Things are hopping in the neighborhood

  • Monday, August 24, 2009 7:54pm
  • Opinion

By Wally DuChateau

This has been an interesting summer in my little corner of the Plateau. There’s been a lot of activity, construction and changes, not only to my funny house, where the end of my remodeling effort is finally in sight, but all around the neighborhood.

You may have heard that the Y Bar S development ran into trouble with their well water. E-coli and other kinds of bad bugs. Residents had no option but to tap into city water, which must have set someone or something back a few nickels because, ordinarily, such a connection costs $10,000 to $15,000 per individual house – and Y Bar S has more than 40 homes.

Anyway, one morning a few months ago, Fuzzy Patrick showed up with several Enumclaw utility workers and, over the course of that week, they dug the necessary trenches and laid the necessary pipes. Fuzzy supervised the work. I could tell he was boss because he wandered across the street to gab with me about old acquaintances and days gone by, while everyone else kept working.

“BS time is one of the perks,” Fuzzy slyly smiled, “after 30 years with the city.”

One of my neighbors has a few horses. Several months ago, he built an arena for them. The roof of this structure was roughly – very roughly – 15 yards wide and nearly three times as long. But the strange thing is, at least strange to me since I’d never seen it done before, they constructed the entire roof for this structure on the ground, which certainly makes sense because that’s a lot safer and easier than building it 30 or 40 feet in the air. They erected 4 by 12 support beams around the edge of the arena and then lifted the roof off the ground and sat it on top of the beams. (I wanted to watch them do that but I missed it because I was typing one of these columns and, in the 15 or 20 minutes that took, they finished the entire operation.)

Anyone who’s lived in the Krain district for at least 10 or 15 years was familiar with the old Porter house. Well, it’s gone now. Not really gone in the sense of being demolished; rather, it has been “incorporated” into a new house. The current owners, Kevin and Cheryl Coons, are employed by Armstrong Construction and therefore have access to all kinds of heavy equipment and skilled labor. So, they shoved iron beams under the old house, jacked it off its foundation (what there was of it) and poured a new cement base under it, as well as the foundation for several additions, like a family room, another bedroom, front porch, patio, etc. Then they lowered the old house onto the new seat, more or less in the center of the new layout. (I also wanted to watch this operation, but missed it as well because the whole procedure was completed in less time then it took me to drive to town for a cup of coffee.)

Over the course of the next few months, they tore the outside walls off the old house and built the additional rooms into it. And there you are, friends, the Porter house has morphed into the Coons house. Kevin is a first-class carpenter and Cheryl is quite proud of him. She happily declared: “It’s nice to have a husband who knows what he’s doing!”

Other wives should be so lucky.

On a more current social front, our local Hispanic community is having a picnic from 6 to 9 Monday evening at Centennial Park. There’ll be plenty of food, a Mexican band and everyone is invited. You might want to check that out.

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