Wednesday, August 20, 2014


    Let me tell you, it doesn't shovel any easier than secular earth. Now that I've finally closed on the shul, the reality of owning Glen Wild's only 2 remaining sacred structures is sinking in. The consistency of theme between the Judeo and Christian traditions is apparent immediately. Both congregations let their sanctuaries go to Hell. I'm neither Christian nor Jew, so I have no vested interest in reaming either tradition. I find both belief systems confounding, filled with rules and rule breakers and followers. But speaking as a carpenter, I hate them both equally.
    When I bought the church it was listing to one side, a sad relic of the 1860's. The main roof leaked and rain literally poured through the steeple into the bell tower. The walls had begun to separate and large flat foundation stones were squeezed out onto the lawn. The first thing I did was grab a shovel, crow bar and pick ax. By hand, I dug footing drains around the entire church, dumping wheel barrow loads of drainage stone into the ditch. Then I jacked the side and laid new stone. Windows were re-glazed, and roofs followed,  until it was water tight. With the help of Al and bro Duke, it was functioning by 2010. Thank God I bought it 20 years ago.  I'd never be able to do it today.
   The shul was built in 1923. Around the time I was fixing the church, the congregation Anshei (people) held its last service, grabbed the Torah, locked the doors to 380 Glen Wild rd and never looked back. The rain poured in, destroying the tapestries, books, and anything else of value. Cinder block walls cracked and shifted. A river poured through the basement kitchen. Large chunks of plaster unkeyed from the arched ceiling lath, crashing onto the ark. By 2013 they decided to sell the shul and put the money into keeping up the cemetery. The dead now took precedent. The last thing I was looking for was another wreck of a building to pay taxes on. But like they say, they made me an offer I couldn't resist. The difference is, I'm only keeping it from falling down....not restoring it. Leave that for the next guy.

   The past three days I've been back in the ditch, bent over, trying to find a footing in the soggy mud. There's a hole in the cinder block wall you could drive a freight train through. I have to fix it before snow flies. Hunting season's right around the corner. I pray it doesn't come crashing down on my head.....and curse all believers who let their places of worship crumble. It's a shanda fur die goy. I hope their souls fare better than their property.




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