The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 2

September 15, 2017 (Continued)

Dear Daddy –

Let’s talk about the shower…

I hired Mike the plumber (and his son Gary, and his grandson Cody) on the recommendation of a friend. I knew that finishing the plumbing for three bathrooms and the kitchen was going to be too much for me. It turned out to be the biggest expense associated with the house so far, but it was worth it.

So the first thing Mike the plumber told me about the shower cubicle was that it had to go. It was designed for the plumbing codes of decades ago, and he really recommended I use a pre-fab, fiberglass cubicle. That would be fastened right to the studs, not to the plywood. Now I didn’t see any reason the plywood couldn’t be there in between. But once I had measured the available cubicle base and walls, I realized that I needed the combined inch of width that removing the plywood would provide. So out it was going to come, and it needed to go before Mike and his crew could even do the rough-in plumbing. Continue reading

The Colonel’s Plan – The Blue Bathroom – Part 1

September 15, 2017

Dear Daddy –

This week I’ve been coming into the home stretch on the blue bathroom—“The Boys’ Bathroom.” You designed it with a shower and two sinks, with a door that opened into Charles’s bedroom. I guess the senior brother was thought to deserve the privilege of a private entrance into the bathroom in the middle of the night, or early in the morning. My bedroom was to be around the corner. The two sinks would have allowed us to brush our teeth—or later shave—at the same time.

As with most of your plans for the house, this arrangement never came to be. The bathroom was never finished. As I write this, the toilet, sinks, plumbing fixtures and tile are still in their boxes, only recently moved out of storage in the roughed-in shower cubicle, and the back corner of the East General Purpose Room—“Susan’s General Purpose Room,” now to be Ethan and Jessica’s room. Continue reading

The Colonel’s Plan

Tonight begins the first calendar year I’ve spent without my father. It seems appropriate, then, to begin sharing the several dozen letters I’ve written him since he left us. They’re all about the same thing–the completion of the house he designed, and partially built, starting back in 1967. He lived in it, unfinished, for 49 and a half years. Now it’s being finished, so I’m telling him about that process. Along the way, I’ll tell you about the house, the man that built it, the family that lived in it. I plan to share these letters weekly. I hope you all enjoy the tour. 

September 14, 2017

Dear Daddy—

You died on May 6th. It was in the afternoon. You had gone to sleep on Thursday, and not really woken up after that. We sat with you and held your hand and talked to you, and then you just left us.

Continue reading