Ok, for the Non-Petchheads out there, and I guess that’s everyone but me, a small recap.
Last week I was over at a friends house using his band saw to split some salvaged redwood joists. While I wasn’t drooling all over his pricey and beautiful tools we talked about old houses and recent finds. His is an 1884 Italianate and is in about as good a shape as mine, which isn’t saying much. I told him about the Eastlake door I had snagged in Ferndale a few weeks ago and he showed me a pair of Pocket Doors he had just bought the day before at an antique store in Fortuna for an unbelievably low price of $65. They have some damage and no hardware, but even so that was a great deal.
Anyway, I went on and on and on and on and on about my door obsession and how I had only managed to find a half dozen of these Eastlake doors over the past few years. He sympathized, following my story with interest, and occasionally nodding his head. We spoke and sawed and sawed and spoke, and eventually I packed up my freshly sawed joists and left.
Yesterday, I got home from teaching shingling in order to pay off a debt and there was a message on my machine from the guy with the band saw. He said, in a very casual way, “Greg, I’m not sure if your still looking for Eastlake doors or not, but I happened to stumble on a few. If you’re interested give me a call otherwise I can just take them to the dump”. Obviously he was being facetious knowing full well I would be interested in even a part of an Eastlake door.
I was on the phone dialing his number before the machine even finished playing back the message. I got his machine – drat! Although I didn’t even need to say it I told him I was very interested in the doors. I started to think I might get raked over the coals for these. I recall the week before saying something along the lines that I would be willing to pay almost anything for a decent door. Not a good starting point for negotiating a price. In the message I told him I would be out in the shop working and to give me a call back.
Later that evening I was just about to start dinner and I noticed I had another message. It was the band saw guy again, or is he now the door guy. Anyway, this time he mentioned that the doors were in his backyard and some mutual friends of ours had just showed up at his house and they were all having cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and why don’t I come over to check out the doors and partake in the libations. This time I was on my way out the door before the message finished and with in minutes I was pulling up to his house.
As I walked down the sidewalk I peeked over the fence and saw two white doors leaning up against the curb. They looked great. I went in and they were serving Gin & Tonics and had all kinds of munchables spread out in the kitchen. Apparently this is a sort of regular get together between a small group of friends. I know all of these people but I’ve never been invited over. Not too odd, and it didn’t really bother me finding this out. I mean, not everyone who knows anybody is going to be invited to every social event every time, right? Otherwise there could be millions showing up at every party. Besides, they are all nice people, so it was fun.
I grabbed my Gin & Tonic (can’t recall the last time I had one of those) and headed out the back door to go see the doors and I was followed by a few of the party goers. There was a lot more than the doors out there. Apparently he had come across a cache of antique furniture that day and the doors were part of the haul. Everything was spread about the backyard near the entrance to the basement. I checked out the doors and was very pleased with what I saw. They need a little TLC but all in all were in fine shape. No deadbolt holes drilled through them, that’s always a plus.
After a few minutes my friend stuck his head out the kitchen window and I asked him how much he wanted for the doors. He said, “Well, I’m not trying to make a killing off these or anything. I will give them to you for exactly what I paid for them…” He paused for a second and I waited for the other shoe to drop, and then he continued, “…and that …. Would …. Be …. Exactly …. Nothing.” I looked at him and asked, “They were free!?!” He went on to tell me that all the other antiques he had purchased at an estate sale and the doors and a sideboard were given to him by a friend in Ferndale and because I had droned on and on about my door deficiency the week before he snatched them up and gave them to me. So I get two free Eastlake doors. Hazah!
I am fortunate to have such good friends and even more fortunate that they do not have a house in need of free Eastlake doors.