Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

I was witness to the jubilation of sanctioned destruction today. The crew of skilled craftsmen who will frame the addition first had to remove the screened porch since it will be the joining spot for the two structures. Industrial strength radio music went through phases, changing stations as the process grew more intense.


On Friday, the work was relatively low key, and the guys tossed off shingles to the strains of crossover country. They left early in the afternoon to go hunting. It’s that time of year, and the Alabama season closes on January 31st. During their work session this morning, the radio started out country, moved to soft rock, then medium. But this afternoon, it was all heavy metal, sledge hammers swinging, the wiry guys balanced like gymnasts on the trusses, stomping what was left of the ceiling plywood down through the floor.


I watched from a few feet away, separated only by ordinary windows. Several times I got edgy and moved back into the living room area or the kitchen. Once a type of light fixture known as a “can” fell right off a beam and came careening toward the window. I was frozen in place, watching. Fortunately, it was attached by a disabled electrical cord and stopped inches away.


IMG_1111 Sometime this afternoon, observing John, Paul and Daniel as they methodically took down the trusses, handling them carefully so they can be reused in building a barn, it finally dawned on me that their skill in taking the porch apart comes from knowing how to build it to begin with. They didn’t come along and knock it down haphazardly, but disassembled it piece by piece quite elegantly.


Along the way, there was some whooping, hollering, and edgy laughter, the jubilant dance of sanctioned destruction.


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