Sunday, July 27, 2014


When I moved into the St. Sebastian Parish rectory most of the house had been given over to offices.  When I stepped out of my bedroom I would be in an office corridor which is wrong on so many levels.  So most of the offices were moved out of the rectory which presented a whole new set of problems.  Not the least of which was rooms now empty of furniture.
The rectory was built to have six suites, two guest rooms, and a live-in's suite.  Once all of the desks and chairs, potted plants, and inspirational posters had been moved out, there was need for furniture.  According to a 1961 appraisal of the parish property, the rectory has about 10,943 square feet of floor space, a lot of which now was bare.  In 1961 there was about $1,400.00 worth of furniture in the priest's residence, which is a scream.  I just plugged, "What is the average cost of a sofa" into my search engine and it said about $1,000.00.  That leaves enough money left over for a couple of lamps and a commemorative plate.  At the time this transition was happening the parish was in debt so furnishing the rectory had to be done on a shoes string budget.
Then came Fr. O to the rescue!  He was ordained and needed some place to store his stuff until he became a pastor.  In return for storing his stuff, I got to use it in the empty rooms.
Then with the priest shortage, he quickly became a pastor with his own rectory to furnish.
So I became a connoisseur of yard sales and junk shops.
And I was definitely not adverse to trash picking.  Here is an early example of it when I enlisted Aaron to help me pick up a coffee table that was sitting on the devil strip.  (If you don't know what a devil stip is, look it up.)  It is still in a guest room today.
I do take a certain amount of pride when someone says that they like a particular room in the house and I get to point at things and say, "Yard sale, yard sale, trash yard, donation, junk shop, and discount store."   Even Sebastian was a rescue dog.
The house is pretty much "done" now.  We don't need anything.  Everything from now on is just fun.  However, I was out to lunch the other day with our principal to discuss next year and beside the restaurant was a "high end" junk shop.  (I know, oxymoron)  We went in and there was a Regulator clock.  I have a fetish for mechanical clocks but I really didn't need another one.    What helped tremendously was that the clock was WAY over priced.
But it looked so pathetic sitting there - like a puppy at the dog pound.  My principal noticed that there was something wrong with the price tag and asked the clerk about it.  Apparently it had been in the shop so long it was now something like 75% off, a ridiculously low price.  So my resolve dissolved and I adopted another clock.
The only problem is that old clocks, particularly old mechanical clocks can have some oddities about them.  This clock only runs if it sits on the wall at an angle.  If you straighten it out, it stops working.  Such is one of the drawbacks of living a life of salvaging.  There was a merry war of sorts over the past month trying to get people to KEEP THEIR HANDS OFF OF THE CLOCK but now it seems everyone is informed and time has been marked well every since. 
Thank you to whoever kept good care of this clock in the past so that it could be handed on.  God bless you.


Unknown said...

Hey Padre~ if you come across a decent sofa, let me know! We bought new furniture when we got married, then the dog was sick on it, then we had kids...not buying anything new until it's just the two of us again lol!

Stephen said...

Dear Father,
Now I know where my wife (your cousin) inherited her need of collecting and holding on to old things. if its old and broken and worthless, she wants it forever.
Must be a Slovenia thing.


Cathy said...

I LOVE thrift stores, junk stores, consignment stores, tag sales on half off day, garages sale ect ect ect!!!! SO much fun!!!!! Even if you don't "need" anything!
(By the way Stephen - it IS a Slovenian...and a Polish thing and a Lithuanian thing!!!!!!)
You never know when you will find just the PERFECT treasure.

Nan said...

Father! How good you are to the planet by recycling all these things!

Oh, and Stephen, it might not be just a Slavic thing; it used to be that consumer goods were made to last and people fixed things when they were broken. Clothes were more expensive and higher quality than most of the crap in stores now.

Sorry, just another random Slovenian.

Kevin Hammer said...

Probably shouldn't tell you this, but...

Ohio's Biggest Yard Sale! Aug 7-9 along the Lincoln Highway! From east to west along US rt. 30 (includes Canton area).

Cathy said...

...Even though I grew up in Lorain and lived 14 years in Canton, I had never before heard the term "devil strip". Mom used to call it the "treelawn". ...It seems appropriate for a priest to be salvaging furniture in the devil strip!

Fr. V said...


Terry T said...

If you need any thing upoholstered or a slip cover made, I am your girl. You can add drapes and window treatment well. Happy to come for design consultant ing.