This Old House, Glaser Edition

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: A New Unsolved Mystery

Howard the Handyman strikes again! One day, when helping to clean out our garage, Tammy's father Howard came across two interesting pieces: a vegetable peeler in very poor condition and a damaged mirror frame with nothing intact except for beautiful scrollwork. He whisked both away under our noses and quietly began restoring them. The one flaw in Howard's plan was that he did not take any before pictures. Because the restored treasures turned out so beautifully, we can forgive him.

Our unsolved mystery revolves around the mirror. To restore the mirror Howard pulled the scrollwork off the frame and ditched the frame. He restored the scrollwork and found a new beveled mirror. He built a new frame out of oak and mahogany. The finished product turned out to be exquisite (and heavy) as you can see in the photographs.

Where is the mystery, you ask? Study carefully the following photograph:

Howard found this board on the back of the mirror frame. Close inspection reveals the name Arch Goodin and Statesville NC. Statesville is north of Charlotte, NC. The surname Goodin must be quite common in Statesville because a quick search for phone numbers for people bearing the name Goodin is only thirty-four! Since Tammy is less than thrilled about calling thirty-four people, she ran a search for email addresses for people in Statesville with that last name. Only two turned up, so she will start searching the easy, lazy, procrastinating way by emailing them first, holding to the theory that even a blind squirrel finds a nut now and then!

However, in case a person by the name of Goodin just happens to be googling their name and town, we might get a lucky break!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Mystery Solved

Last week, we teased you with a newspaper item asking about a mystery plate. The enterprising reporters at the Manning Times solved the mystery with the help of a few readers. The plate was a horse buggy tag issued for a couple of years back in the early 1920s to help fund the paving of roads in Manning.

Click the photograph below for a large enough copy to read (if you cannot read it, you might need bifocals!).

By the way, Tammy wishes her parents a happy anniversary! (Guess who has been playing around with your scanner . . . maybe, the elves sneaked in this blast from the past!)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Handy Man Howard

When Tammy was growing up as a Navy brat, she knew many things about her father. A former mess cook in the Navy turned Supply Officer, Howard cooked up specialities beloved by his children: tamale pie, scrapple, turkey ala king made by Howard ala King, etc. He learned the guitar by ear and jammed with his Filipino friends and could fill in as a percussionist in a country band (spoons, washboards, jug, etc.). He was known for the craziest costumes from a hobo to the infamous gangster, Howie the Torpedo King (aka "Forty Knot" King). He also picked up rug hooking (not latch hooking), but the true art form in which you dye your own wool, cut it into long strips, and pull up loops through burlap with a hook. While Tammy’s mother is the true artist in the family, Howard bested her in hooking rugs.

As talented as he is, the King Klan did not consider their father a handy man until he retired. We lived in Navy housing, which meant that other people fixed what we broke. Whenever he did do something handy, like install the pencil sharpener, he invariably did it backwards. Okay, maybe being left-handed had something to do with it! After Tammy's parents settled in their Victorian Era home in Carolina, her father finally found the time to develop his carpentry skills. He rebuilt the wrap-around porch twice (he landed a great deal on free, high-quality wood and just had to improve upon what he had already done well). To date, he has fixed many things in Glasers' Old House in addition to his own: he had redone most of the windows downstairs, helped install storm windows everywhere, handmade thresholds for the rooms upstairs, restored the fireplace (an update is in progress), etc.

We enjoy having conversation pieces in our old house (one sister calls it a museum). One of them is the candleholder pictured left. Tammy's father turned a pecan log from one of the trees cut down last July into this exquisite piece of art!

The mirrors above three of the fireplaces were very spotty, but we loved the look of the beveled glass and hoped to have them resilvered. After some research, her father learned that the most cost-efficient way to solve the problem was to strip the silver off the beveled mirror, turn it back into a plain old beveled glass. Then, we could place a new mirror behind the glass and nobody would be the wiser! Simple, elegant, and cost-effective is the kingly way of home repair!

Before Shot of One of the Mirrors:

After Shots of the Living Room Mirror:

After Shots of the Dining Room Mirror:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Limy Doorbell

Last August, Steve ordered an antique doorbell from the United Kingdom. We thought a Victorian Era mechanical bell like the ones you see in movies to ring the servants. It seemed to take forever for the "company"--some chap named Adrian--to make the blooming doorbell and ship it across the Atlantic, but the results were simply delightful! We ordered the bell with an electric "shaker" hidding in a solid pine wood box, which you see in the video clip below.

To heighten the eccentricity of our choice, we complimented the ringer with a bell pull. Everyone has been able to figure out this old-fashioned way of announcing their arrival.

Last April, our electrician had time to hook it up and he laughed when he saw our antique gadget. He found it very easy to install. Steve enjoyed analyzing the mechanics of the thing. Tammy was worried the sound would not project back to the kitchen or up the stairs. However, she hears it clear as a bell, even while she listens to the radio and cooks dinner with the stove vent turned on high.

We are not the only friends across the Atlantic to install this limy doorbell: just check out what other buyers have written about this unique addition to our home.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Newspaper Article

Yes, I am finally going to update the blog on Glaser's Old House . . . DAD!

Our local newspaper, The Manning Times, is celebrating its quasquicentennial anniversary by including historical supplements, focusing in specific periods of history since the debut of this 125-year-old periodical. They included the following quiz question about Glaser's Old House in the second installment of this series. Believe it or not, two people called in to say what the mystery plate was. I will write more on that later to give you time to ponder on the mystery!

How did the publisher find out about our mystery plate? Well, he just happens to be the next-door neighbor of Tammy's father and lives right across the street from Glaser's Old House.