. He asked us what kind of wood we wanted, he brought us samples of stains to choose the color, he asked about handles and hinges and placement. But still no door.

Winter came, finding us with no door AT ALL on the cellar, because Gary the Carpenter had disposed of the old splintered one. Gary the Carpenter was allegedly working on our door at his house. I would call him about once a month for updates, only to hear that he was staining it yet AGAIN, because he really wanted the wood to be all uniformly colored, and he wanted to build a beautiful door for our beautiful house, and he wanted us to be satisfied . . . Know what we wanted? A goddamn DOOR already. But. Not much to be done except keep calling.

Then he stopped answering calls. From about March to June, Gary the Carpenter was MIA. We had just given up on him, when he called out of the blue. A. talked to him. He had been "working down south," and had gotten "held up." We figure he was in jail. But whatever. He was back, and was going to resume work on The Door.

He appeared sporadically, doing more masonry work, and then he actually brought The Door to the house. Progress! He set it up in the side yard, where he continued to apply coat after coat of varnish and sealant, and drill in 5 million brass screws. But now that we could see The Door, it was obvious that this was not just a door. It was a work of art. It was insanely decorative and beautiful for a cellar door.

But it still wasn't on the house.

After many, many more days, Gary the Carpenter announced he was ready to install The Door. Nine months after he began it, The Door was finished. He installed it this weekend. Gary the Carpenter gave birth to a beautiful . . . door.


Sweet Bird said...

That's gorgeous! I don't know if it's nine-months-gorgeous, but it's a work of art all the same.

Drew Kime said...

God-a'mighty thassa purdy door.

Now ask him to make you a new bar, so you can get the cardboard boxes off the floor.

The Constant C said...

Damn! That is some door! We may be calling on Gary sometime... Slow is okay, if you get that kind of craftsmanship(and its affordable...)

And I'm very sorry to hear about James. I was always partial to James.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Gary. It's beautiful. Although I don't want to imagine exactly how he gave birth to it. OW.

MeadowLark said...

That's one gorgeous door!

rls said...

That is beautiful. And I like how you have already artfully scattered some fall-colored leaves on it. said...

That is one fine lookin' door, Missy.

FinnyKnits said...

Holy crap that is one HOT cellar door. Really now, that is beautiful.

But I'm with you - does it NEED to be that beautiful? To be outside in the weather covering the cellar? Dunno.

Why, also, do all contractors punctuate their time of employment with trips to the clink?

Mayberry Magpie said...

Holy shit that's a beautiful door! But nine months?