The answer is four—one who knows how to disconnect it and three who know how to move it. I’m talking about one of the old-fashioned hot water heat radiators apparently still very common in Upstate. It’s all new to me. I come from a place where we either had woodstoves or butane gas (flame) heaters in every room. Then, later, central air and heat. Only Upstate is not so big on the central air (in Mississippi, where the heat seldom drops below mid 70’s at night in summer and below 90-95 during the day, A/C was a matter of survival. Here, well, we’ll see). Yet in the relatively short time I’ve been here, I’ve come to appreciate the old radiator heating system. No hot air blowing on you and drying everything out. Heating oil is expensive but then so is the power for an electric furnace. One drawback is that radiators take up floor space, but not necessarily huge amounts.
There was, however, one exception. You take a right turn from our front door and there is the the landing for the stairs. There was also this monster of a radiator, bigger than any other one in the house, so big that you practically had to squeeze by it to get to the stairs. We couldn’t figure it out. It didn’t produce more heat than the others, and what it did went up the stairwell. Only, hot air rises so it was going to do that anyway. Consulted with plumber who knows these systems, found out he was as baffled as we were. Took up huge amount of room. Made no difference or sense. Had to go. Easier said than done. Disconnecting it was no big deal. The piping to complete the water loop under the floor had to be linked, also no biggie.
Removing the radiator? Biggie. It easily weighed four hundred pounds and the two of us couldn’t move it more than few feet. Fortunately, the plumber guy knew a guy, who brought a couple strapping lads with him. Together they managed to get the thing out the door and down the hill to a trailer to haul it away. The wooden porch and steps barely supported it. They had to slide it down the bank because there was no way to take it down all the stairs without killing themselves. So it’s gone. Heat still works. Which is good, ’cause that thing ain’t coming back. I can’t imagine how anyone got it there in the first place. Or why.
It was a bit of a bummer to be within sixty miles of where the World Fantasy Con was being held this year in Saratoga Springs and not being able to go. As I’ve said before, I’m not huge on conventions these days, but I’d make an exception for WFC. It’s one of the best.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the ebook giveaway for Hereafter, and After. It’s still one of my favorite stories. If this raises its visibility even a little, it will have been worth it. If it doesn’t, well, lesson learned.