Thursday, February 3, 2011

Jason the Mason’s Tour of Homes

Yesterday Builder Gary and I went on an evening tour of homes to check out the work of Jason the Mason. First stop was beautiful Arcade, Georgia. Google Maps couldn’t find the street we needed, but frankly, I was surprised it came up with Arcade, Georgia. I had certainly never heard of it.

Jason offered to come meet us and lead us to the house he was working on. Gary was coming in from another location, so I had to find a good place to pull off and wait. For a town with no stop light, Arcade has a remarkable number of liquor stores and honky tonks. I finally settled on the Amerigas tank farm as a safe place to wait for the caravan.


The house was really neat but had a tragic story. Apparently the original owner was involved in helping battered women and was building this big house with several kitchens as a place of refuge. She got the house as far as being dried in and then got a brain tumor and died. After several years, a neighbor got tired of looking at the house wrap blowing in the wind and decided to buy it and finish it.


That’s where Jason the Mason came in. He started by helping the new owner pick a brick that matched the stone already on site for the house. I think he did a good job, don’t you? I don’t normally like brick and stone together, but I think this looks nice.


I thought the stone placement looked really natural and flowed without looking too contrived.


The brick reminded me of the brick on the house I grew up in. I really like it now, but when I was a kid, I wished we had “normal” red brick. I thought the occasional purple brick was just too strange.


I’m afraid I embarrassed myself trying to remember the name of the little ledge of brick here. All I could think of was that it was a great place to set down your beer. But beer shelf is not the correct architectural term. I guess architects are teetotalers. They call it a water table.


This scene of desolation made my heart sink. Jason had explained to me that mortar won’t stick to concrete. You have to use a sealer or it will start coming off after a few years. That is what happened here. I had a crazy idea that I would just take it upon myself to mortar wash our retaining walls. After seeing this, I resolved to leave such matters to the experts.


It made me think of an irate neighbor cursing you with “a pox upon your walls.” I think the poor original owner had enough troubles without a pox upon her walls. So sad.

But then we got in our trucks and wound through the back roads of east Georgia down to Madison to check out a fire place. If Jason was going to build my fireplaces, I wanted to be sure he could build one that drew, didn’t smoke and put out some heat.


This one was a real beauty. Jason had experimented a bit on this one. He wanted to build a Rumford that could hold more wood, so that you didn’t have to constantly feed the fire. Rumfords are shallow and tall to put out maximum heat. So, he tweaked the design a bit and made it a little deeper.


It was such a cozy scene. The folks whose house it was said they build a fire in it every night. They were super nice.


They didn’t even mind when I got down and shot my flash up their chimney to see the curve of the back going up to the smoke chamber.

I’ll bet they were glad to see me leave, though.

On the way home, Gary called Jason and told him he had the job. I want a fireplace just like that one – minus the stone.

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