Friday, May 18, 2007
So we got this house. We got lucky and got this beautiful white house. It was a big old beautiful white farmhouse with twelve rooms that had been built by this old man named Mr. Baylis--Farmer Baylis-- built with his own hands the foundations and the furniture.
The farmhouse was on three or four acres with a beautiful long garden and a tree-lined driveway. He had already gotten very rich by selling bits of his huge farm, first to public school for an elementary school, then to a couple of people for single house dwellings and later a trailer camp. It was just an exquistie house. I loved it so. It was almost hand-crafted-- the paneling inside and the floors, parquet floors, a huge picture window, such a beautiful setting, beautiful trees in the garden. His garden was lovely. Quite inspiring what one man, who worked with his heart, could do.
I lived in the attic of the house and it was one of the most beautiful times anybody could have-- up in the attic, high in the air with beautiful trees, two windows that made a cross-breeze. The attic was cedar wood, and I had a huge-- they called them ship beds-- which he had built himself with thin mattresses, and I had no sheets or pillow slips. I just had a pillow, and I had my guitar and a Marshall fifty-watt amplifier, not huge, but big for your room. It could really blast out. In the room was a big commode with a really nice mirror that he built himself-- he was quite a nice carpenter-- and I sort of trashed that too, and, you know, by the third week the bathrooms didn't work anymore.
Any the guy would come over. I'll never forget the way he would come over. He loved his home. It was as if he felt somehow he was forced to leave his house, even though he was willfully dismembering it for money. It probably no longer made sense for him to live there because he wasn't a farmer anymore and he wasn't young. It was all his wife's doing. She had the most horrible hairdresser. She led this poor old noble bear straight down the lifeless path to the joyless gate. Goodbye sunshine, hello zoo. He probably moved to some ranch style thing, with no stairs, on doctor's advice. He loved his house so much. The house outlasted the man.
He would turn up at the oddest times, as if he were a ghost hanging around the home. And he'd say, "Hey, fellows, would you like some carrots or something I grew?" But we weren't as nice to him as we should have been. Everybody was a bit paranoid because we smoked grass, right, and at that time it was a heavy deal in Michigan. So that was a shame, that grass should get in the way of being nice to him. He never did kick us out of the house, old man farmer Baylis.
Then, shortly after we broke up in 1970, the house was torn down. It's now an expressway-- Eisnenhower Parkway. So there lies his life somehow. The farm is gone, but I was there to bear witness.
"We Got Lucky", by Iggy Pop, from his autobiography, I Need More.