As work progresses on our upstairs bathroom roof-raising expansion, we've somehow made it to the stage where we needed to get our clawfoot bathtub into place.
Seeing as how our local football team is tied up with their semi-final playoff game (good luck tonight fellas), and neither my F-i-L nor I was feeling the need to drink some David Banner gamma bomb juice and Hulk out, we resorted to hydraulic power and not-quite OSHA approved tub relocation practices.
Seems just about every farmer, rancher, fry cook and gas/and or oil worker in my small town has some piece of heavy equipment at their disposal. From wild and woolly riding mower attachments to mini-earth movers to hydraulic rammed hay bale lifting spikes, the mobile folks in my small town own just about any tool a fella could ever need.
Several of whom offered to bring their front-loader tractors over to see if the buckets would reach up high enough to make the tub transfer. But we eventually went with the idea of a local sculptor friend of mine who offered up his own personal forklift to perform the tub lifting duties we so required.
The forklifts solid rubber wheels sinking into the soft grass adjacent to our house was problematic, as was the close and dangerous proximity of the power line feeding into the corner of the house.
We managed to find a relatively safe spot to make the transfer, and after fashioning a couple of extension beams to the forks of the lift (a 4x4 fence post my F-i-L picked up along the side of a country road some time ago, and a run of weathered pole fence leftover by previous owners) the tub was hoisted, dragged, lifted and grunted into it's final service spot.
The 1920's era hotel-style clawfoot tub we picked up at an auction several years ago for a hundred bucks and change, and on which I grinded, stripped, sanded and primered, was then in place and ready for finishing.
The clawfeet have since received a coat of hammered steel finish pewter colored Rustoleum (to match the barn board wainscoting), while the tubs exterior has been bathed in several coats of peachtree pink (matching the bathroom ceiling).
As my friend fired up his forklift and made the turn down our driveway onto Main street, in my minds eye I imagined he popped the clutch, pulled a wheelie and cried out a hearty, "Hi Yo Silver, away!" leaving a man and his tub behind in the dust-filtered golden light of the setting Oklahoma sun.