Spray Painting a Bedroom
Early in the 1950s when John Funk had left the ranch, his bedroom was cleaned out and
needed a fresh coat of calcimine. Adaline and Tom got to thinking that it would be a lot
easier to spray it on than to use the old paintbrushes they had found in the barn. They
tried using the little spray attachment on the Electrolux vaccuum cleaner but soon gave
up on it. Then they hunted up the garden pump-sprayer and began to clean it out, when it
occurred to them that the new 400-gallon cattle sprayer would be a lot quicker than the
(one-gallon?) hand-sprayer. They found the Power Wagon not in use, with the shiny red
sprayer still loaded in its bed; it took a while to clean out the insecticide, but they finally
decided the smell was gone, and mixed up a twenty-five gallon batch of the whitewash.
All the furniture had to be moved out onto the triangle of lawn, and the big long hose
maneuvered into the door. Finally all was ready, the sprayer motor was started, and the
tap opened with the hose aimed at the ceiling.
Foosh. Then no more. Puzzled, Tom looked in the tank. Empty.
The whitewash — which just wouldn’t stick to the greasy ceiling — was in a huge puddle
on the painted floor. All twenty-five gallons of it. With Mother and Tom standing there
looking at it, crestfallen.