StoriesVolume 2

Dad’s Special Projects

By November 23, 2020No Comments

My Dad was a man of many skills he acquired during his years in the air conditioning business. Spin off skills in addition to his metal working skills were his hobby interest in wood working from cabinets, bunk beds, tables, widow ledges, wood paneling of walls. He loved refinishing some antique furniture, buying and reconditioning damaged furniture from damaged freight outlets or he and mother enjoyed going to auctions to find things there that the could us as is or repair. He was also great at repairing things like motors, wash machines and clothes dryers. He was a “Jack Of All Trades” and mastered quite a few.

He also had a mind to construct things like taking salvaged steel beams and structural trusses and building new buildings or expanding others. He was great at planning to buy a industrial building that was to be demolished and move it to the industrial property he and my mother purchased years before. One metal building he had brought in and has set on a new slab that was split into two pieces to make a new 40′ x 50′ building with lights, evaporative cooling and office air conditioning. Another building had the corrugated metal siding removed and the roof section jacked up by a building moving company. Dad laid out and cut lines and torched the steel columns off so that the 40′ x 100′ roof section could be moved to their property. The movers left it on it on wood timber blocking just height enough to work a small tracker underneath the structure. Then he had the concrete floor poured and then the roof section lifted up high enough for the legs to be reattached. After it was set back down and secured, he and his boys finished out with new metal siding, doors, widows, electrical, plumbing and new interior walls and ceiling for offices and restroom. These were amazing feats.

Because of his love for the outdoors and his interest in hunting and fishing, he and I bought some land in the White Mountains. It was a great deal and a good investment. Years latter he found an “A” framed cabin on a farm in Litchfield / Goodyear Arizona, some 200 miles form Lot# 63 at Sky Hi Retreat near Pine Top, Arizona. Dad developed a plan to put additions cross member beams and special fabricated brackets the he had me help fabricate out of.” flat bar steel. We mitered, drilled, welded and painted these pieces and I had no idea what he was going to do with them. Since I was working for his company full time, I wasn’t involved in preparing the cabin to be moved or in the actual move itself. That was the job of Dad and his three youngest sons, Jeff, Phil and Doug.

To make a long story short, he used one set of the metal brackets to brace the front room of the ·A” frame incorporating surplus 4″x4″ wood timbers that came as shipping skids for pallets of metal from the shop. He then removed the cedar shake roof and plywood down to a point 10 feet above the floor. The he cut the top of the •A” frame off and laid it down on the new supports and then secured the entire cabin for its journey to the mountain site waiting for it. He and his younger boys prepared piers and supports for it to rest on, brought in water and electrical service and put it all back together after it was delivered to the site. This was a major accomplishment. Years latter they add on a back room and he built a corner fireplace out of 16 gauge welded black iron with a three piece hinged screen and a trap door and catch drawer for the ashes.

Carol and I own the cabin now because I could not bear to see it get out of the family after my parents passing. I feel it is a monument to them and Dad’s genius in planning and carrying project through.