Avant-Garde Progressio…..#115 (the 60’s)


Gary, with no  blue prints but his idea firmly embedded in his head,  approaching the Contractors Desk at Cullen Lumber on Classen Blvd,  explaining a project he and Glenn were about to embark on,  a 16 by 28 foot two bedroom addition to his house,  and a complete living room remodeling.  The new addition would provide for  a 16 by 16 foot patio,  sliding door adorned master bedroom,  and a  16 by 12 smaller bedroom, increasing the residences square footage by 448 square feet.   The living room remodel would encase the removal of the wall between the living room and the front master bedroom,  and adding a counter high partitioned front door entryway to the living room,  encompassing the total front of the residence.   The living room to have a fireplace,  with an extended hearth,  the dining room adjacent to the kitchen having it backyard window removed,  and replaced with a glass sliding door opening to a new backyard patio.

The Cullen dispatcher taking it all in, but wasn’t prepared when Gary posed a question, if they called in with exact measurements could he figure the material needed for framing, roofing, doors, windows, and all sundry items they would need as the project progressed.  The dispatcher was somewhat skeptical, but Gary could see he was receptive to the concept, agreeing it could be done.  The final obstacle being one of finance, securing cost estimates,  at least a ball park figure.    Gary visiting with a loan officer at Beneficial Savings and Loan, explaining the project and that Cullen Lumber would be the primary material contractor, but their might be others, the finance company agreeing to an open-ended note to finance this avant-garde progression.

The removal of the brick veneer from the rear of  2644 S. W. 46th Terrace  having commenced,  Gary and Glenn the perpetrators of structural disintegration.  With the brick removal completed, Gary realizing that neither he or Glenn had the skill or the equipment needed for forming or crowning a cement slab floor for a room addition.  The classified section of the Daily Oklahoman provided a solution, a cement finisher looking for work.  The worker estimating the project would take him three days, the leveling, re-barb and forming the first couple of days, the pouring and finishing the third.  The day of atonement having descended,  a call was placed to Dolese Ready Mix,   discovering the cement  would have to be wheel-barreled to the back of the house and with the arrival of the ready-mix truck,   Gary and Glenn the prospective wheel barrel crew, the hired cement worker fulfilling his three-day performance.   The concrete in position, 16 penny nails, bottom and top plates, a studded structure slowly began to take form,  the Cullen operative accepting the vocal progression assessments and providing the precise material.

The construction day  beginning in late morning or early afternoon,  their working daytime schedule dependent on the bands nighttime activity,  the priority being the completion of the addition, the remodeling of the front was secondary.   When it was time to migrate the O G and E meter from its original  position on the back of the house to the new addition  position,  Gary called his acquaintance from the Horseshoe Club,  electrical contractor Eldon Dumus.   Gary questioning Eldon about calling O G and E to move the electric line from the pole to its new position on the addition,  explaining he was somewhat concerned,  because he never got a building permit,  Eldon telling him not to worry,  he would move the line himself.

With the passing weeks, the two discovering a host of new talents that they never knew they had, the project taking shape with its redwood siding,  installing sliding glass doors , the addition’s windows, and  the flat roof.   Gary doing all the electric wiring,  stapling the insulation on the ceiling and outside walls, then experiencing the hanging of sheet rock and its taping.  The learning experience continued with the texturing,  painting,  hanging doors,  installing the floor tile.  the construction of the new addition coming to a conclusion.  The remodeling stage of the  front of the house and dining room about to commence.  and with the dining room and  new master bedroom both having sliding patio doors opening to a patio,  it was time to call Dolesee Ready Mix again,  only this time Gary and Glenn ,  taking it upon themselves, to form, pour,  and finish the remaining 18 by 16 foot cement patio.

With the removal of the front master bedroom wall, opening the total front as an entryway and living room , another project, another new experience,  neither of the two having installed a fireplace.  The instillation directions demonstrated several ways of installing,  but instead the two deciding to set the firebox outside on a concrete slab beneath where a removed window was, the front parallel with the inside wall,  thus allowing the triple wall chimney piping to raise thru the outside eves, rather than penetrate thru the interior ceiling and attic.  The fireplace embossed by a partial brick wall and mantel,  with a  room width white Portland cement hearth,  inlaid  with different color marble specimens,  endowed  by visiting several Oklahoma City headstone and monument providers for remnants.  The final touch to the living room,  besides the built-in stereo-speaker audio complex in the entryway divider,  was the  walnut paneling and new DuPont five oh one Blue Carpet.

A showcase presentation was determined,  the two bedroom homestead now three, no longer a clone of the other fixture neighborhood residencies.  With the new backyard patio, master bedroom and dining room patio doors,  the expanded living room with a spacious  fireplace,  a once bland spectrum of a house just became the lustrous aurora of a home,  Gary concluding,  a house is a residence,  but a home is its acknowledgement.

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