Story #23

August 18th, 2007 by Editor B

The 23rd story about out renovation appears in today’s Times-Picayune.

MID-CITY REBUILD STUCK IN SUMMER DOLDRUMS
Saturday, August 18, 2007
By Stephanie Bruno
Contributing writer

NOTE: For Bart Everson and Christy Paxson, progress on their house lags while they await the return of their carpenter. On the bright side, they have made headway identifying a tile setter — if not the tile — for their walk-in shower.

Bart Everson sat in the Bayou Coffee House on Jefferson Davis Parkway, holding a panini and talking about his renovation. He had just ridden his bicycle — his primary means of commuting — to the café from his office at Xavier University. Between bites, he confessed that little has happened at his Mid-City house in the past few weeks.

“Mike Kaplan’s crew came out about a month ago and installed the whole-house fan,” he said of his contractor. The fan is an amenity that Everson and his wife, Christy Paxson, like to use in the temperate months to cool their home, in lieu of air conditioning.

“It isn’t hooked up to electricity yet — that still needs to happen. And we wouldn’t be using it anyway, given the weather.” [Note: We wouldn’t use the fan for cooling the choose, but we would use it to keep the air moving around downstairs while painting and staining. — Ed. B] For several consecutive days, temperatures in the city had reached or broken the 100-degree mark and failed to drop below 80 degrees, requiring round-the-clock air conditioning.

Everson said he wants to see progress on the renovation of his basement living area and explained his predicament.

“Mike has had a lot to contend with, so I don’t fault him. He and his business partner both have had to travel a lot due to family illnesses out of town. And now Mike tells me he has had some health issues of his own that have set him back. All the same, he plans to be at the house this week, he told me, to try to wrap up the electrical work.”

Though Everson and Paxson can’t do anything about the wiring, they realized recently that it was time to resume their efforts to get their downstairs shower ready for the plumber to trim out.

“We have to get the shower tiled, and that was something my tile-setter friend from Montana was going to come to town to do for us late last year,” Everson said. The friend, Joe Nickell, is also co-host of Everson’s satellite television show.

By the time the shower was framed and lined and ready for Nickell, his first baby was on the way, so the project never got started.

Although Everson had done some shopping, he admits his wants were somewhat unconventional. “See, I was looking for some bright orange and bright blue tiles,” he said. “And I didn’t want them to be solid colors, I wanted them mottled. I also wanted them to be rather large so they wouldn’t take a lot of time to set, and ideally they would be porcelain.

“Of course, they would have to be suitable for a wet environment. Oh, and they needed to be reasonably priced. When I told Joe I couldn’t find what I was looking for, he told me that it was because what I wanted didn’t exist.”

Now wiser, Everson was ready to undertake the search again this week. The plan, he said, is to get the tile selected so that work on the shower can begin as soon as his alternative tile setter returns this weekend.

“I already have someone lined up,” he said. After asking for tile-setter references on a Mid-City e-mail forum, he got three references.

“I knew two out of the three, and so those are the two I called first. Both of them came out, but only one of them actually followed through with a price.”

Everson said he gave up trying to get a price from the second candidate after running into her socially on several occasions. “I flat out asked her, ‘Can you beat the price that the other guy gave me?’ and told her the price. When she said no, the decision was made.”

Everson then began calling the winning bidder to arrange a time to ink the deal. But several phone calls went unreturned, and Everson started to worry.

“I thought, ‘Here we go again.’ So I e-mailed his wife, and it turned out they were on a long trip to Honduras, their native country,” Everson said. “That means it’s time to pick out the tile and be ready when he comes back.”

Everson has accepted the fact that the blue-orange-mottled-porcelain-inexpensive tile he had his heart set on is not a possibility. But something else has caught his fancy.

“I just found out about this new type of grout that is really mildew- and mold-resistant,” he said. “And what intrigues me most is that it comes in a glow-in-the-dark form. I wonder how that would look in our shower?”

. . . . . . .

Stephanie Bruno can be reached at [email protected]

3 Responses to “Story #23”

  1. Andrea Says:

    Hey B,
    I can make your tile. Call me and we will see if it would work out. I might not be able to finish it in your time frame, though.

  2. Editor B Says:

    That’s awesome, Andrea. Wish we’d thought of it earlier. But we hope to get started on this next week or the week after. Also, I think the costs of shipping might be prohibitive.

  3. Lyn LeJeune Says:

    The Beatitudes Network – Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans is supported by the sale of the book The Beatitudes, by Lyn LeJeune, who is donating ALL royalties from the sale of her book directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. The book, The Beatitudes, is available at Amazon.com.

    The Beatitudes Network, http://www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com, was featured in The New York Times on 8/14/07 on the Freakonomics blog.

    “Every culture in the world is just one good shove away from the precipice of barbarism.” Dan Fesperman, author of The Prisoner of Guantanamo and The Amateur Spy. One reason why public libraries must survive.

    Dear :
    The year after Hurricane Betsy, I enrolled in college at USLNO. I had to take a two-hour bus trip on the New Orleans transit line from St. Bernard Parish out to Lake Pontchartrain. I hated trigonometry, and anyway, I didn’t think it would help me escape my life near the Mississippi levee or the constant smell spewing from the sugar plant. So I usually ended up at the downtown public library, then later headed to Jackson Square for a couple of Jax brews. That public library was my sanctuary. After Katrina, I decided to write THE book, start The Beatitudes Network, and donate all royalties from sale of The Beatitudes to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation to help rebuild the libraries. I give you and NOLA The Beatitudes…

    Out of New Orleans before the catastrophe that was made by a hurricane and, as Dante wrote, “of false gods who lied,” comes The Beatitudes, part one in the New Orleans Trilogy. The Beatitudes portrays New Orleans as Dante’s purgatory, a place where the sins of men are exposed for all to see, where redemption is close at hand but most often lost.

    This world is revealed by the lives of two social workers, Hannah Dubois (white and nicknamed Scrimp) and Earlene Washington (African-American and nicknamed Pinch), who start their own business, Social Investigations, in order to solve the murders of ten foster children in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NOPD, the Catholic Church, and politicians have sidestepped clues that point to those who hold great power. As Hannah and Earlene find more and more evidence, they also know that they are dealing with a force that crosses into the realm of the paranormal. The murderers are part of a secret organization called the White Army (la Armee Blanc), centered in New Orleans, but rooted in Medieval Europe and the Children’s Crusades. Each clue leads to a beatitude and each chapter defines the novel: The Pure of Heart, The Persecuted, The Merciful, The Sorrowful, The Peacemakers, The Meek, The Poor in Spirit, and Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Justice. The Beatitudes is thus a study of good and evil, and that act, the murder of innocent children, which encompasses all of the seven deadly sins. The Beatitudes is Book I in The New Orleans Trilogy.

    All royalties from sale of the book go directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. Also, if you go to http://www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com you will see that many prominent authors such as Julie Smith, Alafair Burke, Ken Bruen, and many others support The Beatitudes Network. The site also has news about New Orleans, writing, Cajun recipes, and excerpts from The Beatitudes.

    My “campaign” starts August, 2007 and will continue into 2008, including book fairs, speaking engagements, bookstores, web connects, and much more. So join me in this worthy cause to help save a great American city – New Orleans, The Heavenly City, The Crescent City, The City That Care Forgot, The City of Sin, The City of the Dead……
    MERCI MILLE FOIS – THANKS A MILLION – and pass the word along about this worthy project and how everyone can help. Lyn LeJeune.

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