Monday, October 11, 2010

A Night of Firsts

Thanks to the generosity of my friends Laela and Rob I was able to attend Game Three of the National Legaue Division Series last night at Great American Ballpark (GABP) in Cincinnati. Sadly, the home team lost the game, effectively ending both the series and the season for our beloved Reds. It was still an enjoyable evening, featuring great travel companions and friends old and new. It was also my first trip to GABP.

While I've thought every year since the park opened in 2003 that I should, "get down to a game", it never seemed to happen. As it turned out, my first game at GABP was also the first post-season game ever at GABP. The club also set an attendance record for the park, marking what we can assume is the first time they pushed 44,599 paid attendees through the turnstiles.

I snapped a few pics to give a sense of the place. It was crowded, loud, and fun. We cheered for the Reds, called Chase Utley a cheater, and threw peanut shells on the ground!

Thanks again to Rob and Laela for thinking of me. I had a great time!

The Grand Entrance

View From Our Seats

Filing Out

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Hey Sheldon, I Think You Forgot Something

This week we embarked on a complete (and long overdue) bathroom renovation project. The contractors were scheduled to start Tuesday morning. I liked the idea of a little head start, so Monday I began the demolition portion of the work. I pulled down all the plaster and removed some of the lath before running out of steam. Tuesday AM the pros showed up and started their day by removing the rest.

While they were at it I jokingly asked if they'd found a coffee can with $10,000.00 in it yet (Because everyone knows the real promise of any one-hundred year old house is the possibility that some batty Silas Marner type stuffed $10,000.00 into a coffee can and hid it in a wall). Obviously they hadn't, but we all had a good chuckle and then went back to work.

Fifteen minutes later though, Ray, the project leader, called me over. He presented an old chisel - about eight inches long and one inch wide - and said "Look what we just found in the wall". Well, it's not $10,000.00 in a coffee can, but I'm smitten with it all the same.

The chisel is a single piece of (presumably) hardened steel. It's amazingly sharp, and has the name SHELDON stamped on it. I'm guessing that's the original chisel owner's name; residing in plain view on the tool as a way to differentiate his chisel from those of others on the crew. I suppose it could be the manufacturer's name, though it doesn't really have the look of a maker's stamp or mark.

It's width (as seen in the accompanying photograph) is a perfect match for the mortises that our door's hinges sink into. My wife, being the consummate history buff, is thrilled to now have in her possession an artifact (albeit a modest one) that's actually linked to the construction of our house.

Personally, being someone who's left his share of tools in under hoods, on ladders, behind sinks, and in crawl spaces, I felt a certain sympathy for Sheldon. Clearly he set down his chisel at some point only to have the plasterers come along, hang lath, and then plaster it into history. Whether he ever realized the chisel's ultimate fate remains a mystery, but finding it now, in the year of our home's centennial celebration, was a real treat.

As a testament to my wife's reverence for the continuity of history she's decided that even if we move the chisel stays with the house. I'm not sure if that means putting it back in a wall at some point, or presenting it to the new owners at closing. I suppose we've got time to decide. There's a bathroom to remodel, and I'm going to want to stay here at least long enough to be able to say I had a chance to enjoy it.