Part 18: Jones' Graffiti Bathroom


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The Trip

We arrived at the home of Kathleen's mom and discovered that there were some "things" than needed to be done.  So, given that mom, Marguerite, was not able to do these "things" we put the actions on our list of things-to-do and got to work.  First were some plumbing issues.  Next was a full redo on the main bathroom.  The bathroom needed some serious help and generally speaking we were able to address most of the issues.  I am not a tile setter, so that action will have to wait for another day.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Before we got started on the task, I took a photo of one of the walls that was used to document the growth of the kids.  This wall was left intact for posterity's sake.

The gold wallpaper was solid seventies.  And, it was mostly held on by push pins as the glue had degraded over the years.  Our plan was to torch the wallpaper, redo drywall, repaint, replace fixtures and do any repairs that needed to be done.  Sadly, the black and pink tile were constraints.  Since I am not a tile setter, they would stay and the balance of the project would "work around" the existing tile.  In fact, the color scheme was chosen to compliment the tile.

The existing fixtures and  wall hangings had to be removed.

The wallpaper was not fully attached in all locations and that made removal simple.  Note where the drywall is showing there are markings.  Removal of the wallpaper revealed a wealth of graffiti that had been applied over the years by pulling back the wallpaper and then replacing it.

Since the paper was attached with water-soluble glue which had degraded over the years due to moisture in the bathroom, removal was easy and quick.

Exposing the graffiti unleashed a wealth of comments from the clan members and I was instructed to insure that all the writing was documented.  Non-clan members will not care, but here are the photos.

The markings seemed to start around 1979.

I had to laugh since Kathleen (who used to call herself Kathy) had made many inscriptions relating to previous boyfriends.

This one was particularly amusing since the fellow turned out to be gay.  They are still in contact amazingly enough.

There was so much writing that new inscriptions were applied over old ones.

Most of the comments were inside jokes or context sensitive and therefore less meaningful now.

1982 seemed to be a good year.

No graffiti is complete without a bathroom limerick.

Kathleen is still in contact with Franca.

Deby is clearly an artist.

The wall was sufficiently important to summon local clan members.  From left: Jesse Jayne, Nancy, Bob, Marguerite, Jamilee, Kathleen and Dee.

The girls mug for a group photo.

Back at work, we discovered more issues.  This fan appears to be circa 1950.

Our actions required multiple trips to the basement for tools and I discovered this ham radio.

More ham gear.

More gear.  I am not sure, exactly, what this is.

Covering the graffiti on the walls took many coats of paint.  Every non-tile surface was painted with new colors and new fixtures were added.  Holes in the drywall were patched and new fixtures were added to the sink area over holes in the tile.  We chose a 3 color palette that included a trim color, a main color and an accent color.  The accent color, the darker reddish, was used for the carve-out in the wall and the door.

The old light fixture was replaced with one from this century.  Towel rings and bars were added.

The colors actually play pretty well together.  Note the pink floor tile; yet another constraint.

A shot of the exterior of the house.

The bathroom remodel went as well as could have been expected.  It cost more, took longer and was more difficult than expected.  But, most home improvement projects fit that profile (at least in my personal experience).  The only bad news was that the tile needed help and we were unable to address that issue.  Water had softened the attachment of some of the tiles.

The other challenge we had was that the Home Depot was quite a distance from the house making ad hoc trips to the store out of the question.  In the end we got the job done.

Having completed a week at the house, we were anxious to hit the road again.  Next destination: Niagara Falls, several days away.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2012, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.