Joe Bori and painting

Grandpa Bori mowing our Parma lawn, with the rear of the garage, the one he painted brown, within view.

Recent painting in our house, very unlike what Grandpa Bori did.

Joe Bori was an interesting guy with quite the unusual take on things.

One of my favorite stories was when he decided to paint my mom’s garage. He was always helping out, but his idea of helping out sometimes left something to be desired. He was notorious at getting into mischief.

He went into my mom’s basement and found all kinds of paint and of all colors. He didn’t have enough of a particular kind there and I guess that got his creative juices flowing. I recall that the turquoise paint used to paint the trim on the strange cape cod bungalow that we lived in was among the colors.

As an aside, the home my mom moved us into was as old as I was (and am, obviously) and was built right after WWII when housing was needed. The rumor was that the wood was green and I truly believe it since the house would never hold paint. We stripped the area where the paint was not adhering and did all the right things with primer and sanding. In the spring, no matter what, the house would faithfully go into a major blistering. When you would prick the blister with a pin, the water would ooze out. It was awful. The only recourse was vinyl, or in our case, aluminum siding.

The garage was one of those suburban Cleveland monstrosities that was built for one car. The front, where the garage door was located, was always higher in the roof area than the rear of the garage. The roof was not done with shingles but with tar paper, making it hard to keep from leaking. The roof slanted from front to back. Our garage was white with trim around the window and sometimes on the garage door.

Grandpa Bori was frugal and pretty much able to fix all kinds of things. The only problem with his repair of things was that he would not always do them in a regular way, sometimes, the itme fixed no longer worked the way it was intended to work. We called his method, the ‘shoemaker’ system. I do believe that he might have been trained in Europe, to repair shoes, in any case.

The paint choices apparently overwhelmed him and so he mixed the many colors of paint my mother had in order to paint the back of the garage by the vegetable garden. It ended up brown. I will never forget our shock when we saw it, because clearly Grandpa Bori did this when nobody else was home to see him.

Needless to say, we painted over it in white.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
This entry was posted in Life in general, Painting, Thoughts and philosophy. Bookmark the permalink.

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