Wednesday, November 28, 2012

"We Need A Little Thanksmass Now!"

Well Readers-
Haul out the holly put up the tree before my spirits fall again...

Fill up the stocking we may be rushing things, but 'Deck the Halls' again now!
For we need a little Thanksmass, right this very minuet, candles in the window...
At the spinet
 Yes we need a little Thanksmass, right this very minuet! It hasn't snowed a single flurry, but Mickey Dear we're in a hurry! So climb down the chimney, put up the brightest string of lights I've ever seen...
Slice up the fruit cake, its time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough! For i've grown a little leaner, grown a little colder, grown a little sadder, grown a little older and I need a little Angel sitting on my shoulder, need a little Thanksmass Now!

Most people would think this was a song about Christmas, and to some extent it is. Its a song about cheer and maintaining hope, 1958 has been quite a dramatic, bumpy year at the Casablanca and I'm hoping 1959 will bring a more smiles and laughter with a few less arguments and tears. This is my favorite celebration of the Casablanca Social Season and I am so happy we can share it all with you!


Monday, November 26, 2012

Past The Point of No Return...

At long last we reached a project that marked a major milestone in the  construction of Pontipee Hall, at last I have something to show for my money and our efforts!
Bright and early saturday morning Dad and I removed the old and much loved dinning room window and cut out the entry way into the addition.
I had hoped when we cut into the walls we might discover hidden treasure, or possibly money. There was one Cabin at Lake Diversion that when they went to remodel the new owners found about $700 worth of 1940's war bonds hidden in the walls!
Alas, the walls only revealed to me that they were "mud dobber" insulated...
Luckily with there being no wires in the walls and no structural obstructions cutting the new door way was like slicing butter. and the top and bottom sections of the wall came out in two large pieces.
Along with the new walkway into Pontipee Hall im glad to announce that because of friend Russ the new rooms are 75% wired and should be fully hooked up and wired in by Monday evening!!!! How exciting it all is and what a FANTASTIC Friend Russ is for helping me out, a Gold Card Member of the Casablanca for sure! When you stand in the new room and look back into the kitchen, its like looking in on a set for a Bing Crosby Christmas Movie.

Lots going on and I'm whirling at a fever pitch to get everything ready for Thanksmass this Saturday.

I still have to put Christmas decorations up and set the table for about 45 guests!


Monday, November 19, 2012

Miracle of Miracles!

The table cloths you see before you dear readers I have not seen in the LAST TWO YEARS! Back in 2010 when the Wichita Theatre presented "It's A Wonderful Life" I had these table cloths on a folding table in "Mary Bailey's" Living room. After the show closed, they disappeared. I thought someone might have taken them, or they'd been throw in the rag pile and no matter HOW hard I hunted I couldn't find them. So imagine my surprise when while working at the theatre Sunday, I knock over a box in a far corner and THERE THEY ARE!!!  I am so happy to have them back!
("Your lips are like a red leather couch in an ivory palace.")
The above quote comes from the major motion picture Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Saturday between rehearsals Patricia and I went thrifting and I found this red vinyl bench/toy box for $20.00 I snatched it up because it matches the bar in the lounge of the Casablanca PERFECTLY plus we can store stuff in it!
I am also terribly happy to announce that Pontipee Hall is IN THE DRY! And is awaiting the simi-removal of the kitchen wall to make a doorway into the new room. My wonderful Dad went to the lake on Friday and finished up the last few panels of siding and roof. Next week after Thanksgiving friend Russ is due to come wire the room up, so we might just have electricity in the west wing of Pontipee Hall in time for Thanksmass!
(We have moved the kitchen table out of the way.)
(All of the Pyrex has been evacuated to the Kitchen counters.)
 The threshold into the new room will be as wide as the window that is currently there (about 6ft) and will provably be cut out this coming Saturday. We are so close I can taste it!

Tastes like saw dust....


Friday, November 16, 2012

"Be It Ever So Nearly Finished, There's No Place Like Home."

Patricia and I were not able to make it to the lake before sundown, but TA-DA!
I took off work Wednesday to assist Dad and work on the addition. While we didn't get it totally complete we did get the tin roof on, and 2/3rds of the siding on the front and west wall only two more panels to put on the back!. Granted it wont have any of its doors or windows fitted and installed until the spring. I'm happy to report the outside WILL be finished in time for Thanksmass, and if all goes as planned we will be cutting the "doorway" in the kitchen sometime during the Thanksgiving break next week! HURRAH!
Another surprise arrived on Wednesday, Missouri Michael scouted out this little gem, and I won a vintage NuTone Ceiling heater on eBay, I got it for a song and it is supposed to work. Someday It will be wired into the new addition.
Hopefully this thing works! There is still a ton of work to be done before December 1st, but at least we are making noticeable progress. And with nearly 45 people in attendance for Thanksmass I don't think generating heat will be a problem.

Cross your fingers Readers, we've got a ways to go and these next two weeks will fly at warp speed!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Knockers!

Well, Knobs really Readers, door knobs.


While my self inflicted misery Construction goes on and I am out of my element, there are still plenty of projects I can master myself.I might be clueless on how things are built, but painting and paint effect are my strong point!
(Before...well mid-project)
As you can see when I painted this door blue (and the opposite side red) at age 14, it obviously never crossed my mind to tape off the back plate to the door knob. Sunday as it was to windy to put tin on the roof, I spur of the moment decided to get some cosmetic painting done. I freshned up some white paint on the door frame, and then tackled making the door hardware look a little nicer.
(Ta-da! After.)
Nick over at Decades a Go-Go will freak, because I didn't put the original screws back on the door plate.  They were far to rusty and flat head screws, while period are a pain in the rear! I wanted a chippy aged look on the back plate so I used a wire brush to knock off a few layers of the prior paint, then used a non tarnishing gold spray paint to imitate a brass finish. In a few months regular ware on the door knobs will make them look as authentic as they were before the first person painted them.

I'm running in circles trying to get things ready for the Winter portion of the Social Season at the Casablanca, and for the special company that will soon be coming (wink wink Christine and Michael). I want everything to be perfect down to the littlest detail!


Monday, November 12, 2012

Board Yet?!

(Our accidental 1950's "Mod" roof line)
Well Readers, I hope I don't bore you with building updates, but right now that's all life "Here at Mick's" is! I promise that once construction is over and we get to the "fun stuff" there will be a windfall of vintage goodness on the blog. I go to work Monday through Friday, and the weekend we work on the house. Haha not much money for thrifting or fantastic finds, right now I'm up to my neck in construction stuff. Most of the pictures for todays blog were snapped by friend Jennifer, here we go!
(Zack, Brandon, Me, & Bryson)
Saturday started windy and early, Dad and I along with friends Jennifer, Patricia, Zack, Brandon and Bryson started screwing in brackets for the roof and got ready to deck!
("Stuff. Is. HAPPENING!")
By noon we were laying plywood on the roof and moving right along...
The next job of the day (and most tedious) was putting the tar paper down on the roof deck, the wind was gusting and the front of the roof is more steep than one would think. Friend Brandon saved the day, a plan was put into action and then wrestling with the tar paper was made easier as we finished.
(Even Patricia & Jennifer got in on the act!)
(Jennifer:"You BETTER NOT be taking a picture.")
It was a long day, but we got a lot accomplished! With any luck the tin for the roof  will be put on sometime this week. After we cleaned up the 'construction site' and washed up I made a meatloaf dinner with a casserole and all the fixings as a Thank you for their help!
I cannot say Thank You Enough! We really couldn't have gotten as much of the project done as we did without everyone's help. I am so blessed and thankful to have such great friends and Fantastic Casablanca Club Members, you guys will never know how much your help means to me!

With any luck we'll be in the dry before Thanksgiving  weekend is over!


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Buddy Holly's Radio...

(Pretty, Isn't she?)
This is a project that I've had on the back burner for a while. I bought this Radio for $10 a few years ago, and refinished it from its water stained state. It COULD have possibly belonged to Buddy Holly, ya know Buddy Holly... BUT I have no solid proof of that. It came out of a house he rented in the 1950's here in Wichita Falls, The man I bought it from said his (not B.H.'s) mother purchased it brand new in 1946 for this particular rent house and it had been in the house ever since then, Since Buddy rented the house in the 50's (in theory) there's a pretty good chance he tuned into something on this radio!
(It's a 1946 Sparton "tube" radio.)
The question I have to ask you readers, is one that I have been playing with since I got this radio. The tubes light up and the turn table turns but the record drop timing is off. I've never been able to fix it, Its a rats nest of dry rotted wires and it has no sound. I have tried to find someone to work on it, but they're all dead or really expensive. I love this piece its one of my most treasured possessions it took me two weeks to refinish it by hand...It was in REALLY bad shape when I bought it.

  I am debating taking the original turn table out of it, and replacing it with a new one that will acutally play 78's, 45's and albums.
The record player is hidden, and slides out like int he picture above. it wouldn't alter the look to much if i just put the new record player in here, and ran the speakers underneath (like its currently set up). I think once Pontipee Hall is ready for furniture I want to take this piece out there because its BEAUTIFUL and deserves to be in a 1940's setting, but if it goes to the lake it has to be pretty AND functional. Putting a new record player inside it would eliminate having one set up on a table in the bedroom. Basically, I would just be taking the old player out and setting a new one, with new speakers in its place.
Taking the turn table out is a matter of cutting a few wires, and undoing a few screws and it would lift right out. But i cant seem to make up my mind, take the jump, and pull it out! Should I leave it alone for the possible fact it may have been Buddy Holly's? Or should I put a new player in it and haul it to the Casablanca?

What do you think?! It WOULD be nice if it looked pretty and worked too!


Monday, November 5, 2012

Pontipee Hall-

Well Readers, moving at a slightly slower and sore pace, here's what I have to report.
When I wrote you last, Hurricane Sandy had just left "Danny" all alone at the Drive-In Movie and was threatening to take  her anger out on the Eastern Seaboard... And did. 
So now friend/contractor Larry has been called away to Virginia to do insurance estimates for his job with less than three weeks until we NEED this extra square footage. The room will not be completely  finished by Thanksmass. Needless to say, emotions are high... Thankfully My Dad has stepped in and will be overseeing construction matters until Larry comes back. 
*  *  *
The new plan, is to get the room "in the dry" before December 1st. With any luck next weekend we will deck and tar paper the roof. and the exterior walls will be put up next. (Sounds simple, but there is SO MUCH little stuff entailed.)  We wont be cutting out windows or doors, Larry will finish all that once he comes back, when he comes back. But with the roof and walls on Dad will be able to cut the old dining room window out, and we will have the unfinished space to use for Thanksmass. Then I can move forward on getting the inside wired/insulated/walled/ and finished.

Michael & Christine fear not, no matter what Thanksmass 1958 is going to be wonderful!
I am so grateful for my Dad and Larry's help, along with all of the Casablanca friends I have coaxed into helping out. It means so much to me, and it'll take the rest of my days to pay all you guys back! Thank you.

The title of this post comes from Friend Joe, This weekend while he was helping me instal ceiling beams he finally came up with a fitting name for the new addition on the Casablanca. For months we've been batting around ideas, and inspiration came when Joe remarked how the current state of construction closely resembled the Pontipee House in our production of "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" That's when it dawned on both of us, the Seven Brides set turned out so great because it was all of our friends, using the best of their skills together to create what has been deemed "the best set in Wichita Theatre history."  So henceforth the addition/ dining room/ living room/ multipurpose room (among other names we have called it) Shall be know as "Pontipee Hall".

How fitting, how wonderfully, perfectly fitting.