Sunday, September 16, 2007

Green With Envy

I should have posted this awhile back but I have been just too busy. Last weekend, we were just getting out of the house and everyone was feeling that relief. There was a lighthearted aire in the mini-van as we drove north in search of a recreation. As we approached the exit that leads to some of my favorite antique malls, I felt the mixture of excitement and nervousness as I tried to decide whether I wanted to ask my wife if she'd care to stop or not... Sometimes she growls, other times she just smiles and says, "that's fine..." She knows what I have up my sleeve.

Same ole routine. Griff goes in with me. Teaching him right. He wants to climb on all the little metal tractors, and I am continually saying come on son, don't touch that son, and get off that son... All in fun.

I usually start off this process with little optimism. I doubt there will be many fans, and even if they are, they'll be too high priced. The first mall proved my suspicions correct. Nothing, nodda, zilch... Still I am looking forward to the one up the road.

I like the smell of this one for some reason. This day there was great old piano music playing. It really set the mood for anitques. I just assumed it was a cd playing over some speakers. Then as I walked down the first aisle I noticed it was getting louder. After about 6 or 7 fanless booths I noticed the music was coming from a player piano. I watched in awe since I had never seen one in action. Then it occurred to me that Griffin must have truly been amazed so I looked in his direction. I couldn't help but laugh. He had the most horrified look on his little face. He said, "Daddy, who is playing that piano?" I looked at him with love and care in my heart and said, "It is a ghost..." He grabbed my leg and we went on shopping.

There are only two aisles in this store, and I was starting to think there would be nothing. Then just as we were about out of booths, there sat this little cutie. A G.E. Cat No. 27X840. I think the label says 1931. There was no cord and the price was a little too high. I was about to walk away. I had a feeling that this was one of those instances where some antique dealer or someone tried to fix it and ended up screwing up something internally and decided to removed the cord so no one could test it. Then they'd be forced to by it as is... It happens.

As I was about to head out the door, I decided to ask. The lady seemed nice enough. I said, "Do you know if the dealer of this booth will take $x for that fan back there since it doesn't have a cord?" She said, "We don't normally call for items this cheap." I guess she liked me cause she did it anyway. She wasn't on the phone long and I just thought for sure that it was going to be a no, judging by the sound of the conversation. Then she looked at me and said, "Okay, he said he'd do $x."

We went on to the next town and did our shopping before returning home that Sunday afternoon. I ran downstairs as always and got out my tools. I tore into the fan. Happily, I found two lead wires intact. I cut a piece of cord and some heat shrink. Remade some connections. Realigned the motor housing pieces. I put the blade on without the cage just in case I had to do more. I grabbed a Bakelite plug from my stash threw it on the end of the cord. I plugged it in and it came to life. Oh what a feeling! It is my drug.

Later, after church I came back to put the cage on. When the cage first came off it was on there real tight. It was just about as hard to get back on. The screws that hold the cage on go through to the motor. Keep that in mind. After putting the cage back on, I wanted to run it again. This time it didn't want to start. Censor!!!!! "Okay Larry, what is going on," I thought. It worked fine before the cage. Hypothesis: the cage is putting tension on the screws and then the motor is out of whack. So I remove the cage. Still no go. So I repeated the steps that brought me to success in the first place, without replacing the cord again of course. Thenreassembled. It worked fine again. This time I decided to adjust the cage so the holes lined up without being forced. Then I took a sec to align the blades by hand. Attached the cage and magic happened. Another happy ending.

Dreams really do come true.

LH