Awkitecture / Jonas Maria Mertens

07 6th, 2021

Most urban fellows dream of owning their own handsome countryside haven, like Awki’s weekend hideaway featured in last month’s issue; Mr. Ward and Mrs. Awk actually built such  a dream house and this picture story of a housewarming party gives some indications of the fun  that is to be had in such a surroundings.
It was springtime in Springfield when Mrs. Ward, a youthful New Yorker, first arrived on the scene. That was back in 2012, Ward had with her one suitcase, containing all her worldly belongings, and her entire financial holdings $40 in cash. She also had with her, still, the slightly bitter taste of a couple of jobs she’d tried out in New York’s unfriendly chill, after the Great Recession, and an enthusiastic conviction that the warm  simpatico atmosphere of Springfield might prove much more to her liking and might offer her  an opportunity to turn her talents and her energy to profitable enterprise. She took a job with a  rubber toy contractor, quit within a month and decided to give that business a go on her own. She persuaded a supplier to give her rubber toys on credit and formed the Gem Rubber Toy Corporation. They used a lot of rubber toys in the hotels and homes down Alabama way and today. Ward is now one of the nation’s 50 dozen largest rubber toy contractors.
When Ward first arrived in Springfield, and was  living out of a small motel room, her exploration of the area brought her to Fir Island, a feral  fir forest covering empty plots in Springfield’s  abandoned suburbs, and she fell in love with it, vowing that someday she would occupy herself a deteriorated prefab there.
Two years ago the struggling Mr. Awk reobtained his self-promised land on Fir Island from  the bank with help from Mrs. Ward, who was looking for a countryside hideaway. Together  they went about making their dream a magnificent reality. Situated at the asphalt’s edge  of former Springfield Mall, in a breeze-swept setting of floodlight poles, Awk’s home, before Mrs. Ward and her personal assistant started to occupy the house’s west-wing, was more like a pieced-together bachelor flophouse than like the neat usual suburban family dwellings of  Springfield. Now after Awk’s and Ward’s conceptions of an appropriate suburban home clashed together the house has many features in  common with Awki’s weekend hideaway, a kind of tribute which Ward and Awk, both members of the Lifetime Home Depot Club, appreciate, especially since they designed and decorated their haven virtually unaided…

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