We found the Army radio operator under the steps, half buried in dirt and moss. The deck has been there for at least 30 years. The house has hosted a number of families before we purchased it (it is a 1909 Craftsman), and the last owners had no children, so I am sure he has been down there for years. Looks like he has been trying to call for help for quite some time to no avail. I think we saved him from certain peril, since there was one ugly spider about twice his size (a Brown Recluse, perhaps) lurking menacingly close by. Those are very big and very poisonous, so the spider prematurely met its doom. The Army man was saved, and has moved into the house.
It is difficult to work on large home projects with an infant in the house, so it looks like we have at least a couple of weekends and some evenings of work still left to complete the project before Luke's first birthday party. We are sweating it a bit now, but know that we will be loving the newly configured space for the rest of the summer and for years to come as Lukas grows up! We anticipate that he will stash one of his own toys under the deck someday for some other little boy to find!