Gus & Bobby came back first thing this morning to check over their work on the roof, and collect their check. Before they climbed into their van too leave Gus said, “Noticed you don’t have a bath anywhere. Let us know if we can help you with that at all.” As he spoke, Bobby turned over the magnetic sign on the side of the van. Mercurio Plumbing & Septic.
“I will keep that in mind. I have to find an old fashioned tub and fixtures first though.”
Bobby made a rare interjection, “Antang you need toots…weh kon tdo.” And with that he changed the sign again to one that read Mercurio & Sons Reclamation & Restoration.
“Stop by the shop this afternoon and see if you can find what you want” Gus added.
“I’ll do that.”
I spent the next few hours working on the base boards in the front hall. Some I was able to pound back into place, but most were so neglected and abused that they had to be pulled down. Another thing to add too my Chase-Pitkin list.
After lunch, I headed over to Gus and Bobby’s shop, which was really just an old barn under the railroad trestle over the canal. The place was packed to the gills with hand burned wooden signs hanging from the rafters announcing the wares; tubs, sinks, basins, faucets, commodes, doors, cabinets, handles, pulls, knobs, windows, stained glass, beams, lintels, hinges. They had everything and enough of it all to refit the whole town.
Gus showed me around the barn before going back through giving his personal recommendations based on the age and style of the house. By the time we were done digging through and discussing the mountains of bathroom fixtures, I had enough for the powder room and the main bath on the second floor; all for the exact amount they had reduced the bill for the roof. I still have to pay for the installation, but I am going to come in way under budget on the bathrooms at this rate.
While Gus and I had been agonizing over the most appropriate fixtures for an early 20th century home Gus had asked how I had been surviving without a working bath, “Don’t get me wrong Miss, it’s just that I know you don’t have a bath but you don’t smell like you’ve gone a week without a wash. That leaves using the canal or well I can’t come up with anything else.”
I filled Gus in on the arrangement with Logan, at which point Bobby, who had been trailing us closely the whole time, insisted that it wasn’t right for me to be indebted to any man and they would be over first thing to start to work on the bathrooms.