It’s “Paintsville” Around Here

Jan 30, 2020   //   by bwilber   //   Bob's Blog  //  Add a Comment

It’s “paintsville” around here, but it’s not this Paintsville. (Click on any image to enlarge)

No, not the Paintsville seen to the right. This photo was taken in Paintsville, Kentucky. Our house, though, is currently “paintsville” central, as professional painters have taken over to completely redo the lower level and the office. Paintsville, Kentucky, for the record, is a charming town in the coal-mining hills of eastern Kentucky, with a current population of somewhere around 4,000.

When I inhabited the town, during the summer of 1978, the population was very much the same, so it’s clearly a stable place with many generations staying firmly put because it’s a great place to call home. It’s a wonderful town, and in ’78 it was the home of the first-ever professional baseball team in the village’s history. We were the Paintsville Hilanders, playing in the Appalachian League and getting paid to do it. This photo is of me and first-baseman Steve Locklear, taken during batting practice on a random afternoon during a home-stand, at our ballpark known as Johnson Central Park. Steve Chandler is seated behind us. It was a heck of a way to spend a summer, and the culmination of my lifelong dream to play pro ball. I enjoyed every second of it and don’t think I stopped smiling between the day I arrived and the day we all had to say goodbye, to each other and to the amazing Paintsville people who embraced us so warmly.

And now for the local version of “paintsville.” Here at home, there are drop cloths, plastic sheets, and bare walls all around us. Plus, all the furniture has been moved and condensed into the center of the lower level to give the guys room to work. In the office, the same experience is underway. Furniture crammed together with plastic sheeting everywhere. These guys, Logan and Tanner from Generation Paints right here in Woodbury, are true pros and really good, so that’s the key reason they’re here. Detailed prep work, focus and concentration when doing the “cut in” work, and perfection when rolling the walls, are all paramount in order to get the job done right. I’ve painted entire houses before, but if you really want it to look like professionals did it, you need to hire professionals. I’m a rank amateur who is just as apt to get a smear of wall paint on the ceiling as he is to get it on his nose. The office is actually done, but they’re still going to have to move the massive bookcases back into place and replace all the faceplates in there, and right now they’re focused on the home theater and lower level office. There’s a lot involved in this! And yes, for all our Woodbury friends, I’d 100% recommend these guys.

These are either optional colors or a new “pop art” piece. Maybe both.

Of course, the first thing that has to be accomplished is the selection of paint and color. Much like people have different taste in everything from music to movies to dinner, the same goes for colors. I don’t seem to have the visual acuity to see the nuance in each selection. I definitely don’t see, nor can I describe, some of the “undertones” in the color. I just know what I like. I can see which colors are “warm” or “cool” at the least, so all of that goes into it. My wife, on the other hand, has a phenomenal eye for this and is a serious analyst during the process. I think we have a final winner, but until it goes on the wall we’ll keep that under advisement.

They were hoping to be done today, but (because it never fails) we’ve had a couple of delays/problems so we’re running a bit behind schedule. They’re still trying to get done here by late today, but if I had to place a $10 bet I’d put it on “They’ll have to come back tomorrow to finish up.” Again, we’ll see.

To add to the fun, two local residents have had to “go to jail” for two consecutive days now. The painters are in and out of the house a lot, and once the paint goes on you can’t touch it, much less rub your whiskers on it, so Boofus and Buster are secure within a beautiful and spacious suite, otherwise known as our master bedroom, bathroom, and closet. The are ever so interested in what’s going on out here, but it’s best for them to be in there. And, they’re handling it a lot better here on Day 2 than they did yesterday on Day 1. They have everything they need in there, and they sleep on the bed anyway, so I just go in to check on them from time to time. Yesterday, every time I opened the door both of their heads would pop up with large nervous eyes staring at me, like a small pair of baby owls. Today, they just kind of open one eye and go back to sleep. They’re pretty adaptable and resilient.

Logan and Tanner are great. They move the heavy furniture and they are totally in charge of things like electronics and the home theater. They’re bonded and insured, so if the big screen crashes I don’t want it to be my fault. They take great care, and on top of that they’re perfectly willing to add in their own opinions about what doesn’t just look good right now, but will make us happy for years. Great guys, too.


To get ready for them, I had to strip everything off the walls in the lower level and store it in a bedroom we’re not doing this time around. All the racing photos, all the baseball photos, and all the entertainment stuff, including the original Chuck Jones cartoon drawings and cels, and a whole wall of framed and autographed album covers and drum heads. It didn’t take long, but I realized immediately that I might not remember what goes back into place where, in what order, and that’s kind of critical. Custom frames give a consistent look, but the wires in the back aren’t always exactly the same length. Basically, they never are. So, if you want everything to line up perfectly you have to measure carefully and then factor in the “lag” on the wire once the frame is hung. A laser level helps too, to get the tops of the frames all on the same plane. Therefore, all the hooks and nails are a little bit off. Just looking at the hooks and nails, you’d think a blind man hung all this stuff, but it was all very parallel.

Knowing all that, I assisted my brain by taking photos of every wall. This way, I can get it all back up exactly right, although we’re going to rearrange a few things on one half-wall to make it more visually appealing.

The two frames I couldn’t do myself were the two baseball displays on the wall by my desk. The first one features one of my dad’s old Minnesota Twins jerseys and a few photos of him actually wearing it back in the 60s, and the other one displays my high school, college, and pro baseball jackets. That second one weighs a ton. It actually hangs on an “L” bracket and it’s so large one person can’t do it. It’s not even easy for two. Teamwork came into play there, and we got it down without leaving a gaping hole in the wall.

Plastic sheeting mania…

Once the guys left last night, we let The Boyz out and they spent a good two hours inspecting everything and sniffing even more. At one point, I was downstairs where it’s a veritable fort of plastic sheeting and saw Buster staring at the plastic covering my desk. I wasn’t sure what the was looking at until I saw the four little black paws showing underneath the bottom edge. Boofie was just hanging around in there, looking through the plastic and keeping an eye on his brother. Funny stuff, and I guess he felt like it looked like a fort too!

When they got done exploring and checking it all out, they finally relaxed. As soon as I had moved the first photo off the wall on Tuesday, they got nervous. They’ve moved across the country twice and I don’t think they like it. I don’t like it either. But once they got around the house and realized it’s all just shuffled about, they came up to the living room and absolutely passed out on our laps. They finally could calm down. Today, of course, they’re just chilling the bedroom. I’m sure there will be another exploration phase tonight, but it should be better.

So that’s our world right now. The only major hang-up so far was the inability to take down the big screen TV downstairs. They figured out how it was attached to the bracket on the wall, but one critical screw that holds it in place had been stripped by the installers. After 90 minutes of trying and a little bit of cussing, they had to give up on it. There’s very little room to work behind it, and they just couldn’t get the screw removed. They’re going to paint behind it but they really wanted to get it down. As I said when they were at their most frustrated, “I can tell this is getting personal now.” It was.

We’ll see if they can get done tonight. I’m up in the living room writing this and can hear them down there working away. Probably time to go check on things, because you know painters just love it when the homeowner comes and looks over their shoulders, and I need to go check on our two inmates in the master bedroom. I’m a supervisor! It’s what I’m good at.

A bit short today, but there’s a lot going on. From Paintsville to paintsville.

As always, there’s a button at the top of this blog that says “Like” and if you click on that you will have done me, and this blog, a favor. The more of those “Likes” we can get the more traffic we can draw.

See you next week!

Oh, and if you’d like to know more about the actual Paintsville (the one in eastern Kentucky) and my remarkable and memorable season there, I did happen to write all about it in my autobiography “Bats, Balls, & Burnouts.” If you’ve never read it, there’s a lot more to it than just Paintsville, or just baseball for that matter, and it’s still available on Amazon in both print and Kindle. Yep, I still get royalty checks, although by now (two years later) they are in no danger of changing our tax bracket. Still, I always get a kick out of getting paid a little, even if it’s just $7 or “all the way up” to $25 in a given month.

And for the record, this entire last paragraph is what we call “shameless self-promotion” but I learned early on that authors need to not be afraid of that. Thanks for reading!

Bob Wilber, at your service and not at all covered in paint.

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