Uncle Cran's Farm and Barn Report: A Sporadic Quarterly
I often make fun of Uncle Cran, but he's actually a rather amazing fellow -- as he'll tell you himself:
It has been a busy three weeks down on the farm. Our cows have produced nine calves since January, and this week my neighbor and I changed the bulls into steers and sprayed the herd for lice and flies. Actually he and his hired hand did the work, I just tolled the animals into the barn lot, and they did the rest.See? Pretty amazing for an 'Old Art.' Good writing, too, for a hillbilly. If he can just learn to spell "purlin" . . . As for the photo, I realize everyone's seen it already, but Uncle Cran didn't send a picture of the barn, and since he mentioned his man-cave, I took the liberty of posting this old photo of him in 'Artful' action . . .
A neighbor lady wanted her old barn torn down, so I offered to bring my scaffolds and help the crew. This barn is in Bakersfield, just across the street from the bank, and eight feet from her trailor house. It was about ready to fall down, and a man who is a pastor of a cowboy church wanted the lumber to use on his church for the front, and also a platform on the inside. He wants it rustic. He sent up a two man crew and some boys from Little Rock, and a lady to cook.
I helped tear it down. It was leaning toward the lady's trailor to the north, and also toward the east. If it fell down it would damage her trailor, and also take down the power line that feeds her home and most of Bakersfield. We used my three "come along" winches, four chains, one wide nylon strap, and their three ropes to anchor the building on the west and south side while we started taking the barn apart. It was about 18 feet from the ground to the peak, with a galvanized metal roof. Most of the 3 inch perlins that the roof was attached with were rotten, so it was a dangerous ordeal getting it down. We worked three days getting the top off, and just started on the side sheds on the west and south, when the lady who came to cook for the crew got a phone call that her father died, so they all left. I worked another four days by myself completing the job.
Just as I was finishing getting the roofing off the sheds, I heard two guys across the street at the back door of the bank talking. One said, "Just look at that old f*rt. He gets around like a young man". I knew they weren't talking about me, as I'm only 73. I decided [they] were looking up the hill just behind where I was working, and [I] saw a man doing some work up there, and [realized] that I had misunderstood the man [at the bank]. He actually said, "Just look at that old Art. He gets around like a young man." I don't know this Art, or what he was doing, but he sure impressed those guys.
The last two days, I pulled the walls down. I left it for the crew to finish, as I have a lot to do at home before Gay and I leave Thursday to go visit James, Julee and boys at Tampa, Florida. We are just about finished with the basement kitchenette. I just have to hang and finish the drywall and put the trim on to have it ready. I was looking, and there is just enough room next to the kitchenette to build a 3' X 4' X 5' room for my man cave. That's all I need, anyway.
Other that that, it's been kind of quiet around here.