There is something fascinating about the old houses in Akron, Ohio. Especially where I live in Highland Square, a neighborhood just west of downtown Akron full of turn of the 19th century homes originally built for the leaders of the rubber industry. There are brick streets, devil's strips planted full of flowers, and three-story homes with postage stamp size yards. These houses--almost all historic, some in need desperate need of repair--are mix of character and collapse, of architectural beauty and money-pit blues.
I live in a house built in 1918. It has the most amazing fumed-oak paneling and pillars in the living room, but has pine floors that are splintering even as we speak. The office--what used to be the dining room--has a gorgeous coffered ceiling, and built-in beveled glass door cabinets. The kitchen, however, has a ceiling that is coming down by degrees, and someone back in the '50s painted all the once lovely oak cabinets a dingy white. Each year we make another decision regarding what is affordable to fix up against what really needs desperately to be repaired. New furnace or a real bathroom floor? Windows that don't leak cold air or tearing out the
god-awful brown 1960s shag carpeting in the bedrooms? Repoint the brickwork of a crumbly chimney or redo the roof and insulate? The trade off is in time, and money, and whether or not we have enough energy to do it ourselves. No. Never mind that last one; there is never enough energy. Being the caretaker of a piece of Akron architectural history is not for the timid.
So I can identify with David Giffels experiences and the situation he describes in his book All The Way Home, his personal story of turning a wreck of a house into a beautiful home. Today I got an email telling me that David's book is now coming out in paperback.Hey everyone --
The new paperback edition of All the Way Home comes out tomorrow. . . if you know anyone who might be interested, please spread the word. The paperback has lots of photos -- something people have been asking for since the hardback came out -- and the publisher is very excited about it.
To coincide with the release, I have succumbed to the Digital Industrial Complex thusly: www.davidgiffels.com
If you wish to post this link, I'll be ever grateful. There are links on the home page to order from Amazon and other booksellers.
If you have ever lived in Akron, if you really love old houses, if you want to read a warm, funny, personal narrative written by a really nice guy, then you need to get David's book.