Joseph's Coat or The Six Hued Beast, Part 2
We still needed shingles. Buying them new was out of the question. A rough estimate for asphalt, 30-year shingles was around $4,000.00. We looked into tin, and, unless we could scavenge it for free, it wasn't any cheaper. The stuff we really liked, pressed tin shingles or other period roofing cost more than moving the Queen, so it was out of the question.
When we started working on the Devil Queen back in the primordial past of our lives, it never occurred to me to look for building materials at auctions and estate sales. My ever resourceful wife did.
My wife loves auctions and estate sales. Bidding and bargains, how much better can it get? Our house is furnished with lots of furniture from estate sales. Actually, if it wasn't a hand-me-down or heirloom from our parents, it's from an estate sale.
My wife started going to every sale she could find in a five or six county area. One week in the early fall, my wife, her mom, and step-dad went to an auction in Ozone, Arkansas.
Ozone is over an hour away from Atkins under the best of conditions. It is up in the foot hills of the Ozark Mountains in the middle of a national forest. Pretty country, but there isn't too much up that way except for marijuana. Wandering around the woods isn't a good idea, people are very protective of their cash crops.
The ad my wife had seen for the auction advertised "building materials." She figured what the hell, why not go? This auction was on a weekday, so I missed the fun.
According to my wife, it was a weird auction. Actually, the auction itself wasn't weird, it was the people there. My wife was about five to six months pregnant at the time, and she must have had a serious Mother Goddess, Sheela Na Gigs vibe. She had three or four men obsessed with her and her pregnant belly. They followed her around and talked to her the whole time she was there. I guess they needed some of her fertility mojo. I'm glad my in-laws went with her, or my wife may have ended up in some backwoods, pagan temple-grotto.
Besides cultists, my wife found shingles. Not just a few squares either. They had four pallets of shingles for sale. Needless to say, when they went up for sale, she bid on them an won them all for $100. If I recall correctly, I don't think anyone else even bid against her.
My wife and I were trying to remember how many squares (a square equals three bundles for those who don't know) we got. I thought we'd gotten 74 or so. She thought we'd gotten 110 squares. The more I think about it, the more I think she has the right number.
The shingles were in really good condition. They were all three-tab architectural shingles (in threory they have a 40 year lifespan), and almost every bundle was intact. They'd been stored in an old barn, so they were kept out of the sun and rain.
There were, however, two problems. One, they came in a wide variety of colors: dark gray, middle gray, light gray, green-gray, orange brown, brown, and red brown. At first, we thought there might be enough of the grays to do the whole Queen, but I guess you know how that turned out if you've seen the photos. The other problem was we had to move all of the shingles ourselves. The irony of it all was that the shingles had originally been bought in Russellville and hauled up to Ozone. Now, we were hauling them back. Beautiful.
In short, we hauled the shingles back to Atkins, we finally got someone to install them after a thunderstorm tore half the tarpaper off the roof, and I discovered that I could live with any roof if it cost a hundred dollars. Besides, whole Joseph's Coat thing grows on you after a while.
If someone out there is just dying to hear the expanded version of the story, let me know. Otherwise, I'll be moving on . . .