Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Warehouse of Broken Things

My sister, Hope, has a boyfriend. His family helped start the town we live in: his great-grandfather farmed and I think bought most of the land around the town, and his grandfather used to work in Hollywood (he collected a bunch of neat stuff, like an outfit worn by Harrison Ford, and the gorilla hand of King Kong. This garners its own post, though, so I won't get into it). After he came back he donated money and made a name for himself. Many of the streets in town are named after them. 

Anyway, Hope's boyfriend is this goofy, nice guy who today showed us inside a few of his family's decrepit buildings and shared with us some ancient knowledge about the history of his family and their relics. 

Sitting in the back of one of their shops, three in all, is a row of antique cars. They are very, very cool. One is a '67 Chevy Impala, the other one is a banana-yellow VW bug convertible, and the last is an old beach cruiser jeep, like the ones you see in the movies where buff, well-oiled gentlemen are leaning against them with surfboards in their hands. 

The Christmas star makes its appearance.

While the cars sit in an old, padlocked garage, the roof of said garage is in disrepair and so birds and dust got to the cars before we did. The air smelled heavily of dust, and it sat in my nostrils, but Hope and I were as excited as little kids on Christmas. Make no mistake, we are not automobile experts. I barely just starting driving a month ago, and before that I knew next to nothing about them. 

I do know that my dream car is a dark silver VW Bug, and Hope's is a jet-black '67 Chevy Impala, which--hey looky there--both suitable counterparts happened to be sitting side-by-side under the same roof. It was insane, the amount of excitement we felt looking at these cars. 

The boyfriend had explained that his dad used to drive the Impala, but had dented it, left it sitting for years on end, and had let his eldest son work on it--a dire mistake to any car.

The Bug was rolled while under the ownership of another person, and they towed it in next to the Jeep, where it has sat for thirty years. I was sad to hear the news; it was a beautiful car, but now it's nearly ruined, the seats cracking, the exterior dented and broken.

After we finished ogling at the cars, we went and looked at his mother's surplus collection of ceramic creations. His mother is very into pottery. She owns two kilns that I have seen so far, and has a whole building stacked with shelves of ceramic molds. Their entire house is filled with these figurines, which range from basic bowls and miniature pots, to inappropriate, anatomically correct frog figurines. One room has these huge painted butterflies and Dumbo molds stuck in it. 

His mother keeps boxes of her surplus stuff out in the garage with the cars. It was so cool. There were a few Kansas ashtrays, a statue of Jiminy Cricket, some little cowboys boots, about twenty gravy bats/flower vases, all seven dwarves, a few unpainted nativity sets, and this huge pig-thing which I was informed took four gallons of clay to produce. 

I ended up taking home a few of her gravy boats/flower vases, with the firm intention to keep spare jewelry and other stuff in them. They don't actually look much like gravy boats, just really low vases, which is good.

There was a lot of other stuff in that shed, nearly everything broken, and I titled it 'The Warehouse of Broken Things'; my sister agreed. Today was a good experience, one that I hopefully will relive. The warehouse was like a gateway to the past, showing me fleeting images of happy people doing what they love and traveling places, of keeping their dreams locked up inside a building so that hopefully they can return to them later on in their lives.

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