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The Sullivan House Sends Encouraging Words to a Friend

Dear Blue House at 1423 Griffin, formerly 285 Browder

I hear that you will soon be adding a new address to your history-by moving to another lot in the Cedars. The same thing happened to me, over 25 years ago, and a few of my joints still ache, but it is better than the wrecking ball.

You and I were born in the same era of beautiful Victorian houses. We nurtured people. I know that you lost one of your humans to a tragic car accident. One of my young residents drowned—it was hard to accept that he would never again slam my front door and bound up my stairs. But, we are sturdy and made to outlast humans. I hear that you have been fortunate enough to lure some into spending their money, which they value highly, on moving you and putting you back together. Even some of my humans here at the museum took time away from thinking about me to worry about you, but I understand. I do, however, want them back now.

I heard what happened to your interior. They removed your plaster, and your trim, and your mantles. But who cares? Inner beauty means nothing—It’s what’s outside that counts. Of course, people stole most of your windows, but you still have your columns! And its columns that make the house.

Please don’t be alarmed when the carpenters return. Just remember, we are made of many little pieces of wood, and they can always be put back together! The movers may take your roof off, or even your second story. Better to be short than whapped by tree limbs and stoplights as you move down the street. Watch for those power lines! If you don’t arrive in one piece, you will arrive in two or three, and soon you will be intact again. Enjoy the passing scenery as you travel.

The post-operative recovery period differs for each individual. Since I chose to work in the non-profit sector, I sat around for a few years in embarrassing dishabille while they raised money to finish me. I understand you will be expected to earn your keep in the for-profit world. That means they will hurry to reconstruct you and put you to work.

About your new job. I play the role of a house, type-casting of sorts, and am furnished pretty much like I always was. People come to see me and they are very kind. There I go being modest. They are wise enough to see just how fantastic I am. My inside walls were redecorated post-move, but stayed in their usual places. Yours might move, to change the size and use of your rooms. (Don’t worry, they won’t move the ones actually holding you up.) I understand you may become a bed and breakfast or a restaurant. As a bed and breakfast, you will still have bedrooms and people will live in you, just for short periods of time. If your fate is to be a restaurant, I hope you enjoy cooking, lots and lots of cooking on great big heavy equipment that will test the strength of your floor joists. You can do it.

So many like ourselves are gone, old Victorian houses nobody valued. It is wonderful that some people see us as much more beautiful than those young, shapely trophy houses with their unlined cladding and firm, high gables. Embrace your new location and your new role in the world and remember, your friend at the Village will be thinking of you.

Warm regards,

The Sullivan House at Dallas Heritage Village

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