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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Jimmy and Mrs. Oxford (Part 3)

Later that night Jimmy was putting away the left over paint cans and brushes. He decided to store everything in the attic since it was nice and dry up there this winter. He pulled on the attic door cord and the door came off the hinges and almost knocked Jimmy in the head. Jimmy just shook his head and said 'well there is another project for the list.' He went to the garage and grabbed the ladder and brought it back in so he could finish putting the paint and brushes away.

He bent down to pick up the door and noticed that there was a pattern of nicks on the interior of the door. He was tired and propped the door up against the wall, promising to investigate it tomorrow further since he was off work.

Jimmy's "to-do" list for the house was continuous. Just when he would finish one project another one would pop up. He really didn't mind. He really had a passion for old architecture and counted himself fortunate to have been able to buy this little jewel.

When he closed escrow on the house he tried to see if the County Assessor's office had any records of the house's original owners or possibly where he could find original records or photos. His searches turned up nothing. He watched a lot of home improvement channels and even subscribed to an "old architecture" magazine. He really wanted to do justice to the structure when he started the restoration. The house reminded him of the house he lived in with his mother.

After his father died they stayed with her parents in the house until they passed away. For him it was truly home. Being in the house was like sharing a hot lemon tea with his mother that she would make for them both every night before going to bed.

While stripping the paint layers off the exterior of the house Jimmy was able to find a faint sample of possibly the original paint color of the house. It was a very light green. He took it to the paint store for a match and he found it. Every time he would begin a project he'd "investigate" the area for original structure or materials and each time he turned up another treasure.

The last owners/renters of the house had an awful dark blue shag carpet that went throughout the house; even the bathrooms had this carpet. It smelt foul since their pets were mainly kept indoors at all times. To his surprise there was almost 4 layers of carpet, like each person before would just lay more carpet and pad over the other. After making his way to the floor beneath the carpet he found mahogany wood floors throughout the house and the bathroom had the original hexagon tiles for the floor. Jimmy was able to salvage these also and reuse them. Project after project seemed to resurrect the house to its original state. There was still more to do but so far the house seemed to smile and it made him smile.

Early Monday morning, Jimmy made his way to work. On his way he stopped as usual at the newspaper stand and the local coffee shop. It was a beautiful morning. He could barely concentrate on work after what he had discovered while working on another project at the house. While fixing the attic door he was able to make out words that were carved on the inside of the door. It looked like "Viv love Will."

Jimmy was so excited. Since he bought the house he had been looking for the original owners and he had hoped this was a clue. Unfortunately the neighbors were all fairly new to the neighborhood and like Jimmy were restoring old masterpieces. However Glenda his neighbor directly across the street had let him know that she had found a local town historian who may have been able to provide some insight on his house. She gave him the name and number and Jimmy had planned to call him after work today.

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