So on the Fourth of July we decided to attack our basement for 8 hours straight. What better way to celebrate America’s independence than by wearing safety goggles, a mask and brandishing a hammer to smash through moldy old ceiling tiles.
We did make an interesting discovery, though. First we found a loan document from 1966. It was for $1,980. It was interesting, wrinkly yellow old paper and I put it on the dryer thinking maybe I’ll save it cuz it’s kinda old and cool.
Then as we continued busting out more ceiling tiles in the semi-creepy green painted room, Derek declares that he has found the “mother lode.” Oodles of papers fell from the ceiling. They rained down nasty dust and probably asbestos. Yummy. There were probably 30-40 little notes and letters in there and probably another 30 checks that had been cashed and returned from the bank in 1977. Checks made out to Cash, to Allis Chalmers Credit Union, Wisconsin Electric, boring stuff like that. Then I decided to crack open a few of the letters and read a little bit.
Most of the letters were addressed “Dear Moocher” or “Dear Boozer”. Um…ok. They all had a common theme: “You are a filthy slob,” “You are a drunken bastard,” “You’re the biggest drunk in West Allis” (um…seriously, there’s no way. This town has more drunks per capita than any other city in our beer-lovin state) “Stop eating all our food and get out of our house, mooch” “Sampson at the zoo is cleaner than you are.” Ok, I think you get the point. After reading maybe two of these kinds of letters, Derek and I chuckled a little bit saying it was probably written by one of the kids to their brother or something. But then I found more letters. Two mailed letters written “Hi Dad!” and another letter saying, “Stop sneaking upstairs the minute I leave for work and eating all the food the kids and I buy.” And then “You can pay for Carrie’s dentist bill since you don’t pay for any of the kid’s bills and sent them all to a drunken butcher who ruined their teeth.”
Yowza. On second glance they were written in very “mom” type penmanship.
So apparently the dear old dad in this family that we bought the house from was a drunken moocher who was banished to the basement in the late 70s and early 80s. Let me tell you about this basement. There’s no bathroom in it and it’s all cement floors and walls. There are two tiny rooms and the room we found this in has a door that LOCKS FROM THE OUTSIDE, PEOPLE! It appears that maybe dear old dad was being locked in this painted green dungeon room. CREEEEEPY.
Oh and we also found an empty brandy bottle and an EMPTY BOX OF CONDOMS. I am shuddering at the thought of all this stuff. It’s too much. What the hell went on in this house before we bought it???
The two letters that had been mailed to “Dad” were from a daughter who moved to Albuquerque for work and she was really begging her dad to come live with her and her husband. So he couldn’t have been that bad, right? Judging from all the hateful things the mom was writing in these notes and her angry, crazy handwriting, I can sort of see why Dad wanted to drink.
I’m contemplating doing a little Internet searching to see what else I can find out, but I really don’t want to know. I had heard the man had died and we bought the house from the woman who was then moving into a nursing home. She didn’t come to the closing and neither did the kids. It makes me feel like there are bad memories at that house that no one wanted to stir up. They were the original owners and built the house in 1950. I threw all the letters, notes, checks and condom boxes away. I want to rid this house of any and all bad vibes and that was a start. We also put a drum set in that room.