Thursday, June 26, 2008


Everyone knows that old rhyme- Here's the church. Here's the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people. As I put the final touches on the front doors of the church, let me give you a little personal history of this entrance.

The first time I saw the church I was tooling around Sullivan County's back roads with my girlfriend Diana. I was completely engrossed, eyeballing the farm across the road, checking for deer, and marveling at the decrepit fence lines, and overgrown swamp, when Diana said "Wow! Look at that." I turned and saw the church. I think it was about 1989. I pulled over my old Chevy and and we both got out. The front door was open.
Inside was wet, musty and filled with crap. We poked around and I found an old baptism certificate for Ethel Osterhout. A sign? Five years later I would own the place. (I never found that certificate again.)
The early years were spent commuting to the city, digging trenches (with a pick and shovel) and repairing the stone foundation. Then I met Al Blanchard and with the help of my brother Duke, we put a new steeple on the place. I thought I'd be open for services in 5 or 10 years. It's now 15 years later and I have yet to hang out the shingle. But it's coming.
About the same time I was finding the baptism certificate, my brother Smokey was working on demoing Yale Cathedral's steps in New Haven and was able to score two nice granite slabs. A couple of months ago he brought them over to me. I set them in the front. I had two doors off a job in the city that fit perfectly and an old mortise lockset. So I hung the doors and yesterday went to a locksmith to get a skeleton key to fit. The locksmith lived on the side of a mountain with a 50 mile vista view and an old aluminum trailer back in the woods. In about 20 minutes he had the lock keyed.
Last night I was locking up when Al Blanchard showed up. I proudly showed him the key and he asked who keyed it. I told him and he smiled. "That's my brother in law." Al said. Yeah, it's a small town. Sure, there's plenty of Osterhouts and Blanchard relatives. It all can be coincidence. But in any case the signs continue. All point to the LGM. Here's the church. Here's the steeple. Open the doors.....

Al's working on getting me that trailer.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home