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Brother, Can You Spare A Permit?   ...part Deux

One of three 30 yard dumpsters that I and my boys filled in four months. I wanted to be open by Christmas - 2017.

“They had become too conceited
to be capable
of normal human feelings."
         - Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago

With the deed to the Shiloh Baptist Church signed, sealed, and delivered to Hubs and I, we joyously drove to my new maker space. There was so much to be done! So much soapy goodness to create! But first - permits; permits for the building, permits for dumpsters, permits for all the things!

We had met our real estate agent at the church right before we purchased it. Why? To have a walk through for inspections from Armstrong County's Uniform Construction Code Officer. We expected a full report of what needed to be done to get the building up to code. We knew that this old, beautiful beauty needed some love. Having flipped two homes prior to this, I had a rough idea of the cost involved.  I could not wait to see what the inspection revealed! As we drove up to the church, we could see our real estate agent standing in the parking lot.  A car was driving away from her. We parked and approached her. I was brimming with excitement to see if my handy-WOman estimates were correct. Well, here is your permit. I looked at the paper. I was bewildered. What is this, I asked? It is your Temporary Certificate of Use, she replied. Oh, I said, as my soul sunk. Where is the inspection report? Well, you can just call the number on the paper when you are ready for that. Puzzled because of this, and filled with nervous excitement over signing the deed, I placed the paper in my purse and we all headed off to her office to sign all the paperwork. After all was said and done, Hubs and I were now the owners of the former Shiloh Baptist Church!  SQUEEEE - soapy days are here again!


And so, it began. Hubs and I drove to the church, opened the door, and walked around. My mind raced as to how to build out my new maker space. We walked through that beautiful, lusty beauty for about three hours.... SO much history! Such a testament to African American FAITH! It was overwhelming! I took notes. I took pictures. I sketched drawings. I wrote down measurements. I wondered as to how to treat all the beautiful church 'relics' left behind. They were Holy in my eyes... so many pamphlets, memorabilia, letters, hymnals with hand written notes from parishioners whose family were still in the area! To me, these were very meaningful. I gathered what I could that first day and brought them to Hub's domain to pour over. I wanted to honor this very important gathering place for Christ, for His people, for ALL of us. Such beauty and glory to Christ Jesus! Wowza! Needless to say - there was a host of conversation at that night's dinner table with our own family. I went to bed thinking of a plan to both honor and rearrange this space to uphold all of this....

The next morning, all boys off to their respective places (Hubs included), I decided to start by cleaning the surrounding grounds, selling the church pews, and sorting all memorabilia that had meaning to the Church proper, the people in the area, and church 'relics'. I also made a list of things to be accomplished - contractors, permits, sketched design, and a timeline to get 'er done by the Christmas Season, 2017!! A lot of work? YES! A lot of planning? YES! Too much to accomplish?  Weeeeell - maybe? Armed with my Microsoft Project software,  I, at a minimum, had a plan. I ran with it! First up - talk with the Apollo Borough Manager for permits, ordinances, and any other thing. SQUEEE - I am on my way! EXCITEMENT!


I arrived at the Apollo Borough Manager's office shortly after they opened. I was met with a dutch door, the top half which was open, and one could 'peep' just a little inside. I could see the Borough Manager sitting at her desk, drinking something and eating chips. She looked up at me and asked what I needed. I told her of our recent realty purchase and my plans. So - you need a dumpster? Yes, I said. She asked me questions such as - will the dumpster be sitting on your property? Will it be in the public walkway? Will it hinder traffic? NO - I said. It will sit squarely on my property with no hindrance to the public. Well -  all was good!! No dumpster permit needed! YAY!! I ordered the 30 ton dumpster that afternoon. It arrived the next day. SQUEE!!!  Now - the HARD work began.... Until the Chief of Police showed up at my Hubs insurance business, located just a five minute walk away from our newly purchased church, demanding that he see a dumpster permit.....stay tuned for 'Part TROIS' !!!

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