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no room for hipsters

the occupation of Ashley and Levon

It’s the cleanest our house has ever been.  So clean it makes me nervous.  We’re house #8 on Old North Knoxville’s historic home tour and everything started last night.  The people, trolleys and tour buses (yes) will be here later today and I’m just trying to not make a mess.  We’re told that around 1,200 people come out every year to look at these old Victorians, Craftsmans, and weird garage-like structures such as ours.  The 1241 Armstrong story, which I will be repeating ceaselessly over the weekend, is that here was the original corner grocery store in 1925.  It later became a mayonnaise factory, a medical supply distributer, a pinball/jukebox warehouse, and finally a home in the mid 1980’s.

The house has been televised twice.  Rumor has it that an original HGTV episode was filmed here in the early 90’s and when we bought the place in 2006 it looked like the hangout, The Max from “Saved by the Bell.”  With black and white checkerboard linoleum, astroturf carpet on concrete slab, purple walls with a reflective metallic sheen and apple red doors.  It needed an update, but it was a great Max.

The old place has taught me a lot.  I flooded it when I started plumbing.  Tiled each bathroom twice.  Blew myself up shoving a wire in a wall that hid an iron pipe.  Ashley made me paint some rooms as many as 7 times. I got my wood stove so hot once it melted the paint and then collapsed.  Nearly burned the house down and had to move out for awhile from the smoke damage.  The biggest learning experience was the Renovation Reality episode we filmed here in 2007.  I’ve told that story before.  We cancelled out on the home tour that year because of my ineptitude, but guess what: that home tour was fake.

Here is the official page for this year’s 22 annual tour, which includes a preview of all the homes and info about where to get tickets and catch a ride.  We’re going to stay off the floors, play Scrabble and wait.





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