Sunday, March 23, 2008

Four Walls and an Old Man

I finished putting the beadboard up on the four walls in the laundry. I’m going to call it a resounding success because I didn’t drive a nail through any water lines, drains, or electrical wires. When I did the upstairs bathroom, I was putting in the last 3 pieces of beadboard under the sink. I thought I had 1.5-inch nails in the nail gun, when in fact I had 2.5 inch nails. I shot one through the brand new hot water line and another through the brand new ABS drain. Not one of my finer moments, but it was a valuable lesson

The room is small, so it is not easy to get a good shot. Because the room is so small (9.5X5.5), and with the tall ceilings (10.5), the vertical beadboard on the walls makes for a bit of an optical illusion. The room suddenly seems much taller. I think it is a nice effect. The plan is to paint the room a pale yellow. Green is out, because I used that too much in the house already. White would be a bit stark. It needs to be a light color, otherwise the room could seem like a dank pit. Who wants to do laundry in a dank pit? Not me.

Here’s what I started with in the way of salvage beadboard. That ran me about $250.

Here is what I’ve left with. Those are all 10-foot lengths, but really, there is not a lot of usable wood in there. I decided I want to do the ceiling in beadboard as well, so I went back to the gentleman whom I bought everything else off of. I don't want to reveal who this person really is, so we’ll just call him R. Hillman. No, wait, that’s too obvious. How about Ray H.

Ray H. is a noted local historian and salvage person. I have not had too many encounters with him, so I can’t say I know him all that well. My odyssey of getting the beadboard from him started months ago and it had nothing to do with beadboard.

A friend had bought some salvage millwork from Ray H. that came out of the Vance Hotel. He told me there was a lot left to chose from and I should contact Ray H. ASAP if I wanted any of the good stuff. I called Ray H. that afternoon and got his voice mail. I left a message with my name and number and told him I was interested in looking at the Vance Hotel millwork. It took Ray H. 4 days to return my call and he called while I was at work.

I immediately called him back and again got his voice mail. I left another message, the same as the first, only this time I left both my work and home phone. Ray H. called back 4 or 5 days later, again while I was at work. This went on for more than a month. My messages became more desperate and the tone of my voice more irritated. The tone of Ray H's messages to me didn't seem to change at all. I started to get the feeling this is business as usual for Ray H.

I was about to give up when another friend told me there was a cache of beadboard in D&D Motors and Ray H. had the salvage rights for it. Word had it that Ray H. needed help in getting it down. The Vance Hotel stuff was just something I wanted to look at. I really didn’t have any immediate need for the millwork, but the beadboard I could use right away in the laundry room. The added benefit of maybe getting a discount in exchange for labor made it all the more interesting.

I called Ray H. that night and once again mentioned the Vance Hotel, but only briefly. This had been about 6 weeks since my first call and at this point I felt like I was calling a woman for a date for the 10th time and she had never returned one of my calls in the past, “Yea, whatever - the Vance. If you want to do it, lets do it.” I quickly moved on to the D&D Motors beadboard and told Ray H. I would most likely buy all of it and I would help pull it down. I also mentioned I had an old pick-up and I could transport it.

Ray H. called me back within the hour.

As you can imagine, he was very interested in my pick up truck. This, of course, is The Boss 1971 Ford F-100 Custom Camper Special (a.k.a. “The Beast”). So we worked out a deal to meet at the D&D Motors and I would get a discount on the beadboard in exchange for my labor and truck. This is Ray H., though, so it would take several more weeks, and as many phone calls for us to actually get together and get the beadboard out.

Ray H. is a very nice gentleman, but he tends to do things on his on personal schedule, regardless of what yours is. I don’t think it is malicious. I think that is just the way he is. Today I called because I wanted to get some more of the beadboard to finish off the ceiling. I called Ray H. and left a stern message about how I was in the middle of a project and I did not want to play phone tag for a month. To his credit, he called back in 20 minutes. I went over and bought enough of the same beadboard to do the ceiling. It was another $49 worth. I didn’t bother to mention the Vance Hotel to him. I’m still not sure what happened to that.


Eureka Observer said...

What a fantastic description of Ray. You captured him perfectly. Wonder if he reads your blog. If so I am sure he would agree.

Sandy said...

Nice job on the bead board!

kingstreetfarm said...

Frankly, Ray sounds like a right pain in the ass, so I commend you on your patience and perseverance!
It was worth it, because the beadboard looks totally awesome. I am so digging it!

I like the idea of yellow for the laundry room, but wanted to also suggest the idea of a pale ice blue. It reminds me of laundry for some reason (yeah, i know, I have weird color associations). Maybe because water is blue? Anyway just thought I'd throw that out there. Blue: evocative of water, and closer to green than yellow is.

Excuse my bad grammar, please.

Katherine said...

I am unbelievably full of anticipation at the idea that you are actually going to paint a room another color than green, and waiting with bated breath the agonistic meditation over your choice of yellow shade.