Built 80 years ago, by a no-frills engineer, our sturdy house is the anchor of our happy home. I am grateful for our house every day—not just on Thanksgiving.
But until I recently enrolled in Building Construction Technology class and began to explore the physics and physicality of homebuilding, I never knew how grateful I was to the people who actually built our house.
If not for someone’s keen mathematical mind, able to space 2 x 4 studs every 16 inches on center along walls of windows and doors, our sheetrock would dangle like wind-torn flyers on a telephone pole.
If not for someone’s careful calculation of cantilevered joists, our breakfast nook would crash into our driveway.
If not for someone’s knowledge of the engineered lumber required to span a garage opening, our minivan would be sheared in half.
And if not for someone’s surefooted courage on our second-story roofline, we’d all be sleeping in the rain—assuming it ever rains again in Nashville.
So, to Pat, Brian, Chuck, Nick, and all the guys who expanded our house to fit our family, I know I thanked you ten years ago, but I don’t think I really knew what I was thanking you for—until now. Thanks again.
If I could speak to Mr. Hickman—that sensible engineer who called this house his home for its first half-century—I would thank him for building it to last.
Finally, to the craftsmen that I never really spoke to because we couldn’t find a common language, I wish I could tell you how much I admire your skill. I’m thinking of the Central European father and son who tiled the floor and the Central American masons who laid the stone foundation. A decade later, your fine work still anchors a sturdy house for my family. I hope Nashville still provides a welcoming home for yours.