Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Seven Weeks

This is the last day of my first seven weeks. Tomorrow I fly to Provo, stay at the Royal West Indies, and fly on to Portland, Maine, on Thursday for the Society of City and Regional Planning History conference. From there I am back in Ohio for a week, then off to San Juan, Pueto Rico, for the Association of Preservation Technology conference. I will be back in Ohio for a week after that, then I pack up the family and we move to Beverly.

Has this been a crazy ride? Seven weeks. I have a house. I have a museum. I have a fundraising goal of $750,000 to get the museum up to current standards. In the last seven weeks we are about $28,000 closer to our goal. This seams like an amazing amount of money in one way, but it is only a fraction in other ways. If you are reading this blog, I hope you have sent in your $100 director's inaugural fund membership. But I have to tell you, I am amazed and touched at how many people care about me and what I am doing. I know how tight money is for many of my friends, thank you for what you have done.

I think I told you a while ago that we had an air conditioner go down the first week I was here. You are self sufficient or you live with nothing here. A repairman came out. He looked at the unit and said "I told you last month that you needed to buy a new air conditioner, I can't get the parts for this." He turned around and left.

The unit is a ten year old 24,000 BTU Carrier split system. We operate three of them. I could not even find the model number on the internet using Google. I did, however, find a website that sold components for old air conditioners and they had the relay and 24 volt transformer that I had removed from the unit. Dave Horn brought them to me yesterday when he got off the cruise ship.

It is not what you expect to be doing when you agree to direct a national museum, and it certainly never came up it any of my interviews, but today I replaced the relay and 24 volt transformer on a Carrier 42MUB fan coil unit. As of 4:00pm we are cooling with maximum efficiency. If you know Jim Dawson, have him read this. I picked up a lot from him, but I wish I would have spent more time understanding exactly how technical systems operated. If you have any aspirations of directing your own museum, don't overlook what other people do. You actually have to know every one's job. In my case I actually have to also do the job.

In seven weeks I have met a whole new community. I have figured out where to get water, where to get fish, where to get fruit and vegetables. I have not had any butter, sugar, and very limited amount of soda pop. No donuts, only three cups of coffee a day, and this I take black. I have been in the water to swim at least every other day. I have painted an entire house interior. I have built a bathroom vanity. I have built and installed under cabinet sliding drawers in the kitchen. I have unpacked and furnished an entire house. I have installed two video units in the museum. I have enacted drastic cost saving measures in day to day operations. I have taken on a side job of the construction management of a million dollar house with a five million dollar view. I have given away three houses worth of furniture. I have dug a french drain and filled it with rocks. I have written a ten page paper on the social history of the front porch. I have consulted on the restoration of a 1790s Bermudian style timber frame house. I have organized a new band. And I have really missed Deneen.

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