Basement Story


Our brick house on Nicholson Street in Richland was built by a contractor, James Bingham, who resided in nearby Columbus.  He built countless houses in Muscogee County beginning around the mid-1940s, specializing in designing residences for veterans returning from World War II.

He and daddy met during the search for a contractor to custom build our house but during the process they developed a great friendship and stayed in touch for years after the house was completed.  It is possible that his company built other homes in Richland but I do know that he built the brick home nearby that belonged to Dr. Earl Mayo and family.
In addition to the generous floor space upstairs, there was a full basement that added a lot of living area to the residence.  In the center of the basement was a humongous sized furnace that heated the entire house, central heating systems were a rare commodity in our hometown; the system was so huge that I remember it as the gigantic beast that resided in our basement.  Momma painted it and then finally draped it with curtains but she was never able to disguise that monster.

The original plans were plaster walls throughout the house but our parents upgraded what was originally David's bedroom to ponderosa pine boards instead.  The wood was beautiful but the location of his room was not desirable, either you had to go around through the dining and living room to get to the other bedrooms or pass through David's bedroom, which of course he opposed.  When he became a teenager he pleaded with our parents to relocate to the basement and build his own room; one that people could not pass through.

For unexplained reasons, I rushed when I climbed from the basement to our kitchen; I always sensed that something was following me up those stairs.  Whenever I was alone at the house I made sure the door to the basement was securely locked, and I never considered going down to the basement. The stairway was at one time painted a happy shade of yellow but I never enjoyed going up that staircase.

When we were teenagers, daddy moved the family console television to the corner of the room and transformed the area by installing a professional pool table.  The pool table replaced a ping-pong table that we virtually worn out with constant use.  He purchased several pool accessories to include a special pool-cue for himself and most weekends we were involved in a tournament of sorts.

The stools that were purchased for the beverage area were relocated and voila, we had our own personal pool-parlor.   Daddy was the reigning king of the pool challenges until I started dating Otto Brown; then the real competition began.
Otto played pool for years so they had some lively rivalries; he and daddy were competitive, and both being left handed, it was interesting to watch them.    So, who became the champion pool player, I had better not answer that question.



Brenda S. Brown 


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