Digging Through the Living/Dining Room Hoard

In late October, John started the living room & dining room dig. It took a total of two months to get through the entire hoard because Bill went through everything and none of it was thrown out. John packed up every bit of it into boxes and moved countless loads to Bill’s storage units.

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This wall hoard to the left completely blocked the living room, fireplace, bow window and east side window as well as the dining area. When entering the front door, normally you would hang a right and be standing in the living room. Take a few steps toward the back , and then you would be in the dining area  (one open room). Every inch of space was taken by the floor to ceiling hoard. There was only the tiny space where Bill could sit at his table (command station) to build computers and work on electronics (troubleshooting, etc).

Phone photos 257So how do you attack this immense hoard?  John explained the following to me. “I broke through the wall (first photo) and boxed up a tremendous amount of books and electronics.” “I categorized all of the electronic equipment such as audio and video and packed them in boxes to take to the first storage unit.”  “After that, I broke further into the hoard where there were a multitude of plastic storage-like containers with thousands of 8-track tapes, mini audio tapes, VHS tapes, all from yesteryear. ” “They were all placed in plastic racks that kept falling on me.” “As I clawed deeper into the living area, the tapes Bill wanted, were thrown into clean Brut garbage containers in order to save space when stored at the storage unit.” (Bill said he would go through them at the storage unit at a later date.) “I categorized and organized everything else, packed it in boxes and containers for transport to the storage facility.” “Bill would be there each day, sitting in his chair, and he and I would talk about the history of all the electronics as I packed.”

John continued: “The white plywood hanging from the ceiling was 16″x 5ft x 5/8″thick  and was bolted into the ceiling joist by eight 10″ lag bolts.” “Bill had about a dozen of these makeshift ceiling shelves throughout the house that he used as book shelves to store additional books and big computer manuals.” “Whatever space was available, Bill used it.” “Not one of these homemade book cases ever fell until I removed them.” “All of the open space that you see in this photo was full of the hoard.”

Sue says: Over 50% of the hoard was already removed by the time I took this photo. I literally stood in the spot where the wall hoard was in the first photo. Countless loads went into the pick-up truck and taken to the storage units.

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I took this photo from the dining area (where Bill had his desk & chair) looking into the living room. All of the records were in alphabetical order (Bill had thousands of them).

Phone photos 259John said, “As I clawed myself through all the tapes, computer manuals, and electronics, I saw the bow window. I continued clawing through to the east side of the house and broke through to find a fireplace mantel that had been overloaded by the heavy weight.” “It was snapped off and hanging by its finished nails. I still have the mantel in the attic.”  “The front living room window which had been completely blocked was now visible. (The fireplace is behind John.)

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In addition to the records in the wall bookshelf, there were stacks of older LPs. John said, “Bill had to go through all of them to make sure there weren’t any valuable 33s or 78s.” “He did come across some from the 1920s used on Victrolas.”

Phone photos 266This was taken from the kitchen looking into the dining area. The wrought-iron door is to the left, Bill’s chair is to the right. Again 50% of the electronics were already removed by the time I took this photo.

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Photo folio 130By December, the hoard was seriously diminishing.

Photo folio 124Bill’s desk to the right of the record collection is almost completely dismantled from what it had been. The shelves above his desk have been taken down that went up to the ceiling. Most of the contents have been packed and moved to storage.

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The fireplace is finally uncovered with the broken-off mantelpiece.

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Looking toward the front living room window. The fireplace is on the left behind the white plywood.

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The fireplace is now covered by the 24″ x 8ft long plywood painted white which were the shelves above Bill’s table that held his electronic wizardry. To the far left is the back door (knob) with the wrought-iron exterior door. The window on the east side of the house is now exposed too. By now 75% of everything has been removed. Note: More records are stacked behind the desk in the rear corner.

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To the right of the records is Bill’s desk before it was dismantled. This is where we first met Bill last summer, when there was only enough room for his one chair. John and I stood elbow to elbow while huddled over Bill discussing the purchase of house.

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Bill’s desk after the four shelves are taken down that were above his table. Most of everything is packed up and at the storage unit.

Phone photos 735The last phase: The remaining stuff is ready to be taken out, the records in the corner are gone and Bill’s table will be the last thing to go.

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Bill’s desk (command station) is completely dismantled and everything is at the storage unit. His table is the last remaining thing in the entire room. The moth-eaten wool green avocado rug is the next thing to be ripped up and placed in the dumpster.

Next up: The attic….






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