Humid buggy air loitered in the holes where windows and doors once were. The corrugated tin roof was leaky, rusted, and layered over spongy asphalt shingles. On the cobwebbed inside, feathers stuck to chicken wire and translucent snake skins hung from the rafters. The floor was dirt. Its most recent use a convenient and hidden repository of oversized, unwanted, hard to dispose of junk. But it was a sturdy masonry building with a spacious interior.
I didn’t mind the smell of earth and metal as we shoveled out the dusty broken glass and nails. Then we hit a hard substance. Investigating further into the dirt we found, oh joy!, a concrete floor.
That August of 1997, toads were rampant underfoot. And I’m sure several met their untimely death at our unknowing feet. We were moving house from the small city of Terre Haute, Indiana across the Wabash River to the rural outskirts of Marshall, Illinois.
But all I could think was Whoowhee dedicated studio space!
We determined that the dirt floor was actually well composted, possibly ancient, chicken litter. That, along with the chicken wire with feathers and the style of the building, led to dubbing the studio “the chicken house”. (Although it became more of a dog (and cat) house before it became a full blown studio.)
We hired out exterior work and electrical service, and made a few improvements ourselves. But you will have to wait for the next installment to see how the studio developed since this picture.
What surprises have you found while cleaning up? Write it in the comments!