Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Craftsman House.

Tim finished the house we bought last spring and it is rented out.

We've bought another house. It is a craftsman bungalow with wonderful woodwork and leaded glass windows. It belonged to a hoarder.

As we understand it, the fellow that owned the house got it through his second wife's family. She had inherited it from her family. When she died, the house became his. He married again and lived with his new wife in her house. The beautiful Craftsman bungalow was used to store stuff.

Some of the things that we have discovered: a box full of pictures dating back to the mid 1800s, including post cards sent to the family from France, during WWI. We handed those over to a local historian to go through. My 70 year old historian friend was amazed to find pictures of his own mother during her high school years.

We found a box full of old (1935) Fortune magazines which are fun browsing, court transcripts from a fatal car crash, deeds, a wicker doll carriage, some great furniture, old Swedish books from the 1800s in a tall secretary desk with glass fronted book shelves. German crystal wine goblets still in their paper, a peugeot coffee grinder, an old pearl necklace in a bank envelope in the back of the china closet that seems to be the real deal (it will be taken to a jeweler), a brand new milk can, Christmas lights still in their boxes, two cedar chests and one steamer trunk, an armoire, dressers, tables. There is so much to go through, and everything must be gone through because the man is reputed to have misplaced an envelope of $100 bills. There is plenty of trash but some very awesome treasures.

Right now, the roof is being replaced and once that is complete, the contents of the house will be safe.

We were taken aback that such a home would sell with all those contents un-gone through. Sad to think that all of those things had no meaning to the children.

As she cut my hair, my beautician asked, "Do you feel any creepy vibes there? Any presence?"

I said, "I certainly hope not!"

From all reports the man was a real bastard. He was involved in almost every local social group you can imagine. Lions. Moose. Elks. Zem-Zems. Masons. Shriners. The list goes on and on. There are boxes and boxes of his life. His first wife left him, and fled with his children to California. There are boxes and boxes of the receipts for his child support payments. He married again. She died. He married one last time and was soundly hated by her children. She died too, but before she did, she threw him out of her home. She died shortly after that.

He moved back to his cluttered old Craftsman bungalow with the hole in the roof. Although the roof leaked and the house was floor to ceiling with stuff, one thing he did religiously was had the house painted. I told Tim that it seemed fitting somehow, that he should have been so concerned with outward appearance, paying no attention to the decay and rot and junk on the inside. A metaphor for his sad life, don't you think?

The children of his last wife ended up with the bungalow by default we surmise and did not want the headaches of fixing up a place that had belonged to a man that they could not abide. It was placed on the market. Tim saw it, and moved quickly. Our offer was accepted almost immediately.

I said to Tim, "This is the last house we buy, right?" and his answer came as it always has: "Oh, we'll never see a deal like THIS again."

And so it goes.


Kelly said...

Zem-Zems? That's one I don't recognize.

I can understand the kids selling the house as is. I'm sure they felt there was nothing there worth caring about, given they cared nothing for the man.

Debby said...

Bob said...

Have you by chance said that to your Tim before (this is the last house we buy)???

He may be right about this one. Sounds like a rare gem and once you get the stuff all sorted out, there may yet be more. Some of the furniture sounds interesting -- I love the old pieces.

So good to read something from you again. Always like a breath of fresh air!

Debby said...

And your joyous news was wonderful to read. Congratulations Grandpa!

Debby said...

Oh, and PS: Yes. I've been saying this since like four houses ago...

Bob said...

Maybe eventually he will believe you?!