Incomplete House

May 12, 2008 – 3:29 pm

Lucky us, Dad has a house that he was in the middle of building. However, we think work has not been done on it in a long time. The house has been sitting there for a while now. It burned down in 2005 and Dad has been slowly (I guess) rebuilding it. No electrical is done, it’s just a frame of a house. No isolation, water, walls, or anything.

We originally thought it might be worth putting +/-$20,000 into to fix up and sell. However, with the other stuff we had to do, we decided the best route would be to sell it as is.


Unfinished residential house

For months the house stood there. We were responsible for mowing the grass. Once a week, Curtis would go there and mow the grass. He even broke his lawn mower doing it.

We finally put it on the market at the end of 2008. It took a long time to sell. We got a lot of bogus offers.

It finally went in early 2010.

Date Started: February 2008
Estimated Time: 2+years
Actual Time: 2.5 years
Completed Date:
Players Involved: Brian, me, lawyer, Curtis
Status Of This Project: Completed

Getting The Barracuda

May 12, 2008 – 3:23 pm

One thing that was causing stress was going up to Pennsylvania to try to retrieve Dad’s Plymouth Barracuda. A few weeks ago, we went up to Pennsylvania, finally, and picked it up. Quite a story, let me tell you. Anyway, we were able to get it, well, what it is. It is now in the garage and we will be restoring it much much later (like after all this other stuff).

Driving with the shell of the Cuda

Date Started: Apr 26, 2008
Estimated Time: 1 weekend
Actual Time: 1 weekend
Players Involved: Brian, me, lawyer, Uncle George, Ryan
Status Of This Project: Completed (not what we thought after four years of work, no engine, no tranny, just a shell, not even a steering wheel)

Mini Projects

May 12, 2008 – 3:15 pm

Over the past few months we have had to deal with a number of mini projects along the way. A lot have been rather stressful.


Our lawyer told Stacy that she needed to get a new car. There was a lot of stuff going on then but we dropped everything to look. Luckily it only took two weekends of us looking to land her a new car. She bought a 2009 Toyota Matrix at Annapolis one weekend.

Also, Stacy needed to buy a new computer for school. She bought a new Mac Laptop from the Mac store in the Annapolis Mall.

Stacy with her new computer

Date Started: Feb 16, 2008
Estimated Time: 1 weekend
Actual Time: 2 weekends
Players Involved: Brian, me, Stacy
Status Of This Project: Completed (Stacy has a new car and a new computer)


Another mini project we have had to deal with is selling Dad’s 2007 Dodge Charger. It’s a lime green, Daytona special edition Charger with very low milage. Dad only bought it in October 2007 and it only has 2,700 miles on it. Unloading this thing has been a challenge and we have yet to do it.

We have tried to put it on eBay with no luck. We also gave a stab at Ultimate Garage in Rockville, but no bites as they were not interested. We are only trying to get what Dad owes on it but with the economy being so bad, no one is exactly running out to buy one. All we ask is around $30,000 for it. It’s basically brand new! This car has been quite a headache so far. I have gotten offers of $24,000 but, alas, we owe quite a bit on it.

Dad\'s 2007 Dodge Charger

Maybe when the economy rebounds we can get this off our hands. But, this project has gotten pushed down due to other projects and the inability to sell the thing. It really is a nice car.

Date Started: Feb 2008
Estimated Time: 2 months
Actual Time: TBD
Players Involved: Brian, me, lawyer
Status Of This Project: On Hold (but always willing to talk about it)


About three weeks after my Dad died, two guys in a pick up truck came up to the house one weekend and freaked us out. I didn’t know who they were but when the one guy said they were Ms Pat’s son, I knew. They were honest and sorry that they came up unannounced. However, it did freak us out. It happened again as we were leaving about a month ago, two guys drove up wanting to look at cars. That was it. We put up a gate the next weekend so no one can go up to the house. It’s a very strong gate with a chain. We painted it yellow and put up a no trespassing sign. This project had to be done.

Date Started: Apr 27, 2008
Estimated Time: 1 weekend
Actual Time: 1 weekend
Players Involved: Brian, me, Curtis, Uncle George, Ryan
Status Of This Project: Completed

Junk Yard

May 12, 2008 – 2:30 pm

For years, Dad had collected junk cars in the back of his yard. Here are some pictures:

Junk yard

Junk yard

Junk yard

Junk yard

There are over 50 cars, trucks, and even few boats.

We first decided whoever had a car back there, should come and get it. They had until July 16th, 2008 to come and get their cars.

We started this project first by getting rid of the cars we knew were Dad’s, like my old Chrysler.

My old car, Blue

We scrapped a lot of the cars and were able to fund the various house projects with the money we collected. We made around $8,000 in junk cars.

The yard now looks like this:

Yard Without Cars

Yard Without Cars

Date Started: Mar 2008
Estimated Time: 6-12 months
Actual Time: 7 months
Completed Date: 10/3/08
Players Involved: Brian, Curtis, me, Uncle George, people who have cars up here
Status Of This Project: Completed

Train Room

May 12, 2008 – 10:36 am

The first project we started on with my Dad’s estate was his train room. We started here because we were 100% certain that all of it was his.

View as you walked inside the room

My Dad did a hell of a job with this room. It was the ultimate haven for Lionel and train fans. Everything was like a custom job. He designed and built the whole structure. He did all the wiring. It was magnificent.

Dad\'s conductor chair with all of his controls within arms length

He put trains on the wall, he had a TV which worked with the TV train, he had a lot of really cool trains and everyone of them did something different.

The detail

My Dad put a lot of effort into the little details of the room. He put kitty litter around the track to make it look like rocks. It was truly spectacular.

A custom made draw bridge

Anyway, this room was our first project. It was very heartbreaking to start dismantling it. It was a difficult thing to do because Dad had spent so much time building it. It was amazing.

We started to clear the trains away first. We went with a not really effective approach. We basically found all the Lionel and other train boxes we could find and chose one and ran with it. It didn’t work too well.

After weeks of doing it this way, we decided to revamp our strategy. We decided to move all the trains to downstairs where we can better examine them and fit them inside their boxes. Also, we started to take the scenery apart. That whole process took about one and a half months. We finally then got down to dismantling the track and tables. All the track was screwed down. It was made to last. So were the tables. They were built very strong. In the end, we ended up cutting sections of table out.

We ran into issues of where to put the stuff when we were done. We dubbed the little garage the trash pile to dump. It worked out quite well.

We are still sorting trains and scenary out downstairs in its own area. We have found just about every matching box to train. We have started bagging the trains and placing them in boxes. We have moved the trains and are probably going to wait until the economy rebounds to sell them. I will, of course, keep a few.

The finished product of this room is a bunch of tools and other things that we shouldn’t get rid of quite yet in a pile in one of the corners. We are using this room as extra area as we move along in the house.

Date Started: Jan 26, 2008
Estimated Time: 3-4 months
Actual Time: 2-2 1/2 months
Players Involved: Brian, Curtis, Wilma, Seth, me, and sometimes Stacy
Status Of This Project: Completed (tools remain, trains remain some in boxes, room left for other projects and for storage)

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