Leaving the houses my father built - Architecture Blogs

Leaving the houses my father built



After his brain injury, my dad could still build a house?so he began a lifelong pattern of selling a house, building another, and doing it all again My earliest sense memories are of construction: the smell of freshly sawed wood, the sound of hammering. I remember being in an airy, half-built room, picking up bent nails and putting them in a bucket. A photograph shows me, a toddler in pigtails, by the cement foundation of our house. My dad is beside me, in a white T-shirt and jeans. He looks young and healthy?there?s no outward sign that he?s disabled. It wasn?t the first house he would build for his family, nor the last. My childhood is shaped by a pattern of my father building us a home, selling it, and building another.
The first, before I was born, was on Joy Road, an hour?s drive north of San Francisco. The story goes that my dad harvested the trees growing on the land and split them into fence posts to earn money for the down payment on the property. I?ve recently learned that isn?t what happened because my dad, who has brain damage, mixed up the chronology. The house was 1,600 square feet on three acres, with Mexican tiles, a sunken shower, and redwood trim throughout. My parents sped along country roads in an orange Karmann Ghia convertible. The beach was a 20-minute drive away. Then, in 1970, my dad had the accident. He was roofing a barn on a construction job. Someone handed materials to him and he stepped back onto empty air. He fell on his head.
The resu...
Source: curbed
URL: http://www.curbed.com/

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