This Old House, Glaser Edition

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:


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