Working on Malcom Savage's home

Trip Start Nov 26, 2010
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Trip End Nov 18, 2011


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Where I stayed
Fuller Center

Flag of United States  , Louisiana
Friday, February 11, 2011

     Last two days have been working on interior framing for the home of Mr. Malcom Savage.  He is in early 70's and has been living in a FEMA trailer since hurricane Katrina floated his wood frame house down the street a ways.  He worked for many years as a welder in the shipyards around here in Louisiana.  He managed to get some steel beams under the house where it had landed and then took a bunch of telephone poles under it and rolled it back to its original spot.  He then raised it up and put a new foundation under it and sat it back down.  Malcom's got quite a collection of critters on his estate- a bunch of beagles he takes rabbit hunting, about ten cats and counting, chickens and hens running around the yard as well as an eagle that's got a nest just behind his trailer.  Also various tractors in various state of repair, a bunch of engines to boats that he's in the middle of rebuilding.  He also has quite a green thumb with the fruit trees he has growing all around his home.  Oranges, grapefruit and kumquats.  His home is within 1500 feet of the levee that is holding back the Mississippi river.  The Fuller Center Disaster Rebuilders has just agreed to finish up his house.  Jeanine Santillo was down for a visit with her husband Carl, (both long time volunteers with the Fuller Center and veterans of both the Biloxi and Bridge City campaigns) last year and reworked the interior plan of the house.  The house is about 27 feet by 41 feet and Mr. Savage had originally planned to turn it into 2 units.  He had since decided to turn it back into a single family with 2 bedrooms and a bath, which is what Jeanines plan reflected and is what we were doing for the last two days- a little demolition here, add a wall there, rinse and repeat until it looks like the plan.  After thefirst day of work, Mr. Savage said to me, "Looks like you might have done this before"  Seemed to be impressed with the speed at which I was showing Lee (my able assistant for the day) how we frame walls.  I then told him the story about how once, when my wife Lois and I where first married and lived near the Hudson river in Nyack, NY, on a walk one day we came upon an artist who was just setting up his easel next to the river.  We said Hi and then walked for about an hour and when we came back by him, there on that previously blank canvass was a beautifully done landscape with the river, mountains, the boat with the sail fluttering in the breeze and everything.  I said to him, "Man, you did that quickly- in just an hour"  His response was - " Well, 30 years and an hour"  Same with framing walls I suppose.  Anyway, the framing is done and we are ready for the plumber and electrician to do their thing, followed by inspections, then insulation and drywall, flooring and trim, little paint then fuggetaboutit, in he moves.  On to the next.
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