Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The way, way, way way WAY back machine...

Posted by Tara.

As bad as the yard seems now, it should be duly noted that it was much, much worse...

I've gone through my computer hard drive to find some photos from the dawn of the digital photo age, when 640x480 was "high resolution". Bear with me as a few of these panoramas and photos aren't quite up to today's standards (unless you've got that photo-enhancing software they always have in movies, where it can add detail that isn't there to begin with...)

So, first off, let's see where we were back in 2001. These are some of the earliest photos we took as we started to deal with a problem that had spiraled out of control for 30+ years. This was back in the days when Dad still lived at home. He wasn't working on VW's anymore and was cognisant enough to still be fighting our efforts. However, not long before these were taken, he actually gave up on 15 cars and let a scrapyard take them away at once. What we're seeing in these photos is after they had left (they were in an area called "the pen", which would have been in the right rearmost part of the next picture). At that point there were probably 50 or 60 on the property (down from a maximum of 78 in the early 1990's).

And here's the area (below) that is barely visible in the above photo, center right.

Out of these 2 pictures the only cars that remain non-crushed are the red Karmann-Ghia (inside the shop now), and the red camper bus (undergoing restoration elsewhere and soon to be back on the road - mostly to haul VW parts to swap meets!).

Oh, and I think one of the red bugs in the 2nd photograph is still around, but it won't be for long.

Fast forward a few years to Spring 2003, and sadly things don't look much better, but they are. Lots of other parts of the yard have been cleaned up, but what was left was stuck in one area, so it actually looks worse.

Now looking from atop the attic of the shop, we see that was behind it in then. I hate to admit it, but I wasn't helping things much as 4 or 5 of the cars here belong to me, either as a result of "That's cool, I want it", or I was driving it in the recent past. And I had recently bought the Citroen 2cv which is off to the left (and now nicely restored and lives elsewhere). Of what we see here, the only cars still on the property are the black Saab and the red beetle, both slated to leave, either whole or in pieces. And the random chunks o' Saab Sonnet are still there too (the blue and grey 1/2 cars).

Lastly, let's see a before and after of the area behind the two story garage. Before is May 2001, After is April 2003. Still lots to do, and nature had really taken over things at this point. Sort of like that show "Life After People", eh?

The only thing left in these photos is the fender-less Citroen DS (because is IS a bona-fide classic car), which is a parts car for a rust-free one I own. With parts being so scarce that's why it's still here. However, one needs to follow through with plans for constructive car fixin' which is difficult when you're constantly sidetracked by the getting rid of crap along the way.

So as bad as things look now, we have made progress! I don't live here anymore, but I do live close by. I often think of coming over to work on something constructive, but the story has been - for years and years- that any plans get sidetracked by the getting-rid-of-worthless (or worse, stuff you have to pay to dispose of) -stuff sometimes just so you can clear a path or clear an area to work on something. I guess I never realized that it would take a decade to get over this hurdle, but I'm happy to accelerate the pace just to get to the cool and/or worthwhile stuff.



Thalia said...


I knew it was bad, I remember it being bad, but I hadn't realized just how bad it was, and how much progress we have really truly made.

Dave said...

So whose idea was it to put on the storm windows. It too bed the place looks so pretty without them

Thalia said...

Actually those were got with another grant. I know the twelve-over-twelves look nice and authentic, and the storm windows cover them up, but they make a HUGE difference in heating the place. For most of my life you either crammed folded-up newspapers in the gap between the top and bottom sash, or just let the cold air flood in. And in the summer we always had those screens that adjust to fit the width, but because when the bottom sash was up it left a big gap (since it couldn't really be sealed given the multiple panes) we weren't allowed to turn the lights on for fear of attracting mosquitoes (this is likely dad-logic). So, actually, trust me, those storm windows are a very good thing.

They've been painted to match the rest of the house now, though so they don't look quite so obvious. :)