Stenger Stairs

We’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed before, but few can claim the fame associated with crumbling a staircase with the touch of a toe. To be fair, years of turbulent weather has also played its part. Everything converged on the eve of yet another Monday @ MITCH and missing parts of stairs just will not do when people are wont to climb them (especially with heavy, expensive music equipment).

We hurriedly set to fixing the loose plank with our small but mighty drill and some extra porch slats cut to size with our handy-dandy mitre box. Luckily, there was a strapping Air Force pilot in our midst who responded with alacrity when asked to help.


He wedged himself into a curiously terrifying position leaning backwards over a retaining wall. A package of potting soil was strategically positioned to cushion his fall if he were to lose his footing.

We weren’t just deadweights while Joey did all the work, though. We mitered and pre-drilled, drew pencil marks and handed screws. Definitely broke a sweat.

After the initial plank was reattached with reinforcement, we noticed two more were wiggling. Without any novocaine, we yanked them off and set to adding braces. (Forgive the mixed metaphor. It’s genetic.)

Now the stairs are less treacherous thanks to the engineering feat of Capt. Joey Stenger.


About mitchcollective

MITCH Collective is a community-driven catalyst promoting creativity in the Ohio Valley. MITCH Collective enriches Martins Ferry, Ohio and nearby towns by: -inviting artists, writers, and musicians to experience the beauty and creative potential of the area while creating new work and interacting with local residents through the residency program. -inspiring a historically economically depressed area by teaching new skills and ideas that will help foster new problem solving approaches for challenges that face the community. -collaborating with nonprofit and municipal organizations in Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania to bring innovative, interdisciplinary projects to life. Facilities include printmaking, screen printing, sewing, quilting, and bookbinding. Visit for more information.
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