There are some decidedly unhealthy side effects to this whole pandemic thing! My wife, with all the down time, has taken to watching the HGTV Channel.

Talk about idle hands!

These “made for streaming carpenters” did a show where they redid a bathroom in Greenwood, Mississippi. Cathy, naturally, is now calling for us to upgrade…..or I believe the operative word is “makeover.”

She wants a raised, walk-in shower in one corner and a sunken tub in the other. She is insisting on a cathedral water closet with the old fashioned pull rope. And she wants to remove the chipped (but still working) sink and replace it with a late 19th century claw footed bathroom vanity with a marble top.

Of course, the cane field wallpaper will have to go. And she is thinking about ripping up the tile and replacing it with mahogany boards varnished in an early colonial light cherry hue.

In the very next show the HG crew “made over” a den in Cumming, Georgia. You won’t believe this, Cathy thinks while the house is in such a mess from all the bathroom work, we might as well “redo” the den.

People, I’ve got a life size autographed picture of Enos Slaughter sliding across home plate with the winning run in the 1946 World Series hanging on our den wall! I ain’t replacing that with some picture of birds flying off towards the sunset! Not now, not ever!

Above the computer desk I have a genuine 1870’s Ithaca Calendar Clock. I had to go all the way to Hannibal, Missouri, to find one in that good of condition. I don’t have to guess at the time. I don’t get confused on what month it is. Or what day of the week. Or the date. And if the electricity goes off, that clock doesn’t miss a beat.

It can not be replaced!

I’ve got a signed Phil Ponder painting of the Ryman Auditorium on the wall above the cabinets. It reminds me of the summer I worked at the Grand Ole Opry. It would dishonor Roy Acuff if we took that down! It’s where I met Marty Robbins. How could I ever listen to another Loretta Lynn record without feeling guilty….

There is a 1932 Philco “floor model” radio underneath the Enos Slaughter picture. We don’t play it much anymore. But the mere sight of it takes me back to the end of Stonewall Street…..where my family would gather around and listen to “The Life of Riley”, “Fibber McGee and Molly”, “Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch” and the aforementioned “Opry.”

The radio stays.

And I don’t care if the HGTV people themselves come down here and suggest differently!

Cathy didn’t get halfway through the feature on “creative uses for foyers, hallways and under the stairs space” till she was in our mudroom with a measuring tape.

I quickly reminded her that we had already “made over” that “space” in 1987. I built a ballpark green locker room in it! We keep the boys’ football and baseball uniforms hanging in there. We’ve got old gloves from my college days lying about. And wooden bats galore. We’ve even got lockers with Stan Musial and Ernie Banks’ name on them in case they ever drop by.

It would be sacrilegious to touch that hallowed hall!

The “kitchen” show came to us from Humboldt, Tennessee. The whole room was painted puke green. And all but one of the cabinet doors were off. The stove looked like one my great grandmother learned to cook on. The water faucet had a pump handle. And the two legged table, out of necessity, was nailed to the wall.

I sat down to watch. “Now Cathy, if our kitchen looked like THAT there might be a cause to invite these fellers over.”

She mumbled something under her breath about the duct tape that was holding the bottom of our thirty-four year old refrigerator together……

The HGTV gang replaced a weed patch and the back steps on a house in Olive Hill, Kentucky, with an oval shaped patio made with various sizes of brick pavers surrounded by a hanging garden. Cathy was enthralled with the begonias and honeysuckle vines.

Bless her heart. She IS better than I deserve. We agreed to build the patio of her dreams……just as soon as our coronavirus stimulus check arrives from the government.



PS: Every week or so someone will remark to me in the most incredulous voice, “You have a baseball locker room in your house?”

My response is always just as incredulous, “You don’t!”