Dream of: 30 June 1986 (3) "Wallpaperer"

I was attending high school in Portsmouth. The principal of the high school was Angus McSwain (the dean of Baylor Law School while I was there from 1981 to 1983) and one of my teachers was Dohoney (a professor at Baylor during the same time).

It was Monday and I wanted to go to Europe on Friday at the end of the week. I talked with McSwain about it; he said I could arrange with my teachers to take my final exams at the end of the week so I would be able to go. The tests could simply be oral exams taken by having talks with the teachers.

But I was not really prepared to be taking any exams. One of my science classes in particular had been completely neglected. I might even have to wait until the following week to take the exams.

I talked to McSwain again; he told me to tell my teachers to prepare the exams for me so I could take them that Friday and be able to depart. He said he was going to give them the order to allow it.

I went on home where I was told that someone needed a couple rooms of their house wallpapered. My great-uncle Curt Collier walked in and told me he was also planning to wallpaper a couple rooms in a house. He had also brought some wallpaper over to me. The rolls of wallpaper were very wide and were about twice the regular width. I looked at the wallpaper he had brought; I did not particularly like the color; but I would probably use it anyway.

I suggested to him that since he was going to wallpaper a couple rooms and that I was going to wallpaper a couple rooms that we work together. He thought that could be arranged. We left and went to the house where I was going to wallpaper two rooms. It turned out that he was supposed to wallpaper two rooms in the same house.

When we arrived, a woman answered the door and invited us in. It seemed as if the house was perhaps a nursing home. The woman led me to the two rooms where I was supposed to wallpaper. The rooms were much larger than I had anticipated. Did I really want to do this? The rooms had quite a bit of furniture which would obviously have to be moved around, entailing extra work. I looked over the old wallpaper. Whoever had put the old wallpaper on the ceiling had left some paste on top of the wallpaper. It had dried into a hard crusty unattractive substance.

In the second room the wallpaper on the walls had been applied rather sloppily. About half-way up the wall a piece of wood running parallel to the floor encircled the room. Whoever had put on the old wallpaper had papered over the wood. A bluish, flowery wallpaper had been used below the wood and another design of wallpaper had been used above the wood. The blue paper had been put over the strip of wood and then scotch tape had been put on the blue wallpaper to hold it to the wood. It was not sticking well; I could easily pull it loose with my fingers.

The more I looked at the rooms, the more I realized just how little I knew about wallpapering. The job was obviously going to be very big, and I did not know how much to charge. I thought wallpaperers probably usually charged $100-$150 per room for wallpapering; but it would probably take me so long, I did not know whether it was worth my time. Plus, if I spent a lot of time working on wallpapering I would not have time to study for the exams which I was going to have to take soon.

Should we first take off the old wallpaper before beginning? I asked Curt; he said it would not be necessary. But I could see that the old wallpaper had a lot of bubbles in it because whoever had done it had not done a very good job. I hated to wallpaper over the old wallpaper.

I thought that the old wallpaper could be taken off by steaming the room. Once steam was applied the old wallpaper could be peeled off.

If I could simply learn how to do the work I could probably do it again if I needed to earn some money. So it might be worth while to learn.

In the back of my mind I recalled the man who had wallpapered the Gay Street House years before. I had understood that he had known my paternal grandfather Cole Collier before Cole had died.

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