The House That Al Built: Chapter Six

(Based On A True Story)
By Rick Manzone

(The Concrete Jungle)

Now that the ditch was dug and forms fabricated, it was time to pour the cement. I suppose the normal procedure in the 1970’s was to call the local concrete company and have them bring out a truck or two to fill the foundation ditch with cement. Of course that method would rob good ole dad of two things… his money and the opportunity to do-it-himself. What dad did have, was access to a small electric cement mixer. This contraption would make about 2 or 3 wheelbarrows full of cement at a time. I believe he also borrowed that from Grampa Joe. The contents of several bags of cement mix were introduced into the spinning drum as water was added from a hose we ran from the neighbor’s house. Once the consistency of the cement was appropriate, you then tipped the drum spilling the contents into the pre-dug ditch. Needless to say, the bags were heavy and if you miscalculated the ratio of mix to water the cement would be either to dry or two watery resulting in the emptying and refilling of the mixture until the consistency was correct. By the time we finished filling ditch and forms I had the recipe down pat. Once a section of the ditch had enough cement poured into it, a short length of 2x4 was scraped back and forth across the top of the form to level off the cement. Every 6’ or so, an Anchor Bolt was placed into the wet cement. This bolt would be used to connect the bottom of the walls to the top of the foundation. Once the foundation ditch was full of cement and the bolts had all been placed, we would have to wait until the cement was hard enough to move onto the next step.

As I have stated before, dad planned to build a garage first. So after the foundation was done, we measured off a 10’ wide by 30’ deep section of the northern most part of the space. This would be the floor of the garage. Since dad would later decide to abandon the garage concept and forge ahead with completing the whole house build, the cement floor still resides to this day under the wooden living room floor.

more to come

The End

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