Thursday, April 14, 2011
CAUSE YOU GOTTA HAVE FRIENDS........
My name is Paul Hecht and I'm an odd ball. (Audience says "HI PAUL"). I have loved travel trailers and motorhomes since as early as I can remember, and that love has been a lonely one for me. My parents hate them. My siblings mock me for loving them and ask, "why not buy a boat?" When I answer, "that's like saying why snow ski when you can surf?" I still have my green tonka van with pop up trailer I got from Santa at age 4, yep still have that Barbie Camper (I ONLY wanted because it was a camper!!) he brought me at age 7. When approaching a design job of any kind, personal or other, I always ask, "what do you want it to say?" I despise most of the designs I see in magazines because I think to myself, "would I be comfortable taking my shoes off there? What if I spilled something?" Just like my Christmas tree tells a story of where I've been (ornaments that were given to me by anyone, any time are always on my tree), my home does the same. I don't believe in the living room no one enters. I want it to tell the story of who lives in it. If you walk into my home you should say, "that's totally Paul." I have resisted buying a trailer for many years for the fear of being mocked by my friends. Camp? Are you KIDDING? They shop, brunch and go to the beach. Camp? NO WAY. Joe, my other half, camp? Heck-to-the-NO! After a pretty rough year of nonsense, I decided to treat myself to something nice. So, I bought Scotty. Some of the most fond memories I have from childhood were my summers spent in Michigan with my Grandparents. While they lived most of the time in Grand Rapids, they owned 80 acres near Luther, Michigan in the middle of nowhere. The fourth of July was always HUGE at my Grandparents cabin where friends, relatives and anyone who needed somewhere to go would join, with trailers in tow, for a grand old time. I played with my cousins, cooked with my Grandmother, and learned how to fix trailers with my Grandpa Louie. THAT is where I learned the true value of family and I will never, ever forget it. So, at 37 I set out on an adventure to grab a little of that past before it becomes too dim of a light to reignite. After finding a desperate rescue trailer on Craigs List "vintage trailer in need of TLC, no pic" I secretly headed to rural Pennsylvania (telling Joe I was visiting a client because I knew he would talk me out of it). On the 200 mile drive I thought about my Grandfather and how, after his passing in December, he would LOVE to hear all about this trailer. One day, in the 1980's, he surprised my Grandmother by purchasing an old Titan motorhome to drive across country. I think she was so surprised, he slept in the Titan that night! As the new proud owner of a Scotty in need of TLC, I returned home where I was met by the rolling eyes of my partner. So, that night I went online and searched for others like me. In a few clicks of my mouse, I met a whole new group of friends like me. Because of them (the Serro Scotty Camper Enthusiasts) I calmed down after hearing words of encouragement about restoring this trailer. When Joe said, "good God what have you gotten yourself into with this mess," they said, "good luck, go for it, bring it to a rally no matter what she looks like!" Words of encouragement, friendship, from people I've never met. Oh the wonders of the internet and, more importantly a hobby and passion that unites!
WHAT I DID: Bless my heart, because I thought I could clean up the kitchenette area with Windex. Well, I couldn't. So, I slowly took it apart (the cabinets were rotted beyond repair, falling off the wall) and, thanks to the advice of members, KEPT the pieces to use as a template if I so choose). Overwhelmed, I walked away from it after removing everything, came up with a plan and added a little support so my ceiling wouldn't cave in.) Using wood from our garage, I started adding extra supports to the back wall as I plan on hanging open shelving to make it feel more airy.
COST OF THIS PROJECT: nada: used old wood from past projects.
HOW LONG IT TOOK ME: two hours