The Shed

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HOPKINS COUNTY, KY (5/9/13) - For some, writing is a way of life. For Madisonville resident Mike Barton, it’s also a part-time job and a leisurely love affair. Along with authoring five insightfully written business books, which includes Recognition at WorkBuilding a Fundamentally Sound Corporate Compliance Program, and Incentive Pay: Creating a Competitive Advantage, as well as numerous published articles and short pieces, Mike holds both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Evansville. And while Mike’s in-depth sense of business know-how has led him to employment as a teacher/professor, an HR Administrator with Baptist Health Madisonville, and a talented lecturer, he says that he simply loves to write. Period. In turn, the Sugg Street Post recently got in touch with Mike and found that he was interested in submitting some of his works to our website. Of course, we were happy to oblige.

So, without further ado, we would like to present the reader with Mike Barton’s second perceptive contribution: “The Shed”. 

The tiny shed was tucked away between two gigantic sycamore trees. It was adorned with tan siding and a well-cured roof. The doors on the structure needed to be replaced. In fact, on a sunny day, the holes in the door converted the shed into a toaster oven. Inside, there were four electrical outlets, an ancient refrigerator, and a fluorescent light that dangled from the ceiling. The shed had been used to store garden equipment and various discarded items. However, it was never meant to be a garden shed. It would be the site of many wonderful memories for the family who occupied the adjoining house.

The family included a husband, wife, and two sons who were three years apart. The oldest son was the first to realize the value of the shed. He thought his destiny was to be a “major” rock star. He convinced his father to convert the shed into a makeshift studio for his rock band. He invested money in insulation that was placed strategically in the gaping holes inside structure. A few particle boards were placed on the walls to give the shed some degree of sophistication. On the particle boards, abstract drawings were made by the band and other visitors. Some of the artwork was a bit over-the-top. For example, “We Are the Best Rock Band in the World” was placed tactically on the three particle boards that were nailed to the walls. The band was named 2 Weak to Notice, which was also prominently displayed throughout the shed.

The first concert “rocked” the neighborhood. The band members invited friends and acquaintances to hear their songs. The parents and youngest son attended this concert and cheered along with the teenage audience. Near the end of the concert, the father was brought to tears with a rocking rendition of “Sweet Home Alabama”. The band announced that this song was for the father who allowed them to convert the shed into their personal “Abbey Road” studio. The concerts became a regular Friday occurrence over the next two years until the oldest son went off to college.

The youngest son was now ready to convert the shed into a “rocking” clubhouse. The shed would now become home to the “KORE”. The KORE was the official name for the friendship group comprised of five individuals including the youngest son. The KORE spent hours in the shed playing video games and practicing on their musical instruments. A window air-conditioner had now been installed so the summer heat radiated by the tattered doors of the shed would be bearable. The KORE would spend the night on old mattresses strewn in the shed. In fact, one of the group’s members stayed in the shed almost two weeks during the summer. He would come into the adjoining house to eat, shower, and use the bathroom. Other members of the KORE also stayed in the shed overnight because of the inviting atmosphere.

The youngest son soon formed his own band. This band, which was called Holden’s Rye, was soon practicing in the shed. The band’s name came from Salinger’s classic novel, The Catcher in the Rye. Maybe the band should have been called Lord of the Flies, because the shed was often plagued with bugs and an occasional nocturnal creature. The band’s practices permeated loud noises throughout the neighborhood. However, it seems the neighborhood welcomed those voices that sometimes sang off-key along with their loud guitars that often needed tuning. Like the band before, Friday concerts were a common happening. Neighbors would sometimes attend these concerts along with the youngest son’s parents. During this time, the oldest son would often return and jam with his younger sibling. The band played concerts in the area and even did one concert at Western Kentucky University.

The shed has now been converted back to a storage area for garden tools and unwanted items. However, the memories remain. The parents often visit the shed and recall the joy it brought to the family. The shed has weathered an ice storm and high winds. It has had a new roof installed as a result. The youngest son now works as a classic rock disc jockey in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He is now in a new band called The Fair-Weather Kings. The oldest son still enjoys listening and jamming with his brother. They have a love of music because of this little shed’s influence.

One only has to close their eyes and think of the eerie sounds that use to be emitted from this “rocking shack”. Some of those sounds included laughter, loud singing, and an occasional heated debate. The shed stands as a reminder of how one small outbuilding became the focal point for a family.

Sugg Street Post
Written by Mike Barton

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