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Aah, the sound of cracking a cold one.
For many people, myself included, that sound makes us think of kicking back with a nice, frosty beer at the end of a long day. Or perhaps sharing one with a couple of friends.
For Fort Worth resident Louis Torres, it's all that and more.
Louis is the resident at 2901 Whitmore St., otherwise known as the "Beer Can House." For years he's been drinking Milwaukee's Best and Miller Lite, and repurposing the cans to decorate his yard. Strands of aluminum cover the fence, and some reach as high at 30 feet in his biggest trees. Many of the cans he's even cut to look like lanterns.
How many cans does he currently have on his house?
"Maybe a little over 2,000," Louis says. "To me it's a hobby ... just something to do."
By April 4 however, Louis, a Lockheed Martin retiree, will have to leave his work behind.
The Whitmore property, which is one of two remaining houses on its block, was recently sold. Louis and his younger brother Jimmy Torres, who owns the home, expect it will be torn down by developers to make way for new housing.
It's not an easy departure for either of them. That house has been in the brothers' family since the 1950s, when they were kids. Jimmy estimates 20 family members cycled through the residence, including his first wife and daughter. Louis, too, raised his four children there. A few years ago when the city of Fort Worth made him take down the decorations for a brief period, Louis' grandchildren came over, collected the cans and sold them for nearly $400.
"This house means everything to me," Louis says. "It's gonna take me some time to get over it 'cause I've been here for so long. I grew up right here."
For his time here, though, Louis has certainly made his mark. The Beer Can House is infamous around these parts. Strangers like Nadia Martin catch a glimpse of the sun reflecting off the aluminum and stop near the corner of Currie and Whitmore streets to take pictures.
"I was driving over on White Settlement right there, and out of the corner of my eye I saw this sparkling stuff," she says, "and I turned around and was like, 'What on Earth?'"
Others who come by leave beer. Last summer, Miller Lite gifted Louis 10 cases and a custom bar sign with his name on it. The sign is hung in an outdoor space he calls his hangout and at night it glows outward for the rest of the street to see.
"I've had some people think, they think this is a bar because they see all these cans," he laughs. "They see everything lit up and see that neon sign lit up and that's what they think."
Louis admits he's not ready to move on yet, but he's accepted the reality of the situation. Louis and one of his best drinking buddies, a dog he took in named Suzie, are moving to a new home in River Oaks west of Fort Worth, and he plans to bring the beer can tradition with him.
"I'm not gonna quit doin' it unless I'm told," he says. "The Beer Can House will be back."