Harry’s Barn Fight

site of former barn

So we came back from being away for 3 weeks, and our friend Harry had done it! He had taken down the huge hulk of falling down barn that graced our yard and loomed over our driveway.

Now, when I go out the door, I do a double take, pausing for a second to recognize the absence of the lurching, sinking, relic. I pause for a second to readjust my vision as it roams large across the barn foundation and on out to the new little red barn and the apple orchard….. no longer trapped close up by the decaying side of the barn.

How did Harry do this? In his younger days, he was a bull fighter. So it sounds like he literally climbed onto this barn and used a chainsaw, crow bars, a small fork lift, and brute force to reduce the thing to submission. He described using the forklift to fork his assistant up out of the hole in the floor when he fell in. He described using the forklift to gently sort of shake the roof loose from it’s supports and then the amazing earthquake-like KABOOM with a fallout of dust when the roof released and fell to the ground. he said he used the chainsaw to cut the huge heavy roof into four pieces and it was when the last piece fell that Harry went with it. He showed us the hole in his arm from a nail. And he said he’d went through 3 pairs of jeans sliding down the barn and wearing holes out in the pants. I wish I had taken a video of Harry telling about it. He stood strong and tanned by the sun, an older man, about seventy I think. He always wears a hat, and he would pause in his story-telling to remove his hat and wipe a kerchief across his graying head of hair. He tells a really good story. At one point he turned his face to the sky, shut his eyes, and extended his arms outwards. I can’t remember which part of the tale he was telling, but I’ll never forget how he stood there in the hot late afternoon sun for a second, making sure he conveyed the drama of what he had experienced with that old barn.

He is theoretically selling the salvageable wood on. He says that all I owe him is a bottle of wine. I’m trying to figure out what sort of bottle of wine could possibly repay Harry for this herculean effort. Maybe wine that comes with a delicious dinner? Maybe a few cases of wine? Maybe wine when he least expects it?

I admire Harry for being able to do that huge job, and to have done it so cheerfully. To him, it was another adventure. To us, it was an overwhelming problem that we could not address.


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