Act I When Whimsy came to town
Whimsy recently arrived in Thief River Falls. It was constructed in modular sections near Detroit Lakes then built into a tree located in my mother in-laws back yard. Solid carpentry skills met creativity in one focused, detailed act when Larry built the Hobbit House.
Act II Inspiration
Larry is my Uncle Larry Wold. Larry is Lisa’s Uncle by blood; however he is my Uncle by marriage and choice. Larry and his wife JoAnn, also an accomplished artist, live near Detroit Lakes but originated life locally. Two years ago, Larry was visiting Joann’s sister, Jeanette Walseth, when he decided a bird house would look nice in the crook of an oak in her yard. The progression from simple bird house to detailed Hobbit House would seem unlikely for most but it seems almost logical considering Larry’s energy and creativity.
Act III Construction
Larry built the house from one-half inch plywood. The siding and shakes are actual cedar and so are the corner boards. The doors are cedar also; they’re built using a template and sanded in such a way that they appear rough hewn. Larry had considered actual lights but simplified construction by painting the area behind the windows a pale shade of yellow that makes the house appear to be lit. The idea of Jeanette climbing two stories to replace a light bulb seemed unsafe so Larry instead opted for the pale yellow windows. The house is three feet square and 42 inches tall.
Act IV Barn Raising, Hobbit style
Brothers help you when others will not; Rick Wold is Larry’s brother. Although the Hobbit house was modular in construction, assembly was to be performed in the crook of an old oak, at heights which make anything difficult. Larry had already built, and then deconstructed, the house three times while it was on the ground in an effort to iron out any problems; assembly was still about three hours. Rick and Larry used ladders to first mount the base of the house then assembled the structure one piece at a time. The time spent making the base fit well paid off in smooth assembly of the house walls, which was good; the hobbits soon needed a home.
Act V Curb Appeal
The Hobbit house looks great. It is a flight of fancy and exists only to house that which already exists in your imagination. Lisa and I stopped by Jeanette’s place to sit on the deck and gaze at her new construction. I could almost imagine the new inhabitants as they get a phone line installed, wait for the cable guy, put a deposit down for electrical utilities and lug furniture up to their lofty perch. You can see the Hobbit House from the curb but I’ve found Jeanette’s upstairs bathroom is best for viewing its small details and architectural elements. However, that viewing platform is open only for family, close friends and Jeanette after her morning coffee. It’s a beautiful Hobbit house. Well done, Larry!