I hate it when there are so frigging many screws in the attic access cover!
All six screws were three inches long, with mangled slots from previous people dealing with the cover. Some appeared to have been “given up on” which only made me all the more determined. I placed my screw driver at an angle on the groove of one of the screws and then whacked the screw driver to knock the paint out of the groove to help the screw driver fit better. I turned the screws out just far enough to get my vise-grips on the heads and then turned the screws the rest of the way out with the vice-grips.
With the cover finally out of the way—with only minimal damage to the where the cover had been painted in place 20 times—I was able to peer into the opening. Waving the flashlight, I wound up enough cobwebs to make a place for my head to look around. The air smelled the way old attics smell—an odd concoction of dust, wood, rodents and insects—marinated by time and extreme temperatures. The dust and cobwebs covered an assortment of items—perhaps left by the first occupants of the home. Other items that I could see were more mid-20th Century—but nothing seemed newer than that. I was obviously the first person to wrestle with those old screws in a very long time.