Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Stark's Congo fireplace repair; Was blind but now I see; Fanfare for the Common Man

Ancient Fireplace Light restored

Mel and Marge Stark, long-time members of the First Congregational Church,
UCC, took it upon themselves to repair the old electric pretend fire unit
in the old fireplace in the Fellowship Hall of the church
where people congregate on Sunday mornings
and many other times.
It was just a part of their vast help in the annual church Christmas decorations.

This used to be a real fireplace back in the day of this 1838 church, but we of the raccoon do not remember
it as a working fireplace.   If it ever was even illumined at all  in our time, it was an unrealistic
glowing construction of unyulely small logs standing at the bottom of the hearth.  A steady red faint reminded
of what a real fire would sort of look like.

The raccoon has made a stir of the Chinese-made electric stove we purchased for the Odd Fellows where we currently live.
This stove has dancing flames and throws real heat.

But that all becomes parenthetic to this miraculous restoration of the Congo electric flame unit.
The Starks completely, cleverly, and improvisationally rebuilt the thing, including replacing the crumbling electric wiring.
The wattage afforded by their new low voltage bulbs is not productive of any heat at all, BUT we would swear that our eyes were completely fooled; they convinced our brain that we did feel heat emanating from the hearth. A wonderful illusion!

The Stark's expert AMERICAN (not Chinese) creativity
- they are nothing if not good and loyal citizens of this country -
(MY country!)
has produced a heart-warming fire for church attenders to greet us
as soon as we turn the corner at the hall entry doorway and join the massing throngs!

Mel delivered on the mechanicals in his imaginative, curative and reliable way,
and Marge came up with some extra esthetics as to the multiple flame coloring - ranging
from red to orange to yellow to even pink, using tissued paper of various hues over the  orange plastic real estate pennantry Mel salvaged from our garage when we left.

When we arrived at church last Sunday, Mel strode over to the fireplace,
hands rubbing gleefully together, and
smilingly advised that we should look at the thing they'd restored.
"You had a part in that!" he said.

Looking at the result in astonishment, I fumbled for any recollection
that I had played any part in was a miracle.  Seeing my perplexity,
Mel told me that the orange element of the multi-color effect
came from my old plastic for sale pennants. Waste not want not.

Thanks be to Mel and Marge Stark
for  again safely playing - this time - with fire!

The Church is getting ready to celebrate our 175th anniversary soon,
and this latest work of preservation fits right in.
Other's manifestations of keeping the faith will have a hard time topping this!

It's worth a visit to see !

See other SRN postings on Stark:


Next: Let us bless the animals:

(+vaccination and Vitamin A nowadays...)

Trooper my dog, at my side 1943

Trooper's collar, still here, at my foot at the Odd Fellows;  2012

Sally, sea-going, at my side in 1977.
An ex-wife got her a job on a farm.

Mona's memorial at the Odd Fellows Hall
Collar, red trousers 2012

KD Cat, our new black Christmas kitty
(after our year-long  mourning of dear Mona)
in her new red collar
set to make this yuletide merry
complete with her loyal heart and friendly green eyes.

When the tree goes up, soon, after Advent susides,
she my cause it to topple in fun.


A. Copland





But now,
for your holiday merriment
here's Muskego Band Director and saxophonist
Jamie Beckman's Christmas treat
off his Facebook page, buddies horned:



Perhaps the purpose
of leaves is to conceal
the verticality
of trees
which we notice
in December
as if for the first time:
row after row
of dark forms
yearning upwards.
And since we will be
horizontal ourselves
for so long,
let us now honor
the gods
of the vertical:
stalks of wheat
which to the ant
must seem as high
as these trees do to us,
silos and
telephone poles,
and skyscrapers.
But most of all
these winter oaks,
these soft-fleshed poplars,
this birch
whose bark is like
roughened skin
against which I lean
my chilled head,
not ready
to lie down.

"Vertical" by Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light. © Norton, 2010