HOUSE BORN OF MUD
A Builder's Story
By William N. Gates
Building a house of adobe in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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This is a story of the struggle to create beauty. A novice may find it useful in building an adobe house—how to mix the mud, how to grade a pipeline, how to tell a two-by-six from a one-by-ten: such details abound. But above all, it tells of a man’s triumph over every obstacle to achieve something delightful.
When the author undertook to build a home for his family in the spring of 1964, he had no building experience and very little concept of what he faced. Aside from the obduracy of the materials he had to work with, he would encounter vexing conflicts with the subcontractors and workers that he hired. As both boss and laborer, he knew neither how to lead them nor to be one of them.
He simply believed he could do it. And he did, learning as he went. And the dwelling that rose by their efforts achieved a splendor that no one could have foreseen.
Poet and author of Spell, River Riding Writing, and In Words Dive, William N. Gates grew up in Ohio and went to school in the East, but always felt the lure of the Southwest. He and his wife live and work in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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