Friday, February 24, 2012

The American Dream, Our Version. Part II

Two years after logging the property and deciding to sell our house logs, The American Dream, Our Version, Part I. we finally secured an owner/builder loan.  Retired Mountain Man had spent several summers working for Kenny Walrath.  It was a given that we would hire our and good friend, Kenny, who was an excellent carpenter, and his assistant, Chris Riffe.  Retired Mountain Man worked with them every day.   I was the go-fer who made sure the needed materials were there every day.

Pouring the basement slab.  Kenny, Glen Nordgaarden and Retired Mountain Man.

Basement Wall-East Side.  Jamie, Kenny and Jon.

7:00 a.m. Concrete Pour

Baby Dave watching the event. 

Oops!  Too much concrete.  They had to quickly make a form to pour a slab for our shed?  barn?  where should it be?  Quick!  Decide!  Where do you want the barn?  The concrete truck driver won't wait and it's too expensive not to use somewhere!

The extra concrete slab.  Formed and poured in 30 minutes.
Glen, Chris, Kenny and Retired Mountain Man. 

It rained only one time during construction but it was a muddy mess the next morning.

Once the basement walls were finished, we were on to installing the main floor.

Dave was one of our main nailers.

Now it was on to framing the walls on the main floor.  The plan was to frame the north and south walls, put on the paper, the log siding, install the windows and oil the siding.  We would then go to our favorite neighborhood bar, Murphy's, and ask whoever was in the bar at the time, to drive up to our house to help raise the walls.  We offered free beer afterwards.  The owner of Murphy's, Ms. Dale Snodgrass,  didn't mind us emptying her bar.  She knew her customers would be back soon. 

Kenny is getting ready for us to lift the first wall.  Retired Mountain Man is very nervous.

As you can see in the photo below, the windows are installed in this wall.  We did not want the wall going over too far!  It was very heavy with the siding and the windows already installed on it.

Greg, Cami, Omar Brashear, Glen Ford, Jon, Victor, Billy P., Billy Chatum, Dave F. Andy and ? on the end.

Now we are ready for wall #2.

Left to right: Clifford, Greg, Kenny,Cami, Alma, Jon, Glen Ford, Victor Ford, Billy Powell, Billy Chatum, Andy McChesnie

The next day they finished the east and west walls and we emptied the bar once again.   Unfortunately, the windows for those walls hadn't arrived in time.  The carpenters were just working too quickly!

Left to right: Clifford, Kenny, Alma, Andy, Chris, Cami, Jon, Billy, Victor and Bruce Napsinger.

What a beautiful wall!

Kenny, Clifford, Andy, Alma, Cami, Billy and Victor.

East wall:  Bathroom window and pantry window between Cami and Jon.

 Lunch time. 
Jon, Bruce, Chris and Kenny

 The chimney in the kitchen.  Marvin Stutzke of Hope built the chimney. 

 Bruce Napsinger did all the drywall.  He was very talented on those stilts.  He did all of our textured ceilings walking on the stilts.


Our kids helped whenever they could.

The trusses arrive.

 We worked every day, including Saturdays and Sundays.  We took one day off for the Super Fool's Olympic's Competition in Clark Fork.  We couldn't miss that.  We were a team for Murphy's Bar.  We won several gold medals. 

Our hours were 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p..m.  Then it was beer o'clock.  We provided our carpenter's favorite beer every day.  I know one of them was Olympia Beer or Ole, as we called it. 

 Kermit back-filling the basement and foundation.  It took us 45 calendar days from start to the day we had our final inspection and closed with the bank.  Hard to believe, but we did it.

There was no lawn that fall.  There was lots of mud.  There was no garden or flowerbeds.  As you can see, there was no deck on the west or north side of the house.  Just a small porch.  The shed hadn't been built or what was to become the barn and chicken house.  The basement was unfinished.  There were no fences.  There was still a lot of work to do.  We had planned, waited, planned some more and dreamed of this house for eight years.

 We were so happy!  We finally had our dream place and we were going to make the most of it!

And finally, my first flowerbed.  In the very front is the beginning of the grape arbor.  I brought the grape canes from the Loman place.  Three of them survived.

And after 32 years, they look like this.

The barn was built on the extra concrete slab that we poured and my gardens started to multiply.  I don't know how that happened?


isthereanymorepie said...

Wow. The pictures are sure a blast from the past. What a phenomenal project!!! Thanks for sharing these.

Julie said...

Amazing! Great job! What an amazing childhood you provided your boys too! That is a little boy's dream. Boy, Grandpa Jon was a muscular stud! What a wellspring of justified pride and happiness you two dug!

DJB said...

I can remember it all like it was yesterday... Eddie Rabbitt's "Drivin' My Life Away" playing over the radio accompanied by the rhythmic pound of hammers. I just tried to stay out of the way while getting to watch the cool stuff, like the trucks and dozers. Dad sure was built at age 35, holy smokes! What an amazing amount of love, courage and hard work to make that home a reality!

Linda said...

Wow, that went up fast! What a lot of hard work and great friends.

RBnorth said...

Wow David! I am impressed that you remember the Eddie Rabbitt song. Yes, the carpenters all listened to the radio as they worked. That was one of the songs. I had forgotten that.