Wood into Sky: Alabama Vernacular Architecture

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The floor of the porch was uneven and ran at a slight incline from one end to the other. Looked at from the road, the house appeared to lean toward the left and the porch to the right, so that it appeared the only thing keeping either standing was their mutual pull on each other. From the side of the house, though, it seemed that the opposite was true, that they slumped against one another and remained upright by virtue of their mutual weight. Viewed from whatever angle, the homestead had the look of claptrap. The walls all seemed as if they were about to fall over, one upon the next, and the sagging roof to drop on top of the pile, so that the flattened house would make a neat stacked deck.

The porch was unpainted and its wood bleached to a silvery white. When the sky filled with clouds, it often turned the same silver color as the wood, so that it only seemed missing a grain to be wood and the wood only missing a breath of wind to stir it and turn it into sky.

Tinkers, by Paul Harding

 

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© Donald E. Armstrong and Material Practices, 2013

 

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