The G. Fox store was larger than the normal size for department stores at that time; 3 stories tall and perhaps 90,000 square feet per floor. This was the kind of project that would normally take us about 4 months to complete. But this wasn’t going to be normal…
First, we had weather to contend with. It was winter time in New England and we had ice and snow to contend with; something that Southern Californians knew very little about. But we learned.
After the first week had passed, we had a crew of sorts and we were holding daily lessons for our carpenters on how to frame with steel studs. And judging from the results, we were not looking forward to the drywall application “lessons”. Despite our repeated requests to the local business agent, no drywall talent was to be found.
Also, at the end of that first week, we decided to move to a more comfortable location. Our little motel room was starting to feel like a jail cell for the two of us. So we went for a drive, to see what accommodations might be available.
And about 30 minutes out of Waterbury, we found the town of Morris and Bantam Lake. We liked the looks of this small town and we found a motel/inn that had monthly rentals of 2 bedroom apartments. We could have a kitchen and a living room! Almost like normal life… we moved that day.
On the following Monday, we mentioned our new address during a coffee break with the crew. Hilarity ensued. They thought we were crazy to be driving all of that way to work! (30 minutes) Being Californians, we didn’t get it? We might drive for 30 minutes just to go to the store. What was so funny? As it turned out, this move only confirmed what the locals already believed about the “crazy Californians”.