From Boards to Bookends: An Amazing Journey

The ReUse People SpecialsBy Jeff Cockerell
Los Angeles Retail Manager

It all started one day last January when my wife phoned me at TRP’s Los Angeles store. Wendy had been on a popular Los Angeles blog and learned that readers were up in arms about the demolition of the beloved author Ray Bradbury’s home. She wanted to know if it was one of our jobs. It was.

Thus began a creative journey that in August came full circle.

Once I realized that Bradbury was the former owner of the home in question, I started doing some research. The demolition was not well received, and Bradbury fans all over the world were irate. People were even talking about breaking into the jobsite to steal a piece of this man’s legacy. Since the news media had not yet reported that the home had actually been carefully deconstructed, I felt that TRP needed to take action. In addition, I decided to find out more about how the rest of Bradbury’s bequests were handled upon his death in 2012.

I soon encountered the name of Jonathan Eller at Indiana University, and his marvelous Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. The author’s family had donated Bradbury’s entire home office to the university, including manuscripts and books belonging to the author.

That’s when the magic happened. What if we were to create some sort of product by repurposing materials salvaged from the home—something with which people could remember Bradbury? Even better, what if we sold this product and donated the net proceeds to the Bradbury Center? Yes!

That started the ball rolling. I thought a lot about Mr. Bradbury, I even started reading Fahrenheit 451. He was one of the greatest authors of our time. Then it came to me. Bookends!!! We would make 451 numbered sets, the number commemorating his most celebrated novel. What better way to remember this great man? I felt certain such a project would have pleased Bradbury; he would have approved.

The more I read about Bradbury, the more I spoke to those closest to him, the faster the ideas flowed. Bradbury lived a simple life, and his home basement-office was unfinished. TRP could take rough, unfinished lumber from Bradbury’s home and manufacture bookends, branded with the logo 451.

Meanwhile, way across town, TRP Regional Manager Arthur Renaud spotted a blistering article in the January 18 edition of the Los Angeles Times. “Bradbury House Torn Asunder” quoted former Bradbury assistant John King Tarpanian and was critical of the home’s new owners and architect. Since Arthur had not only landed the job, but overseen the deconstruction, he promptly responded to the article with an explanatory letter to the editor. When Mr. Tarpanian read Arthur’s letter, published on February 9, he phoned the L.A. store. I shared my bookend idea with him and received an enthusiastic response.

Thankfully, after continued research and persistence, I got the green light to begin production. Each set of bookends included a certificate of authenticity signed by Bradbury’s daughter, Alexandra Bradbury, and TRP President Ted Reiff. Once complete, all 451 sets sold within 48 hours, a few to overseas buyers.

TRP arranged for me to travel to Indiana to hand deliver the check and visit the amazing Center for Ray Bradbury Studies. I received red carpet treatment and was able to view one-of-a-kind items that most fans will never be able to see: Bradbury’s artwork, his presidential award medallion. I even held his 1994 Emmy for “The Halloween Tree.” I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of artifacts from throughout his life.

When I returned home, I felt pleased with what had been accomplished. The donation to the center, a kind gesture, was so well received. Now adoring fans around the world have a small piece of Ray Bradbury history.

The ReUse People Specials

L to R: Thomas J. Davis, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Liberal Arts, Indiana University Jonathan R. Eller, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, Indiana University Jeff Cockerell, TRP Los Angeles Retail Manager Liz Goodfellow, Major Gifts Officer, Indiana University

The ReUse People Specials

L to R: Jeff Cockerell, Jonathan Eller, Tom Davis

2015 National Reuse Contest

The 2015 National Reuse Contest is underway. If you are thinking about entering a project, please contact your local reuse store or warehouse and encourage them to participate.

Store managers, or anyone desiring more information on the 2015 contest, should contact:
Kelly Simione
Program Manager
National Reuse Contest


Employment Opportunity

TRP is seeking a versatile individual for the position of Crew Chief. Primary responsibilities include managing 5 and 10 person crews on deconstruction projects, maintaining jobsite safety and assisting the TRP deconstruction manager with estimating and bidding. The candidate must be bilingual (English/Spanish), adept in the use of Microsoft Office, knowledgeable concerning residential construction, and skilled in oral/written communication. Compensation is a combination of base salary plus incentive. TRP offers health care, the usual holidays and vacations, flexible spending accounts, a 401(k) program, and an outstanding work environment.

Specials of the Month

At the Oakland warehouse we are featuring interior doors and plumbing. Receive 25% off the price of any interior door or plumbing fixture through September 30.
The ReUse People Specials
The Los Angeles warehouse is featuring bathtubs and two-for-one doors. Receive 50% off the price of any bathtub and/or buy one door and get a second same- or lower-priced door free. Both discounts through September 30.
The ReUse People Specials
The San Bernardino warehouse is celebrating its first anniversary with a big Anniversary Sale! Receive 25% off the price any purchase over $100 through September 30.

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has received large shipments of 2’x10’x 3/4” drywall. You won’t find drywall at a better price!

The ReUse People Specials

New inventory at the Los Angeles warehouse includes a metal garden gate, made to look aged; a stainless Kitchen Aid dishwasher; and a handsome knotty pine entertainment center. Beauties all.

The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials

Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

TRP-HACSB ReUse Warehouse - San Bernardino
660 East Orange Street
San Bernardino, CA  92410
(909) 388-6475
Hours: Tue-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Monday and Sunday

Please visit our partnering warehouses:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Orange County (two convenient locations)
The Home Improvement Store That Builds Homes
1656 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802
(Euclid and Katella Avenue)
(714) 434-6266
Mon-Fri 9:00 am- 8:00 pm;
Sat 9:00 am- 6:00pm;
Sun 11:00 am- 5:00 pm

The Home Improvement Store That Builds Homes
1400 Village Way, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(McFadden Place Shopping Center, exit 55 Freeway at McFadden)
(714) 434-6266
Mon- Sat 9:00 am- 6:00 pm;
Sun 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Kansas City
4701 Deramus, Kansas City MO 64120
(816) 231-6889
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-6:00; Sat 9:00-4:00; closed Sunday

The ReUse Warehouse
1400 East Geer Street
Durham, NC 27704
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00

Roaring Fork Valley Habitat for Humanity
7025 Hwy 82
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-7733
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00-5:30; Sat, 10:00-5:00; Sun, 11:00-4:00

Stardust Building Supply
3901 E. Thunderbird Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 459-9803
Hours: Mon-Sat, 8:00-6:00; Sun, 10:00-4:00

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salt Lake Valley,
1276 South 500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 263-0136
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Summit & Wasatch Counties
6280 N. Silver Creek Drive, Silver Summit, UT
(435) 487-9015
Hours: Wed-Sat 10:00-6:00; closed Sunday

Recycle Utah
1951 Woodbine Way Park City, UT 84060
(435) 649-9698
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00-5:30; Sun 10:00-4:00

Reuse Depot
50 West Madison
Maywood, IL 60153
(708) 223-0502
Hours: Wed-Mon 10:00-6:00p; Closed Tuesdays

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