For the past several days I have been tearing down a chimney. We haven't used it for many years, and it is in the middle of the display space at Village Craftsmen. In fact, the top had already been knocked off the last time we re-roofed the building. So I started the attack on Saturday. After about twenty minutes of beating on it with a sledge hammer I was about to give up (it was solid concrete block, with a little bit of decorative brick work), since I couldn't see any progress at all.
Finally I noticed a small crack. After it widened a bit I began driving a heavy chisel into the crack, then a crowbar. It was tough work, but finally I was rewarded with just a large pile of rubble.
I wondered why I hadn't hired someone to tear down the chimney. Then I remembered a conversation that my brother and I had recently. Neither one of us remembers our parents ever hiring anyone for anything. My mother took care of the house and the cooking (she was a typical stay-at-home mom of the 1950s). My father was a welder. After work he tackled whatever jobs needed to be done. He cut our hair (even gave my mother permanent waves, and I never went to a barber until college), painted the house, tuned the car, added a new kitchen to the house, repaired the furnace and appliances, even killed chickens for supper. My brother and I cut the grass and helped do other household chores.
So I guess that's why I didn't hire someone to do a job I was capable of doing myself. But maybe I should have; it was a lot of work for a senior citizen!
Here's a photo of Chimney Man wielding his sledge hammer:
And one of Chimney Man taking a much needed break:
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter celebrates the majestic live oaks on Ocracoke Island. You can read it here.
To read about Philip's new book, Digging up Uncle Evans, History, Ghost Tales, & Stories from Ocracoke Island, please click here.