Page 15 - Dan Alex MacLeod "I Moved Houses"
ISSUE : Issue 35
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/12/1
pie to live in. And we learned a lot through that. One we moved--there was a flue in it, on the outside. And it was well bracketed to the house. But when we started to jack it up, a piece about that much fell off the top of it. And if there had been somebody down below, he would have been killed. So after that, if a house was 30 years old, we wouldn't move it unless the flue came out of it. (This would be the brick chimney.) Yeah. Then the Trans Canada was coming through. We had moved buildings here and there. The right-of-way engineer from Dept. of High? ways came to see us, see if we would move the buildings. We went with him and gave him a price. We went to see 5 or 6 houses in Whycocomagh, I believe. "Now," I said, "the flue has got to come out of them." "Oh no, no." "Well," I said, "you take me home then, that's good enough. We won't touch them if the flue won't come out of them. That's it." So, we took the flues out of them, all right. We went down one time, to a woman from New York, I believe. She wanted to move a house, not very far. And it was a very tall house, not fixed inside too well. And there was a flue going up the middle of it. So I gave her a price, and I said, "The flue's got to come down." Well, she fig? ured that was all right. But another fel? low went and gave her a price a hundred dollars cheaper than my price. He was go? ing to move it on skids, which was impossi? ble. And it was very small sills that was in it--3-by-5s. So he put the skids under it and he had a D6 tractor or something. See, when you put skids, they're awfully big. You put rollers under the skids, you know. They bend, on the rollers, you know, they just catch them. So she wouldn't come. So, he pulled her this way--and he pushed that sill out. He pulled her the other way--and the flue came down--it went clean right to the basement. Went through the up? stairs and the floor. Somebody told me that the day it happened. By God, the next day, the woman was back to me again. "I wouldn't move your house for $20,000 now," I said. "It's a wreck now." I said, "You wanted to save money--! don't think you saved any money--it'll cost you a lot more to fix it now." So, I don't think it was ever moved. (Did you ever have houses that were diffi? cult for you to move?) Yeah. If you had a house you wanted to move, and there was an argument over it, and we heard about that, we wouldn't touch it with a 10-foot pole. Every house we ever moved that there was an argument over it, we had the devil's own time. Why, I don't know. If you wanted to move it and your brother didn't want to move it, or something like that, you know. Some argument over moving it. If we ever got a whimper that there were any argu? ments, we wouldn't touch it. (What hap? pened to a house that you tried to move, that there was an argument over?) Well, it's hard to say how much things went wrong with it. The battery went dead, we had flat tires, it was getting stuck on us, and moving on the thing, and a sill broke. You name it, what things happened to us. There was a schoolhouse. The congregation wanted to move it and the priest didn't want to move it. They were going to put it up for a kind of museum, up alongside the new school. So, we didn't know anything a- bout this till afterwards. So we started to move it. Well, well--trouble. Every? thing was going wrong. We got it halfways up to the glebe house, and boy, I don't think the devil would move it any further. Everything was--truck was spinning, and oh what. We were spinning, and there was no need of her spinning--it wasn't that hard. I think a sill broke, or something. Oh, we had a lot of trouble with it. I just for? get, it's so long since. But it was some? thing that we kept away from. And this is hard priest came down, round that house, house went. See, mind that it was and the argument something. I don' to believe. But the and he walked right a- going with the sun--the the priest made up his going to be moved anyway, was forgiven or over or t know. But that was it. I'm not bragging or anything, but we were good movers. We moved 12 or 15 a year. We (15)
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