The Colonel’s Plan – Where Are the Damned Hinges?

November 1, 2017

Dear Daddy —

I’ve made window sills for the kitchen and Ethan and Jess’s room. I don’t know if there’s enough sill stock left to do them all. Not counting the basement, there are 29 windows in this house. In 50 years, you had put sills and facings on four of them: two in the room that is now Mother’s bedroom (formerly her office, before that my bedroom, and before that just “the other room”), the laundry room and the only finished bathroom. You had added sills alone on four more windows upstairs, only because people slept in them and wanted to use window air conditioners. We’ve talked about what happened to the central AC unit, at least in part. (Appropriate, because it’s in pieces.)

I’m moving slowly since the big push to get the bathroom upstairs usable. Wait, I didn’t even tell you that, did I? Gary, one of our plumbers, came on October 18th, and installed the kitchen sink, ran the water to the dishwasher, and installed the blue toilet, as well as water and drains to the sinks I had mounted.

About the toilet, may I just ask…

What the hell????!!!!

Why would you take the seat apart? It was new in its box! A matching, regency blue seat for the toilet you had bought. It doesn’t use standard hinges. The seat and lid are held together by a rod which runs through the back, and the hinges hooked on that. I know, because I still have the identical pink one for the other bathroom.

And—dammit!—it is not designed to be taken apart! Nevertheless, when Gary went to install the toilet, he came to me and said, “The hinges are missing from the box.” They weren’t just missing, they were surgically removed! I told him I’d deal with the seat. I looked through a lot of likely places with no luck. It’s possible they went out when the eCyclers took their last round of junk, because they cleaned out a storage cabinet. So I just put the pink seat on the blue toilet for now, so we can have a bathroom. It looks like it belongs in 2001: A Space Odyssey. You wouldn’t understand that reference, even though we watched the movie together way back when on NBC’s The Big Event.

I have not installed your fancy, glass shower doors yet, but they will fit, and I will install them. We’ve hung Jess’s dorm room shower curtain for now. I did hang the door to the hallway, for privacy. No knob yet. I have a long list of things to do, and I’m getting tired. I hope I’m not just going through what you did, back in the 70s, before you just gave up. I don’t want to give up. I want to finish your house.

Anyway, I’ve searched online for that particular model of Church Toilet Seat for the American Standard toilet, circa 1969. There are no hinges for sale. I may have to buy a replacement seat. They still make them in the old colors. Retro bathrooms are in. It’s funny that my bathrooms are only retro because we waited so damn long to install them. You paid $9.00 each for those seats. I know because I have the receipt sitting right in front of me on your desk, dated 8/13/69. I had just turned four.

(That’s not coincidence, by the way. I have many of the papers concerning the house here on your desk and your drafting table, including your complete plans, dated September 3, 1966. I need to have them scanned!)

I have notes below to tell you about the state of the dining room that Thanksgiving three years gone, but I think I’ll wrap this up for tonight. I still have cleanup to do upstairs, and I don’t have the energy to finish the story right now.

I’ll just say, the hinges, Daddy! Where are the damn hinges?

Love, Steven


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