I Knew This Painter……..

One of the painters I knew was very aggressive about finding work.  He would buy a lot in town, put down a foundation or a basement, go out in the country and buy a farm house that had been abandoned, bring it to town and set it on his foundation/basement.

I never asked how he knew what dimensions to make the foundation.

He would paint the house and hire me to update the electrical wiring, and then he would sell the home for a neat profit.  While I worked for him, I found some very interesting houses on which to work.

I believe I mentioned before how this man would sometimes replace the water heater; from electric to gas.  He allowed me to take home a working electrical water heater that was a niche heater.

A niche water heater is one that has a dry (inside) tube going through the water area.  The electrical water heater was inserted in this dry space and would “room heat” the water from there.  It was different in that the electrical water heating element never came in contact with the water.  This gave the element and thus the water heater a longer life expectancy.

This was the only niche water heater I have ever seen.  I still have it amongst my souvenirs.

A couple other painters I knew were brothers and worked together.  They were pretty sly pranksters.

One day after working on a job with them, I got home and found that the toes of my boots were painted.  It wasn’t that paint had dripped on them.  Nor that I had stepped in something.  The toes of the boots had been painted.  I couldn’t figure out what had happened.  I finally figured it out.

As I stood on a ladder, with my feet being just under head height, they had taken a few unnoticed moments to dob paint on and then paint the toes of my boots.  In fact I recalled that at one point in the day I had my ladder set up very close to the wall they were working on.  I suspect it didn’t take much of an inducement to just kind of reach across and over their shoulders to paint my boot toes in a passing manner.

One of these brothers had a son that moved into the Spokane area.  Years later he became one of my customers.

It used to be that the paint products used by painters exuded a very “criminal” odor.  Over the years the odor from paint has become less invasive or pronounced.

We used to wonder if the strong paint smell was a cause for a disproportionate number of painters that suffered from alcoholism.  If that was actually the case, I would imagine that with the decrease in paint odor, there has also been a decrease in the number of painters afflicted with alcohol dependence.

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