My husband and I bought a home in the early 1960ís that was built in the 1940ís by a man intending to use it as an auto service station. When the neighborhood found out what the builder intended to use it for, they went to the city hall and complained because the area the service station was being built in was residential and a service station would be designated as commercial.
The builder, being a peaceful man, then decided to build a house on top of the service station bay and live in the house himself.
Years passed, fortunes were made and lost, so by the time we entered the picture, a local bank had taken possession of the property due to the then owner not keeping up with the bankís terms. [Remember this was early in the 1960ís.]
Let me tell you about the basement of the house we bought. It was closed in by two single garage doors, one of which had to be opened to gain access to the basement.
We built a 6x8 room at the back wall of the basement which housed a meat slicer and a refrigerator and a counter inside it to make it possible for us to keep our pizza shop stocked with fresh meat and cheese on a daily basis.
On the outside of the cutting room, flush with the cutting room wall, we had a spare refrigerator and a chest freezer. On the top of the cutting room roof we had room for storage, mostly Christmas treasures
But wait. Iím getting ahead of myself.
You remember this basement was to have been a garage bay? In order to have daylight come into the garage, since it was built on a hillside, cellar windows had to be built. By the time the original builder had extended the walls to accommodate the windows it made the walls of the basement16 blocks high. I remember having to use a 16 foot extension ladder when I decided to hang curtains at the cellar windows.
Now it is the Christmas season. I didnít do the house decorating, but since I am smaller than my husband, and was leery of him making the climb to the top of the cutting room, I decided to get the boxes of decorations down for him.
I went upstairs to our bedroom, put on slacks and a sweatshirt, than retraced my steps to the basement. First I hoisted myself on top of the chest freezer, stood up and after four tries I was on the roof of the cutting room.
The first box I chose to open had a calcified verrrry dead rat in it.
Since I am very scared of mice and rats, even dead ones, I yelled EEEK and descended
far quicker than I had ascended.
Donít bother to ask me if I ever did it again. Once a fool, never again!
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