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, April 26, 2006

It Never Hurts To Ask

I’ve been spending a lot of time on eBay the last couple of weeks. I’ve been trying to buy some hardware so we can tie off some loose ends at the Devil Queen. You know, little stuff like turn on the goddamn heating and air system.

I killed-off the evil chip-board beast many moons ago, but I still haven’t finished my own improvised return-air box yet. It’s basically intact, but I haven’t cut out any grill openings yet. Why not? Mainly, because I don’t have any grills, so I don’t know how big to make the cutouts.

Anyhow, last week I finally found a set of matching grills on eBay that I think my wife will like. This is harder than you might think. Most of the grills had one or more of the following flaws:

1) Wrong period. Art Deco is nice but it doesn’t match the Devil Queen at all. Since they’ll be going in the main hall (the first thing everyone will see), it has to look right.
2) They were wall vents. These are built out too far to be used as floor grates. They’d stick up a couple of inches, so everyone would be tripping over them.
3) Too angular of a pattern. My wife wants something with lots of curves and/or flower-like patterns to match the Queen’s feminine character.
4) Fugly. No one wants that even if it is period.

Here is what I found.

I put a maximum bid of about $50.00 on each of them. When I turned off the computer, I was the high bidder. The next day I checked eBay only discover that I’d won. Great, right? Nope. I’d only won one of the three grates. What the hell was I going to do with one grate?

I emailed the seller and asked if they had any more of this type of grate. They informed me that was it. Then I emailed the high bidder. I asked if they’d be willing to sell them to me for more than they’d won them for. The high bidder sent me a very nice email saying that they needed them for an old farm house they were renovating. In the off chance that her husband had miss-measured the openings (she hinted that this had happened before) and they didn’t fit that they’d let me know.

I thanked them for the email and pretty well figured that was the end of that. I went back to eBay and started my search again. This was my next choice.
As it turned out, I missed bidding on these because of my trip to Eureka Springs. I was a little disappointed, but they still weren’t my first choice so I didn’t really mind looking for some more.

Not an hour later, I received an email from folks who’d bought the first set of grates. The husband had miss-measured and they couldn’t use them. If I wanted them, they were mine. YES! So, I put a check in the mail and all I need to do is wait.

It’s funny how things work out sometimes.


Blogger HomeImprovementNinja said...

John, if you like to bid on Ebay a lot, there was an article in the WSJ a few months ago about a couple of different software programs (I can't remember the names) that will bid on the items for you in a split second before the end of the auction (so as to keep your bid till the last possible second). You might be able to find the software on google.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Archimedes24 said...

Dude, what's with all the house jewelry of late?!? Fancy grates, lamps...sheesh. You're turnin up the bling!

Seriously though, reminds me of "The Tau of Andy". I bought some goalie ice skates from a guy who was selling them for a friend who had just been diagnosed w/ Cerebral Palsy. The skates showed up, and were too small. I asked Andy if I could mail them back, and he said, "Don't bother, just take them to your next practice and leave them there for someone. I'll refund your money, I just don't want my friend to see them again, it's been too painful." He refunded my money the same day. Well, I couldn't just give them away. I relisted the skates, and with my description, they sold for about $15 bucks extra. I sent it all back to Andy.

And thus, the Toa of Andy was born.

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