Greeting to all and welcome new friends to the East Wing.
Seems one of the by-products of lots of rain in the spring is an extraordinary crop of mosquitoes. It’s such a springtime this year. I’ll swear some of the ones buzzing outside the East Wing are the size of small birds. One of these Mighty Mosquitoes flew up to the East Wing glass, and at first I thought it was my little lady hummingbird coming back to the window to say hello. They do have a similar proboscis, those mosquitoes and hummingbirds. Both built with different purposes in mind. One for blood, one for nectar. Similar in shape, different in size. I think the mosquitoes have to sharpen theirs on a whet stones.
Onetime when I was kid a feller told me that if 1,296,432 mosquitoes stuck their proboscis into ya at the same time, you’d lose all your blood in 5 seconds. That scared me, but you’ll be ok as long as ya don’t come in contact with 1,295,432 mosquitoes all at the same time. I think there almost that many outside the East Wing. But I don’t go out to count. Everybody knows it’s only the girl mosquitoes that bite ya, so I’m not even gona talk ‘bout that.
In the last few months I’ve had several new friends asking questions ‘bout the East Wing, things like what, when, where, why, and how come, as East Wing questions. So for my long time friends of the East Wing, just bare with me here for a little while as I address some of these matters. ‘Cause you’ve all seen Jessie rob this train before.
It’s simple, the East Wing’s my playground. It holds my stuff, most all my stuff, my computers, my toys, my chickens, my dogs and my cats. Antique Pop Bottles, Flying Nuns, A Pooping Moose, R2D2 as a PEZ Dispenser, A rooster lamp, A trash can from The Ohio State University, Coal Oil Lamps, Dolls that represent members of my Family of Howards, Flamingos, Angels, and a Rooster with a broken wing, A Sign on the wall that says GOD BLESS AMERICA, and another that says PEACE, A picture of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, A thing I brought home from the Sea, An emergency Flood Light that is supposed to be 10 million candle power, that can produce light enough to read at ¼ mile, we tested that one out, ya can read, two Manatees and one of ‘em is canned. And even a chicken with biddies.
It’s called the East Wing ‘cause it’s a room I built onto the east end of the original house. Don’t know if I told ya that I built the original house. Sure did, that was the first house I’d ever built, that was the last house I’ve ever built. I’ve remodeled 8 times, the East Wing is the last remodeling job.
The East Wing is 26’ x 18’ Three walls are glass with just enough wall space to support the roof. The fourth wall is the east exterior of the original house. On this fourth wall I left the original exterior which is cedar siding. Painted white. Three walls have a 4’ sliding glass door in the center of each wall, while the house wall has a opening where a regular glass sliding door used to be. The East Wing is hated and cooled by the same system as the rest of the house.
A vaulted 12’ ceiling supports two 48” ceiling fans with 3 bulb light fixtures. The East Wing floor is somewhat similar in nature to the biblical reference of “The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.” The wood purchased for the flooring had been rejected by the builders. It then turned out that for the East Wing, that floor, the wood that’d been rejected well it did become the cornerstone.
It’s oak flooring, Red Oak Flooring, 1” thick, and 1½” wide. I’ve always had a passion for wood floors, just have forever loved wood floors. we’ve got wood floors in every room in my house except the potty and the kitchen. I don’t even like it when the She puts those little rug circles on ‘em, but she’s the She, and so I live with those little rug circles here and there on my pretty hardwood floors.
When the East Wing was being built there was never any question as to the type flooring, only which kinda wood. Well, somebody told me ‘bout a place in Michigan, Pawpaw Michigan, where someone was selling red oak flooring for $1.00 per sq. ft. I called ‘em up. The feller gives me the dope, tells me he works at a factory that makes oak flooring and they have strict quality control that rejects a fair amount of product due to blemishers such as knotholes, worm holes, bark still on the wood, etc. Told me to figure my need in sq ft and add 25% and that would allow for the cutting out of all the bad parts, and ya’d end up with a clear oak floor.
And so I calculated the need added 25%, went to Michigan and picked up my floor. The original pattern had already been designed on paper, all that was left was putting the wood in place. The pattern I’d designed was to reflect the outdoor aspects of the East Wing. A 12” diamond in the center of the floor and two 36” sidewalks on the outside, the north and south sides of the East Wing. The wooden sidewalks to run perpendicular to the diamond pattern of the main floor.
The first 4 pieces of wood put down, I cut out the flaws, after all, I’m gona have a high quality floor here in the East Wing. It was on that 5th piece of wood I picked up that changed the East Wing forever. It was so easy to see why this piece of wood was rejected. It was full of imperfections, I tell ya it was just filled with imperfections.
It was also so filled with such character, it took my breath away. Knowing what this piece of wood, I held in my hand, would look like when it was varnished and finished off, I laid it in place on my new floor, uncut, and forever imperfect. But only in the eyes of people. ‘Cause that little piece of wood, well it’s kinda like those things we talked ‘bout a few weeks ago, and God not making ugly anything and all. Be it butterflies, flowers, people or little strips of wood from Red Oak Trees, God just don’t make ugly stuff. He’s for sure not gona make ugly stuff just for me to put in the East Wing floor, after all, God lives here in the East Wing too.
The remainder of the East Wing flooring went into place as I picked ‘em up. Not one time in the installation of that floor did I trim out a single “bad” spot. I cut only for angles and to size. And as such, I now have a floor that is the center piece of the East Wing. The floor has become the cornerstone.
And guess what, the She puts one of those really big round rugs on my pretty Red Oak Floor. But she’s the She, and so I live with the round rug of the East Wing, all the while knowing there’s a pretty oak floor cornerstone under there.
Naysayers and speakers of doom, did ya ever run into ‘em? Boy they sure hunted me out when I decided to build my house. “Ya can’t build a house, ya never built a house before, ya don’t know the first thing ‘bout building a house, ya don’t even know how to start.” And ya know what, those people, such negative talking people, well they were right, I didn’t know how to start, I hadn’t built a house before. But a very important point was overlooked by these naysayers. That fact being BobbyRay had learned to read. Yah, I’d learned to read years ago, and practiced damn near every day. Yes I built my house by reading every step of the way. I even found a book that taught ya how to drive a nail straight, even upside down, and guess what, it works even upside down. Good book, that instructional manual on nail driving.
The more folks said it would never be done, the more determined I was to get ‘er done. And so I did. When me and the She moved into our new house with our beautiful baby girl, only one room contained drywall in the whole place. It’s important to be able to potty in private. I don’t even remember the second room to get drywall. But I do remember the first.
When me and the She moved into our new home, it was a work in progress to say the least. We lived for a long time in a construction zone. Love gets ya thru a lot.
Me and the She, we’re classic high school sweet hearts. Boy meets girl, walks together in the hallways, holding hands as often as possible, tells everybody we’re going “steady”. I wanted to go tell it on the mountain, but the She said we’d just tell it at school instead and that’d be alright. We’re just high school sweet hearts, me and the She. High School Sweet Hearts that life worked out well for us.
Met her for the first time in the Gable Theater in North Judson. It was a Sunday evening, and she was with a girl friend whom I had gone to school with at the California Township Grade School. Me, well, I’d walked from Toto to town to go to the show with the Toto boys. We walked on the New York Central Railroad. It was the closest route to town from Toto.
Don’t remember how I ended up sitting next to the She, I only know that the light reflecting from the movie screen illuminated the face of the most beautiful girl I’d ever seen in my whole life. She smiled at me. And it was at that point I fell madly in love with Regina, destined to become the only She of my life. I was fifteen, and I loved her so. At that very same minute the She didn’t share my excitement for our new found relationship. In fact, I don’t even think she knew anything about it. But she would in the future, I’d see to that. And so I did. Seems like only yesterday, when me and the She were at the Gable. She smiled at me.
Love gets ya thru a lot.
Stay safe in Afghanistan and Iraq.
From the East Wing, Mighty Mosquitoes, East Wing Boy Toys, Red Oak Floors & Cornerstones, Naysayers & Speakers of Doom, Me & The She & the Gable Theater.
I wish you well,