Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Good and Bad Of Living In Old Houses

It's 7:30 a.m. and there is pounding on the roof that is seriously rattling our old windows. The work up there is right above Grace's room and is causing the chandelier in her ceiling to jingle. For a few years now, we've had a leak in our roof, along the front wall of the house - where the 'old porch' (which is now part of our living room) meets the 'new porch' (the one we sit on in the mornings and evenings and in between). Every year, with the first chance of rain, we would clean out the gutters and sweep the roof. And then wait to see if the fix that we had tried the winter before would work. But alas, the drip, drip, drip would begin, somewhere along that front line. SO frustrating! Finally, this year, we got the referral of a roofer from a trusted friend and they are on day three, the final day, of fixing the roof. Old houses have issues, but they also have character and charm, which is what you have to remember when you are about to bust out the checkbook and write a whopper to the roofing company. Over the past few weeks, Jamey has fixed a leaky pipe to the tub, the old screen door, and our dishwasher (also leaking). But the roof is just too tricky for us, thus the swallowing of the pride and hiring of the crew.
On day one, while the guys were removing old shingles and plywood, one of the crew brought me a page of a newspaper that they found. It seems the 'new porch' was added in 1951. We now know this because the builders used newspaper under the plywood. This page from the sports section of the LA Examiner on Sunday, June 16 is all that remains. Because we are a weird family, we all think this is the coolest thing we have seen for a while! Jason and I were particularly excited to see the picture of the baseball players in their uniforms, and the story about a pitcher named Holcombe who had a great game against the Boston Red Sox. On the other page is an ad from a store that was selling 'gowns' for $5.99 and some kind of corduroy fabric for a dollar a yard. Jason and I looked up the year 1951 in my "Baseball Chronicle" book (yes, I do own a year-by-year history of baseball, and yes, we do use it often. I told you we are a weird family!) In 1951, the Dodgers were still in Brooklyn and the Giants were still in New York. Joe DiMaggio retired at the end that season, and Micky Mantle was a rookie. The best player in the American League was Ted Williams, Roy Campanella was best in the NL, Willie Mays was rookie of the year, and Stan 'The Man' Musial won the batting title. Towards the end of the season, in the National League championship series, the Giants beat the Dodgers on a three-run walk-off homer by Bobby Thompson, known as 'the shot heard 'round the world', and "the Giants won the pennant! The Giants won the pennant!" What an amazing year - and what fun to think about all of that happening as a porch was being put up on the front of our little old house!


Vanoli Family said...

That is very cool! And I love all the random facts about baseball history from that year. We are big baseball fans around here.

Pappas fam said...

Thanks Vanolis! So are we - I just got home from my fourth game in four days....Jason is playing with the high school team, believe it or not! Can you believe all of those players from that one year? It must have been amazing.