The Osburn Home

The telephone book for Livingston in the 1950's was no where near the size it is today. In comparison, it looked more like a small recipe book than a phone book. Practically everyone listed in the phone book then had a last name that was well established around this area, and family members who lived here had been doing so for generations. The names listed in the phone book were known by just about everyone who lived here during that period of time. That certainly isnít the case today. For example, listed in the "B" section of the Livingston phone book, there is the name Blasczienski, Anthony. Thatís a last name that is definitely new to this area. I had an occasion to meet Mr. and Mrs. Blasczienski during the Christmas holidays, and learned they moved here from the state of New York. It was through Tony and Judy Blasczienski that I heard about Norman and Maxine Osburn, friends of the Blasczienskis, who are in the process of building a new home in the Okolona area. While there isnít anything unusual about the fact that couples from the state of New York have decided to relocate here and build a home, the type of house the Osburns are building is not the usual kind we see everyday. Itís round. But before I proceed any further, here is a little background information about the Osburns.

Maxine and Norman Osburn grew up in Auburn, New York, the place they made their home for the last 55 years. Auburn is located in the area of Rochester and Syracuse, New York. The Osburns were childhood sweethearts, and married a year after graduating from Port Byron Central High. As the years passed, their family grew to include three daughters. During this period, Norman was drafted into the U.S. Army, and following his honorable discharge, he began working as a tractor/trailer driver for United Parcel Service. Tony Blasczienski was also employed with United Parcel Service where he also drove a tractor trailer truck. In addition to caring for their daughters and maintaining the home, Maxine Osburn completed a course in beauty school, and was employed for many years as a hair dresser. She later worked as a teacherís aid in a special education class, then in an insurance business, and still later, had a job caring for the developmentally disabled. She eventually returned to school to further her education by getting a bachelorís degree in counseling. The Osburns never dreamed they would live anywhere else but Auburn, New York. But as the severe winters there with sub-zero temperatures continued to be extremely harsh, and when the opportunity later presented itself to move to a somewhat warmer climate, they decided to do just that. But it wasnít until Tony and Judy Blasczienski came through the state of Tennessee while helping some friends move to Louisiana, that the gears were set in motion to think about relocating. For the Blasczienskis, seeing the state of Tennessee was love at first site. A trip with some friends to Asheville, North Carolina later brought the Osburns through this area, and on that trip, Tony and Judy showed them property in Okolona Maxine and Norman ended up buying. The Osburns returned to New York to place their home on the market thinking that in a year or so, hopefully their home would sell and they could make plans to move to Tennessee then. Just twelve days after listing their home, it sold, and the next thing they knew, the Osburns were on their way to Tennessee. Tony and Judy were able to find a home Norman and Maxine could rent, and the pieces began to fall slowly into place. After settling somewhat in the house they were renting, the decision of what kind of home to build needed to be made. And one thing for sure Norman knew was he did not want an ordinary home ... he wanted something different. An underground home was considered, followed by a corkwood home, both of which Maxine turned thumbs down on. While making up their minds about what kind of home to build, they obtained information about a company in Asheville, North Carolina where Deltec Homes are available. Some of the features offered by this company include expedient on-site construction. Most of their model shells can be erected in four to six days, instead of months normally associated with the building of other type homes. All of the exterior components are built in their manufacturing facility in a controlled environment and then delivered to the building site. Their company says these homes are certified as being twice as energy efficient as other homes of the same size, and have been engineered for any special design considerations including high wind, high snow load, and seismic areas. There are no supporting walls with these homes, and the design of the floor plan is left up entirely to the owners.


Upon completion, the Osburn home will look very similar to the one shown here.  This picture was taken from a book of floor plans offered by the company.


On January 3rd of this year, two trucks from Asheville arrived at the building site loaded with the outside shell and roof of the Osburn home. Because of rainy weather, the basement had not yet been started, or a barn that had been contracted by the Osburns to be built for storage purposes had not been completed, therefore it was necessary to unload the building materials and roof in storage containers that were brought onto the property. Once good weather returns, the building process of putting the shell together can commence.

The Osburnsí floor plan includes a large open living and dining area, bedrooms, two baths, and a wine room and woodworking room in the basement. The brochure advertising the Deltec Homes says "You Donít Live in a Square World ... Why Live in a Square House?" It will be interesting to see the finished product and it can be viewed at 892 Bilbrey Road for those who would like to drive by and take a look when the building process begins.

Maxine Osburn told me how so very welcoming and friendly everyone she and Norman have met have been, and that they are really enjoying living here. Even though the move here was not something they ever anticipated would happen while they were raising a family in New York, they, along with their friends, Tony and Judy Blasczienski, are very happy to call Livingston their home.