Raising a windmill
October 30, 2006
A 20-foot windmill stands above the Hundriesers’ Douglas County home, when only a few days ago it was broken and bent upon the ground.
“Last night was my first good night’s sleep,” said Ken Hundrieser, after spending two hours, and $375, to raise the galvanized-steel windmill back into place Thursday.
When the lawn windmill came crashing down Oct. 19, Hundrieser, 74, nearly started crying, his wife said.
Two years of work was twisted upon the ground. While it was being lifted into place for the first time in the Hundriesers’ front lawn, the 500-pound windmill slipped out of the chains.
“She went down and smashed half of the fan and ruined it,” Hundrieser said.
The fan blades were repaired by Tobin Rupert, owner of Rupert’s Auto Body in Carson City.
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“I knew nobody else in town would take this and my grandfather taught me the old-school way to repair steel, so I knew I could do it,” Rupert said.
He also couldn’t turn away the Hundriesers and their sad story.
Bought for $500 from a Carson City antique mall, Hundrieser decided to make it his project. He and his wife, Betty, operate a craft business in their retirement.
It was probably used to pump water for cattle in Lusk, Wyo., he said, because the town’s name is etched into the steel. He spent another $1,000 on parts and wood to encase part of the bare metal in wood and give it a more rustic look.
After some minor adjustments to the base, Hundrieser said he’ll unclamp the blades so they can turn once again like they once did over the Wyoming prairie.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.