JUNK YARDS

There’s a story with every car in the yard.

He was dirty, he had been working all morning, taking a transmission out of one car and removing a drive shaft from another, he said.

He pointed to a brutally wrecked white truck.  The weather was cold. The wind was blowing. The ground was muddy.  I tried to side step a low spot filled with water.  I had my hands in my coat pockets.  I wished I had worn a hat.

“They brought that one in last week.  The kid wrapped it around a telephone pole.  There’s the front bumper.”

It looked like a giant chrome horseshoe to me.

“Killed the kid driving it.  I went to school with his father.”

We walked on past what was left.  Once upon a time, it was a nice truck.  The steering wheel was bent.  I tried not to think.

“These kids, they think just because they’re in a pickup truck or a car, they’re safe and they can do whatever they want to do. They want to see how fast they can go.  But I see what happens to them every day.  We’ve got another one coming in tomorrow.  We get a lot of these around this time of the year, you know, the weather and all that.”

I was in a junk yard.  He was the owner.  We were just walking and talking.  I was looking for a tail light  for my own truck.

We were standing by a burned out wreck.  “I don’t know what happened here.  The insurance company called and brought it to us.”    What was left looked like it lost a battle with a dump truck or a bulldozer, then they burned it for spite.

My wife and I raised three boys.  I know we sent four cars and trucks to the junkyard, totaled beyond repair.  There was a story with each one.

I looked around.  Hundreds of cars, hundreds of stories.  Banged fenders, dents on the side, broken windows, and a lot worse.

Back in the back is where he kept the old cars, some of them have been there for decades  I’d bet they’ve been there since I was in high school.  Classic rust and ruin.

“What’s the most interesting thing you’ve found in these cars?” I asked.  I wanted to change the subject.

“Down behind the back seat one time, I found a vintage Babe Ruth baseball card, in a gold case.  It’s in perfect condition.  I have it in my office.  I guess it’s worth $60 or $70 dollars.  I looked it up on E-bay.” He was proud and you could hear it in his voice.

“And, another time, I found a brand new Zippo lighter, still in the box.  It had a picture of Elvis engraved on it.  I gave that to my wife.  She’s still in love with Elvis you know.  She’s got that lighter on her curio cabinet right now.  She collects Elvis stuff.”

There’s always a story to tell.

 

Please feel free to share.  I welcome your comments and thoughts.  Contact Mike Windham at amwindham100@gmail.com.  You can follow my blog at mikewindham.com.

 

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