Monday, July 6, 2015

What Theo Did Next

Tumbled-Down-Barn
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As Theo rumbled down the country road to catch his cousin Victor at his business,  he prayed incessantly.  OhpleaseOhplease, Dear Lord…

Victor waited, clearly watching for Theo, his spirit battered by now.  Cell phones are marvelous things he thought as Theo braked in front.  There was urgency in Theo’s step, and some in Victor’s stance.

Theo pulled a business card from his wallet and held it out as they shook hands.  “Does this offer still stand?” Theo gulped.  “My barn was blown to pieces, and I need this….”

Victor’s eyes widened, assessing if this was a true offer.  He credited Theo for the strength it took to come there. “You mean this?  Really?  You want to sell?”

Theo nodded with determination.  “I gotta do this.  I ain’t got a choice…Does the original offer still hold?”  Oh, please say it does!

“Here, sit down,” Victor replied, pulling over a leather chair.  “I’ll make the call, ask him if it the offer stands.”  Victor made the call, spoke briefly, and his eyes widened as he made a thumbs-up. 
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Theo relaxed for the first time since the windy storm had crossed over his farm.  He released a deep breath.

Victor jumped up, placing his hands of the desk.

“He’ll give you fifty more!  Think what this means!  $160,000!”  

Dropping his head between his knees, spots and stars floated in darkness. 

“He already has a buyer, some fancy dancy designer up in Chicago.  Been waiting for one of those barns in your county to tumble down! He's been putting together a collection of old reclaimed timbers for a year now. *** 

Who knew some rich person wanted the 'country touch' in their mansion. ###  Gol’durn. You’re going to be okay, Theo.  That designer is already putting together a crew and eighteen wheeler to take that wood away in the next day or so."

Victor heard the sobbing and relief in Ellen’s voice when Theo called with the news.


In the sunny week that followed, from the old growth American chestnut, white oak, black walnut, pine timbers, planks and, hand-carved pegs that had held the structure together since 1840... the hand-hewed timbers were chosen.

The collection embraced the history, decades, and lives which the barn had sheltered.
   
Then the old barn was driven away.

The designer handed Theo a cashier’s check, wished him well, and followed the truck back to Chicago. Victor stood on the concrete porch with Theo and Ellen.  “You’re gonna be okay, Theo. Okay…”


Theo nodded, finally seeing a brighter future. Ellen whispered, “Okay…we’re gonna be okay.” She saw, with a sudden clarity, her husband's courage.



Our old barn was taken down in the 1970s, before the trend to purchase the reclaimed wood began.  At that time, the barn was wafting in the wind.  It was sadly burned to the ground when it lay in pieces.  

18 comments:

  1. What rich people will buy. Always good when everything works out

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    1. It is amazing. Watch "American Pickers"?

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  2. There was a tumble down bank barn on my friend's property in Wisconsin. He who misses a forty year old rag she puts in the Goodwill would not let her sell it, in spite of good offers. Now it has tumbled and rotted and he who still will not part with it.

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    1. When the attachment reaches a point like that, it becomes obsessive. Poor husband, poor wife.

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  3. Those old barns are dear. Although it's sad when a family has to sell, at least the wood will be reclaimed, recycled, reused. Better than letting it rot...

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    1. Reclaiming and recycling is a better ending to a well used barn.

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  4. That's cool that people build new things out of the wood. There's a bout a million tobacco barns they could do that to around here.

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    1. Tobacco barns? I wonder why those have not be grabbed, unless it has something to do with toxicity.

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  5. Old barns used to be my passion for photos. When I lived in the Dakotas, I would drive the back roads, looking for good pictures.

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    1. There are few old barns here in San Diego, but the farther away from California barns start appearing.

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  6. A perfect balance.
    I love that the wood is being reused. I hate that it is being reused because it is 'trendy'. And will no doubt be replaced with the next fad.

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    1. This trend will perhaps last longer. It is green friendly and such.

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  7. I figured that lumber would be worth something to someone. That's how it works now. Good thing, probably.

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    1. Recycling should be well-known by now. We certainly try to do as much as possible.

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  8. Reclaimed wood! That's a great way for the old barn to "continue". I hope it will be part of someone's new and cherished home. Floorboards or cabinets perhaps.

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    1. The possibilities are pretty wide. Restaurants and hotels make big use of reclaimed wood.

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  9. I'm sorry that they didn't use reclaimed wood at the time you lost your barn. It really is a great idea. Glad this story had a happy ending.

    Julie

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    1. It never occurred to re-use the barn wood for anything then. It still makes me sad to think of it.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!