A movie that is being shot in Winnipeg will be using the little rental house we own. Laurie ( the tenant) told us yesterday that she was approached by a production company asking her if they could use it for a shoot! To cool. It's just a little old house squeezed in an industrial district. I guess they must need it for ugly. LOL. We kept the house on the property we bought because we thought one day we might need more space for the adjacent office building for additional parking. But that has never happened. So we rented it to a very nice couple and their family for the last 10 years at a very affordable rate. I hope we never have to ask them to leave, they are wonderful people. It's funny, when we bought the property to build the office building, I looked on that little house with disdain. It was butt ugly. The owner was a bachelor, who was a pig. The whole place was overrun with mice, and vermin.
Somehow Gord saw some good in it. I wanted to put it out of it's misery. But he got a carpenter friend of his to fix it up. This happened in 1991 when I was out of work for a year. So, we struck a deal with Ben "the carpenter" and he would do the big stuff and I would do all the rest. You know, that was the best summer of my life.
Except for the day, we had to tear the garage down. It was falling apart. We got a big truck, enlisted the AAhour crew, 2 old guys, and three old girls to tear it down. Fudge...first we had to empty it. The guy who owned it previously left such a bunch of crap in there, we were overwhelmed. But the process began. Everyone was hauling and tossing shit in the truck..sometimes we stopped to look at the junk and then said..nahhh..junk.. and toss! Meanwhile the guys had a "sawsall" and started to saw the sucker apart...piece by piece...the sides, the door, the roof, piece by piece!.. it was sawed apart and thrown in the truck. It took all fucking day..you will never believe how dirty we were and tired. But, now you can see why were are friends forever, because we have all done so much crazy shit together, we are garagemates.. and then it began.
I worked like a dog. I removed mice feces, I scraped baseboards, I cleaned, I shoveled shit out of the house with my bare hands. When all the hard stuff was over, we ordered new kitchen cupboards, sinks, the whole enchilada, put in new carpets and bathroom, etc.
I would come in about 9:00 in the morning and Ben would be plastering and taping in one room and I would be painting the room the had done the day before. We worked like a team. He would have "Beethoven" blasting on his getto blaster...whilst I was listening to Dr. Laura in my area. We would get together for lunch, dirty as pigs in poke, and go over our next plan of action. Ben, is a special guy, not in as "special"... okay, maybe just a bit, but he could talk and talk and talk until your ears were bleeding, about every damn thing you didn't want to know about. He is the kind of guy that can never stay on one subject, and just when you are getting into the conversation, he changes gears..and "shit" ..he's talking about his barber.
I liked Ben. I loved my time in that little house. By the time Ben and I were finished, I felt like that it was my house. I wanted to move into it. It was almost completely renovated and had all my sweat and tears built into it. I had chosen all the new stuff that we put in there, and I had a strong connection to it. And I would be sorry to see Ben go. This unlikely friendship we had formed would be missed. I would miss the backfiring of his 1977 rust torn pickup, watch him roll a cigarette from a tobacco pack with such expertise, and be able to measure anything "by eye."
I remember a day I was painting in the kitchen, and he was doing some plumbing that required him to go into the crawl space to fix a leak. He was down there most of the morning, laying on his back in a narrow little space. Every once in awhile when I couldn't hear him banging away I would yell at him and ask him if he was okay...he would reply, I'm just playing with the rats!! Funny guy. Anyway it got to be a little after lunch I said Ben, would you like me to bring you something...water, juice?...he said ..no it's okay, I've been having a drink out of the water valve when I get thirsty!!! Go Ben!! He was a character. He was a hard working, do it! kind of guy. But a little weird, that's why I liked him.
Anyway, that is the house story. I don't even have a picture of her, but I should take one. You guys might just see the old girl in a movie!! Did you know that the Capote movie was shot in Winnipeg and surrounding districts? Actually we have had a lot of famous people in and out of our city doing movies. We have a lot of vintage buildings in our downtown that make it a dream for movie makers.
Come on down for a visit.. WE COULD PUT YOU IN THE MOVIES!! I tried to put a pic up but blogger decided against it.