Resurget Cineribus

The flag of Detroit, in addition to having about 7 flags worth of visual information on it, bears the city’s motto: “Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.” The motto was given to the city by Gabriel Richards after the Great Fire of 1805 which wiped out the entire city in less than a day. The one building that was left standing was an old British fort.

Richards was a priest that fled France during the French Revolution in 1792, and eventually established churches, schools and libraries, and after the Great Fire he coordinated food relief efforts and was involved in the planning of the metropolitan layout that the city retains to this day. Before you get too attached to him, know that he also “ministered” to the indigenous people, an all-too-common initiative at the time for white settlers to erase indigenous cultures in the name of God. The irony does not escape me that the name of this very trailer, Comanche, is culturally appropriated. But I digress.

What is relevant about Richards to this story is the meaning of the motto – it translates from Latin to “We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes.”

While the disassembled walls and cabinets languished in the corners of the garage, time passed. I sold the 64 Olds, bought a 63 BelAir wagon, got engaged, and was back to work full time. The tarped-off floor and frame sat in the driveway like some sort of hillbilly chrysalis, and the kids and the neighbors kept asking me when it was going to be finished.

Then I got married, and It occurred to me that there were three possible fates in store for the trailer now. One, I finish it. Two, I sell it as-is. Three, it goes to the dump when Kelly and I find a house. I tried selling it as a “great project that just needs finishing” and got one solitary nibble from a guy that, after seeing it in a hundred pieces, promptly turned around and left. So that leaves finishing it, or taking it to the dump. I guess I have to finish it then!

So, how do I protect it from the elements, but still have the space to work on it? I did some measuring and concluded that I could build it in the garage and then move it outside onto the frame when it was done. Once again I called up Pistol Pete and he leant me a hand removing the platform, constructing a frame to set it on, and setting the walls.