Monday, July 5, 2010

1980 H. Henderson, High Rise Artist

80 0702 04
July 2, 1980

When James Windsor bought the old bank building for the new headquarters of the Soperton News, he was taking on a challenge. Some of the original wiring in the attic was still in use with ceramic insulating holders to separate the two bare wires. We spent many a Saturday mopping gallons of tar on the metal roof. The exterior trim had been repainted so many times since the building was erected in 1912-13, that it was peeling like thick tree bark.
Windsor hired one of the area's premier paint companies to do a jam up job. They came in with a bucket truck and pressure washer with lots of detergent and bleach to return the mildewed marble to lustrous alabaster. Most of the paint flakes were washed away. But the paint crew refused to scrape down to bare wood before priming, so the project stopped. Other painters gave it a try, but they did not have the perseverance. Finally somebody showed up to do the job.
H. Henderson was his given name. We never knew where he lived or where he had come from. He claimed to have been the subject of a Reader's Digest story about his career of painting skyscrapers.  He was the right man to take care of Soperton's one and only skyscraper.
Mr. Henderson is shown with his number-one helper, but he had several young men on the job, whom he disciplined rather sternly while on the job, but seemed very friendly to each other when off site. The photo shows how smooth they prepared the wood, primed and finished with Sherwin Williams 10-year vinyl, the best available at the time.
Scaffolding was erected to reach the highest windows, and the young men liked to yell down at young ladies who passed by. We had only one problem after half the job was finished. One Wednesday night after delivering the newspapers to the post office, we went upstairs and found that a few feet of window frames had been primed without adequate scraping. We hid all the paint and taped a note on the window "Get back to scraping. We will see you tomorrow."
When you go by the old building today, you will find one of the finest finished buildings in the town, all to the credit of H. Henderson and his "boys".
A little secret: Henderson invested some hard long hours for his first three days, but knowing that payday was near, he completed the week and was so happy to have cash in hand, he had the boys back to work every Monday.
It was always an interesting sight every Friday afternoon when he and the boys took their money and headed across the tracks to Lowell's.

Others that week: Lions Club ladies night meeting, Barron and Lee Gillis with their flag, more Amtrak photos.

William A. Ricks 
Be sure to subscribe for daily email delivery of 'Bill Ricks of Soperton'

No comments: