Melissa has a love / hate thing going on with me. She loves all the usual stuff about me; I adore her, I’m conscientious, passionate about my work while taking an interest in hers… and I’m awfully good at Cranium due to my sponge-like capacity for useless facts.
But she will be the first to admit that I get on her nerves from time to time, when I pull out my aluminum walker with tennis ball feet (not really), don my knitted cape (nope) and become my alter ego… Old Man. Old Man likes antique furniture, particularly American Arts & Crafts stuff including barrister bookcases, oak partners desks,… love it all. Old Man listens to lots of 1940’s jazz music, would cover the walls with antique lithographs and Frank Lloyd Wright drawings if allowed to, and finally… just can’t resist beautiful, hand-made things that invariably need “fixing up” before it can be enjoyed.
Now, Old Man would argue that these things need fixing up because they’re well loved. That to buy a vintage or rare item in pristine condition would be cost prohibitive. And lastly, Oldie claims that by spending time figuring out how something is made will make it easier to maintain down the road.
Melissa warns Old Man that there’s already too many of these projects, and that few ever reach completion. It’s very frustrating, and she has a valid point. But Old Man sees these fleeting opportunities and sometimes has to grab them, as they’re not things that come up again very often – if at all!
So… Old Man has struck again, ladies and gentlemen. He was perusing the internet, (a very un Old Man-like thing to do, no?) and came across a true classic, hidden under a porch in the nearby hamlet of Des Plains, and waiting to be “saved” by the likes of Old Man. He had no choice.
The object in question: a 1922, 18-foot Old Town “OTCA” canoe. A steal at just a couple hundred dollars, worth thousands if carefully restored – but in the eyes of Old Man, a priceless heirloom that will be kept and cherished for decades to come!
And tonight, dear readers, fresh off his temporary stint as The Boat Renderer, and with Melissa gone for the week – Old Man pulled out all his old stops. Not only did he watch a three-hour video about how to build wood and canvas canoes, (mind-numbingly boring for mere mortals,) Oldie also trudged down to the basement and began the restoration process of his own cedar, ash and spruce beauty. A few photos of these early stages follow…