Southwest Chatham Library (14097 Abercorn Street)
Thursday, May 16, 6:30 p.m.
Award-winning writer and preservationist Ron Tanner makes a stop in Savannah, GA to offer a comic monologue about his funny, heart-warming book From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story. Combining romance with history and humor, Tanner tells the true story of how he and his wife bought condemned property — a wrecked former frat house — and restored it to its original Victorian splendor. They knew nothing about fixing up houses when they started. In 2008, THIS OLD HOUSE magazine featured their remarkable work. Tanner’s talk includes an impressive slide show.
Twelve years ago, Ron and his then-girlfriend, Jill, did the impossible. They bought condemned property — a big Baltimore Victorian brownstone — and vowed to bring it back to its original glory. The house had been home to Baltimore’s most notorious fraternity for a decade and now, wrecked and abandoned, it was filled with garbage. As if that weren’t daunting enough: Ron and Jill had been dating for only six months and they knew nothing about fixing up old houses. Friends, family, and concerned onlookers told them not to do it and that they would surely lose their shirts and their love in the bargain.
A story for inspiration-seekers, old house lovers, DIYers, and American dreamers, From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story shows how Ron and Jill learned the hard way — about love and life and saving precious things from ruin. But learn they did: in 2003, they got married in the house. In 2008 This Old House magazine featured their work and then the article went viral online, becoming one of TOH’s most popular postings ever.
Ron and Jill now run a popular website about home renovation: Houselove.org
An award-winning writer and engaging speaker, Ron will show slides and regale listeners with hair-raising and hilarious tales of his adventures as a newbie renovator of a wrecked house. He has since become a licensed house inspector and is now prepared to offer advice and tips, especially for couples who take on DIY projects in their houses, wrecked or otherwise.