Pat Shingleton: " Building a House..."
The Animal Planet originated broadcasts of a series entitled "Treehouse Masters" and arboreal architect Pete Nelson's expertise in showcasing these amazing structures. Baton Rouge's own and Cane's founder, Todd Graves was recently showcased in an episode. Three years ago, Nelson incorporated his exploits in a book appropriately entitled, "Treehouse." During our younger years, Lutz's Construction Co. had their shop and dump site adjacent to our neighborhood. The site was similar to other construction sites and provided us with lots of scrap wood. We reused the scrap wood for projects such as soap box derbies, tree houses and bike trailers. Our tree house was constructed in an apple tree that was adjacent to the family garden. Instead of a solid oak or maple tree we opted for the apple tree, not only for the location, but the apples. To begin the construction process we nailed wood to the tree providing a "ladder" to the top. There were no "plans' for the construction, just a handful of kids pounding nails into boards unaware of the damage we were doing to the tree and the threat that we could break our necks. The tree house test included a heavy shower and how much water stayed out. What wasn't tested was the weight-wind scenario. Six kids jammed into a tree house was followed by cracking and crashing as the tree house turned into a ground house.