Month of Makeovers, Day 24 & Thursday Hack Flashback: Old Joe Crow perches on my porchPosted: October 24, 2013
It started with a new fence.
The old cedar fence rotted right out of the ground. So Dad pulled out the posts and crossbars, and stacked them in a giant pile in the backyard, where they stayed for the next twenty years. (You never know when you might need old cedar fence pieces.)
Except for one of the posts. That one became . . .
Joe is a fence post with its rotted bottom part cut off. What’s left got tightly screwed onto a cast iron wheel that started out life as a mechanism for a greenhouse, as far as I can figure out. Dad’s flea market find, probably.
It says, “Metropolitan Green House Mfg Corporation, Brooklyn New York.”
The slots for the crossbars are just the right size for holding a folded newspaper.
The post has a natural check, that is, a lengthwise crack in the wood that doesn’t affect its strength. And in that check my dad wedged a very old iron scythe blade. It’s still cut-yourself sharp!
Careful, there! Add a couple of beady green eyes, and you’ve got a crow. A sassy-looking crow who just might lean over and snatch the change out of your pocket.
Looking at Joe Crow always makes me think of an old folksong my dad used to sing:
“Fare thee well, Old Joe Clark,
fare thee well, I say,
fare thee well, Old Joe Clark,
I am on my way.
“Old Joe Clark he had a house
forty stories high,
every story in that house
was filled with chicken pie.”
That verse weirded me out as a kid. I always wondered, “Who is this guy? And why is his house filled with chicken casseroles? Am I the only one who thinks that’s a little odd?!”
Now I realize that if you grew up in the Depression—like Dad did—when even one chicken in your pot was a luxury, a song about a skyscraper of a house filled with good food would be heard entirely differently.
Old Joe Crow lives in my front hall now. He’s a handy place to stash the paper and the day’s mail. Welcome to your new roost, Joe.
See the entire list of projects for our Month of Makeovers HERE.