Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Barn Board Salvaging Success
My step-dad, Rick, just pulled through big time....
Working on advice of "he's got a quonset full of old boards and will give em up for a hundred bucks" Rick and I decided to drive out to Laura, SK this evening in search of siding for Carrie's barn/office. You see, if you'd asked me what the chance was of finding old barn siding in the middle of the prairies, I'd have guessed it would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Turns out it's been quite a challenge to source out the stuff. I had an early success with fir 1x4's but have since been left out in the cold with respect to the barn board. I've even recruited my best team to help out...my father in law Byron Horachek, who I'm sure has half of the accountants at Meyers Norris Penney searching for the stuff, my pops Peter and my step dad Rick. I've even gone so far as getting Habitat for Humanity and the City of Saskatoon Fire Chief looking around for me. Despite my best efforts, nothing had come alive until today when, if you can believe it, 4 of those people came through with real opportunities for barn board. The Fire Chief stopped by to tour a couple of guys from the City Planning Department through the Hay Loft (I should be charging admission), Habitat had an opportunity, Byron sourced out an entire building, and Rick came through with the connection in Laura. So tonight we drove to Laura and found a great supply of fir siding and rough lumber.
The owners were Lawrence and Shirley Fay and they live part time on the property that Lawrence's father and uncle homesteaded in 1903 (before Saskatoon was formed). It's a very well kept farm with grain bins, an enviable quonset/garage/ultimate workshop, and a few salvaged buildings from the town of Laura. One in particular used to be a coal shed, which apparently was used for people to store their coal. Who knew? They moved the building to their property in 1974, just before Lawrence took over the farm following his brothers sudden passing.
The prairies really is beautiful in July and I was reminded of that this evening. As we were loading the trailer, the clouds turned black and we even got a bit of rain and lightning. The colors of the landscape are just so vibrant that I had to break out my camera and take a few snaps. Below is a picture of Rick as we were getting ready to leave. It was really peaceful being out in the middle of nowhere, watching two deer and a fawn jumping through the pea fields, loading the lumber and then having a visit with the Fay's. The thing that I realized tonight is that the lumber is not just a cost saving measure. I'm an engineer (at times) and fully understand the idea of optimization and efficiency, and I can assure you that salvaging lumber is neither. What it is, though, is a continuation of the history of our province. It's part of our heritage, part of our culture, and I find that it's a really strong way for me to connect with older generations through a process of learning more about the history of my home land. I actually feel like I've learned more about our province's history from building the Hay Loft than I ever did in school.
Someone should tell our teachers that....