It’s now early June with the muster season upon us. It is the time in our lives that gives us some of our greatest joy. There is nothing like seeing the happiness that we bring to the audiences, that watch and listen to the music of our great country. We are blessed with the ability to do so. Without further adieu, I ask you to pardon me for not being with you at the Ole Toga Muster. To Rich and Mary, I hope all goes well and everyone enjoys your efforts.
Back here in Ivoryton, the work continues on the restoration of our home and museum. The new roof is finished and is giving way to the completion of upgrades to the display hall. New ceiling panels are being installed by a valiant crew from the Chester Drum Corps and others who showed up to help. It looks clean and beautiful. The drums are returning to their positions for viewing as we prepare for Connecticut Tourism Day next Saturday, June 11th.
Downstairs, the bar and Sturtze rooms are recovering from demolition and are taking shape. The new Sturtze Room has been physically separated from the bar, as it is a valuable part of the museum proper. When visitors come down to view it, they will enter through a door that faces the up/down staircase. So when coming down the stairs, the entrance will be dead ahead. The doors to the barroom from the foyer will be solid with a members only sign on them. The old French door entrance to the SR is now walled up and will add more display space. This is a great improvement and will provide a continuous experience for the viewing public. After the sheetrock and wainscoting is finished, the final piece of the puzzle will be covering the floor. We have chosen a vinyl snap in floorboard system that is waterproof, affordable and has a wood grain look to it.
That’s the good news and now for the bad news, as if we haven’t had enough. Some extensive but doable work needs to be done to the entrance way from the parking lot to the barroom. When it was constructed, there wasn’t any flashing installed where the roof meets the building wall. It permitted water to run down and cause damage and black mold to occur. The other problem is that water is entering under the door and over the sill plate. This is where it gets rather sticky. The reason this is happening is that all the surface water from the walkway alongside the building and parking area in front of the entrance, is pitched towards the door. The remedy for this is to install a curtain drain from the front of the building, down the side, across the front of the door and then piped into the drainage system on the other side of the building. This of course requires excavating that area to install the drain that will solve the problem. When that's finished, a new walkway will be poured and pitched away from the building. Also, the parking lot area adjacent to the door will be re engineered so that any surface water left will also flow away from the building. After that is completed, the new exterior stairway to the second story entranceway will be installed. I know, it all sounds daunting and expensive. All of the drainage work is being done by the Andrews Perry Company. They are drum corps people and are helping with the cost with some discounts that lop a rather large chunk of money from the total cost. So a big thank you goes out to them. It's their dedication to The Company that urges them to help in any way they can.
Once all of this is done and if the budget permits, the outside of the museum will get a much needed coat of paint. We have received some bids with one that stands out from the rest. Again, this is all commensurate with the state of the finances. We are keeping a close watch on what is being spent and we are hopeful that our efforts will bear fruit.
I think that's enough for now as this communication is rather lengthy, but you all deserve to know what is happening at your Company Hall. A very big shout out goes to Dan Riley and all those that have volunteered their labor. Also and most importantly, to all of you who have been so generous to donate the needed funds to get our home up and running again. I know it sounds like there is still a lot to do, but be assured that steady progress is being made. When all is said and done, we will once again be the proprietors of a headquarters and museum to be proud of. Till then, keep volunteering your time and/or money to get the job done. Remember, it is Your Company Hall.
In the Spirit,
Kevin Brown, President
The Company of Fifers and Drummers