From my front window, I can see a charming, red brick chimney.
This slightly rickety chimney often reminds me of an illustration from one of my favorite books, “The Sailor Dog,” by Margaret Wise Brown. In the story, Scuppers (“born at sea in the teeth of a gale”) becomes shipwrecked and builds himself a cozy little shack.
We all have our fantasies and one of mine is to live in a little shack like that.
With this humble chimney in mind, I launched a Rickety Chimney Contest. Any chimney in southeast Minneapolis would be eligible. With all of the old houses and buildings around here, I figured most of the chimneys would be rickety.
I prowled through the Marcy Holmes, Como, and Prospect Park neighborhoods and wandered through the University of Minnesota campus. One day I drove so slowly down a residential street — craning my neck — that a mail carrier took note. He probably he even wrote down my license plate.
I found some surprising things, and was forced to launch several contests and name several winners, and here they are.
Most Elegant Chimneys
Least Expected Chimney FeatureThis is a chimney cowl. I had never heard of chimney cowls before I launched my Chimney Contests. Cowls supposedly keep the wind from blowing back down a chimney. They also help keep birds and squirrels from nesting inside. And speaking of critters…
Best Rickety Chimneys
That’s it for my Chimney Contests. It was fun, but now I’m cursed. I can’t drive past a house or building without checking for chimneys. I leave you with a final image from “The Sailor Dog.”
“The Sailor Dog” images courtesy of Random House.