The Hex | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

The Hex | Mark’s Remarks

By on June 19, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Marks Remarks copyI don’t really believe in hexes, but I do something I call putting a “hex” on old houses. Maybe it should be called “saying a prayer for an old house.” New age folks might say I’m sending good thoughts toward old houses. Whatever the case may be, I have a preference for old, run down houses.

Yep. I always wish I could somehow apprentice myself to a carpenter and learn all the stuff needed to fix up a house. I’m sure that could be arranged if I had the time and money. I have always wanted to be part of fixing up an old house.

Then I wish I had the capital to go around and snatch up the old places and fix them up myself. Huge pipe dream, but fun to think about.

I don’t know why I have such affection for old places. I mean, houses are just buildings. We are not supposed to be attached to things on this earth. Yes, I believe that.

But I can’t help getting a little sappy looking at a stately old home and wondering about the folks who built it, lived there, and made memories there.

For as long as I can remember, I would put the above mentioned “hex” on an old house. It usually went something like this: I’d see an old house, study it for a while, wonder about it, and finally say something like “Boy, I wish somebody would fix up that old place.” That’s about all my hex consists of. As I said, it probably shouldn’t be called a “hex” in the first place but that’s what I call it.

The cool part is that it usually works. There have been a whole bunch of old homes in my hometown that have been snatched up by visionaries like me who have seen potential and have resurrected houses.

There have also been quite a few that have gone by the wayside. Hex fail.

When I first moved to Columbia, I used to drive by an historic old home every day. Once in a while, I’d see a kindly looking older lady sitting on the porch. The house was beginning to show a lot of wear. I put my usual hex on the house.

I always wanted to walk over to the lady and say “Hey, I’ll be glad to grab a paintbrush and help you paint this place.” I would have helped her clean up, fix the ragged window blinds, and spruce the place up as best I could.

I doubt I would have done much good, but I really should have acted on my instincts and good thoughts.

Before long, I missed seeing the lady and realized that no one lived in the house any longer. I found out she had moved away.

Several months passed before my hex came to fruition. The house was made over, inside and out. The historical nature of the house was preserved. The yard was landscaped and made beautiful. I sometimes walked by and stood there admiring it. I’m sure the owners wondered who the weirdo in the street was.

I’ve done the same thing to a lot of old buildings in both Columbia and Waterloo. As many of you may know, the buildings on Columbia’s Main Street have benefited from my hexes. Many of them have been refurbished and they look fantastic.

I’ve always admired the big old house on Route 3. You know the one. It’s accessed from the frontage road near the church. A big, white, beautiful old place.

I saw the other day that it had a “For Sale” sign in the yard. As I drove past, I dreamed a little about starting a bed and breakfast there with all my friends. Fixing up the little summer kitchen out back, making the yard look nice, having gatherings there. The thought of new memories being made there was fun to think about.

I wonder if I could add something to my hex. You know, maybe something about inheriting a wad of money or winning a big contest involving large sums of cash? My big dreams often cost a lot more than I have to spend. I’m thinking a triple hex may be in order for this one. Maybe quadruple.

I’ll let you know if it works.



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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a “slice of life” style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.