The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Dumbass Award

God bless them, my in-laws are some of the oddest people I know.

I know every family is peculiar in its own fashion, but I’ve never met a group of people this colorful. For instance, every Thanksgiving they award some lucky family member the Dumbass Award. They even have a plaque on which the winner’s name is inscribed every year. This tradition started about five years ago. I forget what exactly made them decide to do this. It probably went something like this:

“I can’t believe Relative-X actually did that! What was he thinking?”

“I don’t know, but he should get an award for it.”

“Hey, you’re right. Lets make one!”

After Thanksgiving dinner, everyone gathers around and the nomination process begins. Without fail the stories are hilarious and 100% true. After all the nominations are made, a vote is taken and the winner is named.

So far, I haven’t won the award. However, I am sure that I will be nominated next Thanksgiving for the whole tearing my thumb off incident. On the other hand, I’m almost certain that I won’t win. The competition is very stiff. For instance, my wife’s cousin was driving home to Arkansas from Paducah, Kentucky a couple of years ago. She didn’t realize she’d taken the wrong interstate until she ended up in Chicago. And, she didn’t even win the award that year.

I mention this because I thought it might explain my families’ apparent lack of sympathy after my thumb accident. In this post (The Girly-Hand), Derek commented that, “Man, I usually get more sympathy than that, even if I do something stupid.”

The maternal side of my wife’s family is Scot-Irish, and, until a couple generations ago, they were poor, miserable sharecroppers and cotton pickers. For those of you who have read Grisham’s book, The Painted House, they are the hill-people, literally (my wife’s grandmother recognizes most of the families portrayed in the book). I think all the generations spent at the bottom of the economic ladder colored their view of the world. In short, their life philosophy is, “Life is pain.” Since there isn’t anything you can do about it, you might as well laugh at it. Only the weak cry.

So, if you injure yourself, they’re going to make fun of you once it becomes evident that you aren’t going to die. Really, you have a lot more to worry about if they don’t make fun of you. It would mean that 1) they don’t like you, 2) they thought you were going to die, or 3) both.

I’m feeling a little impish today. Not that it has anything in particular to do with the Queen or houses in general, but I may start posting some of the winning Dumbass Award stories. Everyone needs a laugh now and then. Interested? Let me know.


Blogger StuccoHouse said...

I once missed a turn off on the way from MN to Chicago and ended up in Gary, IN. But Arkansas to Chicago??!!

11:25 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

I'm definitely interested!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Gary said...

I'll stick with being a Smart Ass thank you very much!
T'is better to be a smart ass than a dumb ass!

12:32 PM  

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