The New Smokestack

There is a water heater in the bathroom that’s rusted out. I think it is still currently working, but I’m not really sure. Actually now that I think about it, I don’t really know how we have hot water on demand. But the host dad had been telling me that they needed a smoke stack, because in the winter the smoke sometimes blows back in the upstairs windows and the bathroom.

So this past Saturday, we finally got around to putting it up. And when I say ‘it’, I mean a 20+ foot iron pipe. I was headed upstairs to read and catch my first nap of the day, when I looked out back and grandpa was making final preparations. Grandpa beckoned me to assist, although host dad said I didn’t need to. But I wasn’t going to miss this. I scampered upstairs to put on some shoes. Came down prepared for the next Georgian experience, and they did not disappoint.

First question you might ask as I did, “How are they going to get a 20+ foot iron pipe from the ground upright?” Good question. I looked around and saw a rope and a fairly thick metal wire attached to the pipe. We all (well, they) milled about a little discussing final procedure. Old men started arriving and I started to get more skeptical than I already was. I don’t know why I thought they were going to procure a piece of heavy machinery to assist…. because they didn’t. When a few younger men arrived, it was time to start the show.

*Let me apologize now for no pictures documenting the next events which I am about to tell you.*

My host dad scaled the rickety-assed home water tower, at least thirty feet up. Attached to the water tower was already an industrial sized pulley system. I can’t imagine how they got it up there. The idea was to attach the metal wire to the pulley and pull the a0+ foot pipe up. But it was not working properly. Another old, old man shimmied up the water tower to assist, but to no avail. As he was coming back down (I was in too much shock when he was going up) I just knew we were going to have at least one old man from a ladder today.

When the host dad was down, he took a smoke break, and everyone reconsidered.

Okay Plan B. Follow me with this. We decided to have five guys lift it and rotate in to continue getting height on the pipe. Once it was decently high enough, someone else would prop it up with a wooden ladder. Then we would push the pipe further up with the ladder, enough to prop it up again with yet another ladder. Then we would take the rope attached to the pipe and pull at it through an upstairs window. Then we would continue to shimmy the ladders further and further upright until the pip was at a 90 degree angle.

It worked.

It was a little crooked, so grandpa took a crowbar and levered it around. There were other daredevil feats of manliness but after all was said and done, by God, they did it! And no old men were injured or hurt in the process.


2 responses to “The New Smokestack

    • Haha. I know! But I didn’t want to stop lifting the pipe and tell the guys to, “Smile for the camera!” or “Pretend like you are doing something!” It actually reminded me of the days when you installed that wood heater in your house. They have stacks and stacks of cut wood prepared already. If you look in the background of one of the pictures in the next post, I think you can see the wood heater/ stove/ oven.

Holla atcha boy!

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