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!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Joseph's Coat or The Six Hued Beast, Part 4 (The End)

Yeah, I know. When will this story end?! Hopefully, this will be the last installment on the roof for a while.

After hauling the mother-load of cheap shingles all over God's green earth, you'd think the rest would pretty easy. Since I am a klutz, and the roof is huge & steep, we'd decided to hire out the shingling of the roof. I say "decide" like we had a discussion about it, but it was a foregone conclusion.

Since we're basically insane, we tend to forget things that we didn't want to hear. When we were moving the house we asked James Wyche to give us a quote for shingling the roof. He laughed at us a said, "NO." We should have taken this as a hint, but we didn't. Fortunately, he did deck the roof and cover it in tarpaper.

The tarpaper did pretty well until all the winter storms started screaming out of the north. One particularly bad one shredded most of the tarpaper on the north and west faces of the Queen. While we were motivated before, the storm made us desperate. Maybe it was some sort of psychosis induced dream, but I seem to remember my wife being reduced to tears as she watched the winter rain pour down on several thousand dollars of exposed roof decking.

We finally had a roofer take the job, but two weeks later he called us back.

Roofer: "Hey, I'm sorry, but I can't take the job."

Me: "Why?"

Roofer: "I can't get a crew that will work on a roof like that. No one wants to go up on it."

Me: "Oh."

So, our search started again. In hindsight, I wonder who was shingling all of the damn French Provincial McMansions around here. Those roofs can't be any worse than ours. I guess its just the Devil Queen factor at work. The Queen just scares the hell out of most people.

My wife finally tracked down a guy Tony Anderson recommended to us. She gave him a call and explained the job to him.

New Roofer: "I guess I'd do it for $1500."

Wife: "You're hired. When can you start?"

New Roofer: "What?! Damn. I thought that bid was way too high, I didn't think that you'd actually take it."

Wife: "No, that was the best bid we have, so when can you start?"

Fortunately for us, he came out and roofed the whole thing in three days, and he did a marvelous job too. He was relieved that we didn’t want him to sort through all the different colors and scatter them evenly over the whole roof. We were fine with him laying them in whatever order he found. Someone asked him how he felt about laying a roof with all those wild colors. His answer was, "I don't give a damn what color the shingles are as long as they pay me." That is my kind of man.

For months after that, every time my wife saw the Queen she'd start singing Dolly's Parton's Coat of Many Colors. Somehow, people found a small, pregnant woman singing Dolly Parton to multicolored roof disconcerting. In case you're wondering, my wife has a very good singing voice, so there wasn't any American Idol reject factor at work.
It's amazing what shingles can do for your peace of mind.


Blogger Kristin said...

That's a great song and a nice conclusion to your roof saga. :)

7:23 AM  
Blogger derek said...

That must be hard, going through all that, and knowing it's not a permanent roof...

10:22 AM  

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