austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Let your heart wait and bleed

Now, not to make the neighborhood sound worse than it is, but it's had this abandoned house in it. It's next door to the house we didn't buy. We knew the house was slated for demolition but it had been slated for that for roughly ever and we figured it wasn't going to happen. Then we got home from bagels and whatnot one day and realized there was construction equipment in the yard. So we got out our cameras and started photographing the house because we figured it couldn't possibly be around much longer now.

And at nine the next morning, it wasn't. We were woken by the rumbling of machinery and the crumpling of the house. Despite this we tried staying in bed, but demolishing even a small house from the 1920s takes time and more time. We got some pictures of it mid-demolition, of course; the process is fascinating. But we were trying not to gawk either. It took up time the next day, too, although that was less traumatic. That was a teaching day for bunny_hugger, so she was awake and out of the house before demolition started, and I can handle being woken earlier than my norm fairly well these days.

We wondered just how much they were going to demolish. They were thorough about it: they even took the basement slabs out, and filled in the rest with dirt. By the end of the third day there was even hay strewn over the ground, and it looked like sod or at least grass seed put down.

The house had stood, probably, ninety years. Sometime in the past decade it was seized for unpaid taxes, and it didn't sell at auction. It sat vacant until it was a photogenic ruin, with a toppled-over TV aerial and a weed tree growing on the patio roof. And in a half-week it was gone. Only the driveway apron would hint that it had ever been there.

Trivia: Ferns, around 370 million years ago, could grow to heights of sixty feet or more. Source: A Splintered History of Wood: Belt-Sander Races, Blind Woodworkers, and Baseball Bats, Spike Carlsen.

Currently Reading: Pogo's Double Sundae, Walt Kelly. This is all Sunday strips or long-form stories made for, I guess, the comic books, plus some illustrated doggerel. But it's still amazing how much stuff happens on each page, compared to the nothingness of the modern comic strip. Granted Kelly had the advantage that his storytelling could always throw in chaos or one-off bit parts, bugs complaining about the main characters destroying a child's faith in his father or the like. As long as he spaced them enough they were running gags and lovable for it, rather than padding. And if he was writing into a corner, he could always throw in a character with a blunderbuss, a pie, and a bucket of starched water, and get into more exciting territory again.

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