Welcome to The Miller House
Don Lehman, 2018


Cover Index
Chapter 01
Chapter 02
Chapter 03
Chapter 04
Chapter 05
Chapter 06
Chapter 07
Chapter 08
Chapter 09
Chapter 10
Chapter 11
Chapter 12
Chapter 13
Chapter 14
Chapter 15
Chapter 16
Chapter 17
Chapter 18
Chapter 19
Chapter 20
Chapter 21

Chapter Twelve

After Mr. Sutton and Big Frank left it was Cappy, Francis and Carl at breakfast. There were two guests that Carl did know. One gentleman introduced himself as a shoe salesman and the other said he was just passing through. The shoe salesman was a bean pole maybe the tallest and thinnest man Carl had ever seen. His feet certainly must have hung well over the bottom of the bed! When he said his name was Mr. Long, Carl almost laughed. Mr. Long said he would be staying for a few days while he worked the area. Francis bought a pair of practical shoes for herself and new leather boots for Carl. He pulled a metal contraption out of his case and measured their feet for length and width. Carl never liked new shoes because they felt so stiff. Cappy kept his shoes polished and had not purchased new shoes in years. He just took his coffee and went to the far end of the ballroom by the game table and turned on the radio.

Carl put his old shoes back on and got busy with his chores. After lunch Carl headed out to the garage to continue working on the old bicycle for Ozzie. He turned the bike upside down and started sanding the remaining rusted spots. When he looked up, Ozzie was standing across the street, watching him. Carl motioned for him to come over. Ozzie said that it looked like a fine bike and could they paint it candy apple red? Carl said, “sure!” It had been red before but it was dull red, almost brown. They talked about fixing bikes and how far they would ride when Ozzie’s bike was finished. When they were done sanding Carl told Ozzie that he wanted him to come into the house and look at the pictures Mr. Sutton had made.nOzzie asked if he was allowed and Carl said, of course he was.

Carl took him in the back door, through the sunroom and into the ballroom. Carl could tell that Ozzie was looking all around and was amazed at what he was seeing! Carl realized how lucky he was to live in such a nice house.
Carl introduced Ozzie to Cappy and Cappy sat up straight and reached out and shook Ozzie’s hand. He said, “Please to meet you Ozzie. My name is Cappy Kipler, what is you last name? Ozzie just said, “Lorry.” Carl was surprised to hear the name, “Lorry”, again but didn’t say anything. He pointed and said that the pictures were on the wall, up by the dining table. Ozzie looked at the pictures and said that they looked real fine. Francis came in and Carl introduced Ozzie to his mother. Francis said she was glad to meet him. She told them to sit and she would bring a snack from the kitchen. They sat and neither of them said anything. Francis came back with a tray with cold milk and chocolate cookies. Cappy came over and joined them at the table. Carl told Francis and Cappy that they were going to the Western Auto store to buy candy apple red paint for the bike he was giving to Ozzie. Francis said it was a great idea and they should wear old clothes when they did the painting. Cappy recommended that they take the bike apart so they could do a neat job. “Don’t want to get that red paint all over the chrome parts.” Then he added, “They might have some chrome polish at the Western Auto to make those parts shine!”

When they went back outside, Ozzie said, “Your have the prettiest mom in the world.” Carl just said, “I know.” Then Ozzie added, “I like your house too!” Carl thought of the house as being where he worked and lived. He had never compared it to houses that regular people live in. In fact, he realized at that moment that he didn’t think of himself and his mother as regular people.

Ozzie kicked stones as they made their way to the closest hardware store, Morton Supply Company. Carl had never been there but Ozzie knew his way around. Ozzie said hello to Mr. Morton, the bald man wearing a denim apron and standing at the front counter, talking with another old man who was sitting on an easy chair and smoking. Mr. Morton said how can I help you boys and Ozzie said, “We want to buy paint for a bike. We’re going to paint a bike. It’s going to be my bike when we are done with it. It belongs to Carl here but he’s giving it to me” Mr. Morton said that was fine and that Mrs. Morton was in the back and would help them pick out the paint. Ozzie said, “We want candy apple red.”

The Morton Supply Company was narrow and long. The wooden floor was stained almost black and creaked then you walked the isles. There was just enough space to walk single file between the high shelves. There were galvanized buckets and tubs, there were kegs of nails and mouse traps and rat traps, flashlights and tools. Carl was thinking that he wanted to bring Cappy here and show him this store. When they got to the back they had not seen Mrs. Morton or anyone else. There was a door with an sign that said, Private. Ozzie pushed the door open and called, “Mrs. Morton.” Then there was an answer, I’ll be right there. Carl got a quick look at what appeared to be a storeroom with a desk.

A squarish woman with long white hair came through the door saying, “How can I help you?” Then she said, “Oh, hi Ozzie who’s your friend?” Ozzie introduced her to Carl and told her about Carl’s mother and the Miller House. She said, “I know the Miller House. Sometimes Cappy comes to purchase tools and supplies. It’s nice to meet you Carl.” She stuck out her hand and Carl took her hand but they didn’t really shake. She just took his hand with her right hand and patted it softly with her left hand. She had a nice smile. Carl just sort of nodded his head. Then she looked back at Ozzie and he started telling her about the bike and the paint that they had come to buy. She said that they would need some good enamel and she had a fire engine red. Carl and Ozzie looked at the chart. There were three reds, one was bright red, one was more orange and one was more purplish. Ozzie said the bright red was closest to candy apple and Carl agreed that it was the best color. Mrs. Morton recommended a small can of paint and some turpentine. She said, “Thin it down some with the turpentine and put three or four coats on, but be sure each coat is good and dry before you add the next. Some people paint metal too thick and it look sloppy!” Ozzie asked Carl if he had brushes and he said, “yes.” Mrs’ Morton added that they should also use the turpentine to clean the brushes real good. Before they headed up front to pay, Carl asked if they had chrome polish Mrs. Morton said, they did and showed them, a small bottle. She said to clean the surface first, then apply the polish. After the polish dries, just wipe it off. She added, it should clean off the rust and make the chrome shine almost like new. Then she gave Ozzie a pat on the head and said, “You tell your mom and dad Mrs. Morton said hello now.” Ozzie said that he would. Carl thought that he might want to meet Ozzie’s mom and dad. After Carl paid for the paint, turpentine and Chrome cleaner, Mr. Morton told Ozzie the same thing about saying “Hi” to his parents. Then Mr. Morton gave Ozzie a small, red reflector that he could attach to the back of the seat for safety at night. Ozzie said, “Hey, thanks!” Carl decided that Mr. and Mrs. Morton must know Ozzie’s family pretty well.

Over the next few days, Ozzie came every after noon and helped Carl with the bike. They took off the wheels, seat and handle bars. They shined the chrome, taped off the the parts around the petals that that could not remove and did not want to paint. When they were done, and the bike was reassembled, it looked like a professional job! Cappy told them he thought it looked fine and it really did. Ozzie said it was every bit as good as a new bike. Carl suggested that they go for a long ride on Saturday. Carl said that he could take Saturday off and they could leave in the morning. Ozzie agreed to come back at nine o’clock on Saturday morning and he took the bike. Carl watched him go and was proud of the way the bike looked.

  Chapter 13