Thursday, May 21, 2009


Back when I was sixteen living in Simsbury, Connecticut in 1970 I had the opportunity to tear down and demolish the "Simsbury Motel" located on Hopmeadow Street next to the bowling alley. The "Simsbury Motel"consisted of eight to ten older army cottages set back from the road in a wooded setting. My Dad was a member of a partnership that owned the land and cottages in addition to a detached house on a separate lot.

It was fun to get paid to tear down these cottages with crow bars and sledge hammers. My Mom and Dad helped with this project along with my brother Scott. I remember that we had a huge fire in one of the cottage foundations and burned up the equivalent of at least one of the cottages as we threw the wood into the fire from the demolition efforts. A few local off duty policemen and firemen were there helping me take these buildings down as they could have all the free wood they wanted but they had to take off the shingles to get to the wood. My Mom's cousin's husband also helped and he took enough wood from the site to build a garage on his property.

I remember paying for beer for all the workers who helped out. I had to drink beer as well that day to make sure that the beer was of good quality and cold enough as I didn't want anyone to get sick from bad or warm beer. I couldn't afford the chance that any of the helpers would be upset with the beer and threaten to walk off the job. I believe that we had Schaeffer beer as that is the "One beer to have when you're having more than one". As a sixteen year old I knew it was important to drink "quality beer."

After consuming my quota of beer I remember going back to the job at hand. I was sufficiently relaxed that when I swung my sledgehammer toward the lower part of a door frame and the wood above my head became loose and landed on my head; I went right down to the ground with the door frame wood on top of me. Had I not been drinking a few beers I might have resisted the impact of this falling wood and hurt myself.

We really trashed that motel; (and I got paid to do it).