Beverly Hillbillies

This is a spot for posting those old photos of your service days, your favorite tractor, whatever...Don't be shy we all love looking at pictures! No Nekkid People though, this is a "G" rated site!

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m3a1
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2021, 6:52 am

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2021, 6:53 am

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Gonna jump in here for a moment and point out that Batman has elected to use two Browning 1919s (LP gas powered, no less!)
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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2021, 6:56 am

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2021, 6:59 am

I love movie cars chiefly because, once you really get a good, close look at them, they look pretty darned awful which is proof of the concept that absolutely ANYONE can produce a head-turning car (and cheat like a big dawg while doing it).

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2021, 7:01 am

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 28th, 2021, 7:05 am

Below, more proof of something I've long suspected - A 'vette is fertile ground for just about ANY modification..

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Those are some SERIOUS Dagmars. Ah, Jennie....we hardly knew ye. Bellisimo! Sadly, they stopped short of recreating the correct windshield which would have really been the icing on this particular cake.

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Hope you enjoyed the show!

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 30th, 2021, 3:15 am

Spent an enjoyable Sunday at Warrenton, Texas. Warrenton and its neighbor, Round Top, are home to one of the larger rummage sales in the state and they do it twice a year. Imagine a yard sale about three miles long and 500' deep on both sides of the road and you'll just about have it. We began the day officially assured of a 3% chance of rain and 74 degrees. By the time we arrived at Warrenton, the official chance of rain was "93%" (actually 100%, judging by the rather pervasive dampness of it) and only 50 degrees.

The weatherman is obviously A Party Member...

And rain, it did! It grew suddenly cold, windy and wet and we, being sane individuals, retreated to the Suburban. Here in Texas, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and you'll often be pleased with the results. I had already dropped my wife off at one end to begin her shopping. (Women shop. Men rummage.) With the onset of foul weather, I, being a good husband, called to check on her. She had already solved her weather problem by buying additional layers of clothing. I am now expected to ensure they do NOT shrink when laundered. I can't argue with her solution but I hate being saddled with the Shrink This And You DIE scenario.

Some people are SO particular about their clothes.

In this area (which at any other time is just a long wide spot straddling a two lane Texas blacktop) vendors put up tents, shoulder to shoulder in order to stack stuff deep and (mostly) sell it cheap. It is Conclave for dedicated rummagers. Whatever you're looking for, someone has it. The only tricky bit is finding it and therein lies the fun because during your search you are definitely going to find something you didn't know was on your bucket list.

There are even new(ish) barns and sheds here and there that have been constructed solely for this purpose. Some sections even have hastily paved driveways between them (whereas everywhere else is just gravel and hog wallers). These improved areas are what I call 'The High Rent District' where the rummage quality is only just a titch better but also where prices are set in stone and decidedly many times higher. Another downside is the presentation. No long tables covered in you-name-it. Nothing to paw through. Nope. Everything is spaced out neatly, like a giant chess board.

If Warrenton was Long Island, the high rent district would be The Hamptons. There IS 'low income housing" in the rummaging area. These are tents set up at the furthest reaches of the realm. Here you will find the folks who frequent estate sales in the final hour of the final day and buy whatever is left at one, low-low price. They do that for six months and then bring it all to Warrenton. Pickin's can be mighty thin at these poorer places but there is the occasional treasure or inexplicably low price item to be found there. Alas, they are way out on the fringes of the event and often the last place anyone looks.

The improved areas in the high rent district are purpose-built to attract people with small brains and egos that are as large as their wallets. Certain vendors recognize this as viable income and OH BROTHER, do they take advantage of it. These buyers arrive in enormous, blinged-out, high-end SUVs (the kind with gold-tone letters and badges everywhere) and they always have a hastily attached U haul trailer being towed at a very strange angle.

These folks roll up, stop (and completely block whatever throughway there is available) and dolled-up women in trendy clothes and absolutely fabulous shoes jump out, point to an objet d'art, ask the price and the seller obligingly knocks their head clean off with an astronomical dollar figure that eclipses the GDP of most South American countries.

If it's expensive, and laid out like a chess board, it must be good, right? (and on this chess board, the Queen always gets rooked.)

Then they ask the seller to put their purchase in the U haul because, "HEY! Can't you see I'm wearing Versace?" That done, they drive away, probably in search of a latte. This is drive-by shopping at its most fundamental level. After each client leaves with their purchase, the seller simply rearranges his wares to fill the recently vacated spot and then sits back, waiting to do it all over again. I am prone to hyperbole but, as GOD is my witness, I ACTUALLY OBSERVED THIS VERY OCCURRENCE take place.

There's a lesson in this somewhere... Maybe the lesson is - Build it and they will come. That seller made more money in ONE transaction than most other sellers will make in five hours. Maybe Fabulous Shoes Lady is running her own small business that probably sells vastly overpriced soaps and skin creams to other women with equally fabulous shoes. Maybe she is here, rounding up things with which to decorate her store there, in The REAL Hamptons. It could be that maybe she is 'building it' as well...because, they WILL come. You KNOW they will.

What a racket!

But none of this is JUNK no matter how junky it seems. Junk has no foreseeable purpose. Yes, Fabulous Shoes Lady's purchase may be constructed of an old brake drum with a six foot piece of 3/8" rebar hastily welded to it and festooned with repurposed sections of 2"x2" manky old wood which has been cut, drilled and slid onto the rebar; stacked to form a somewhat conical shape (and arranged so that it is something vaguely resembling a Christmas tree) but together, it IS ART and ART makes people who want to be trendy, feel trendy. People, when someone can assemble $10 in materials and transform that into a $400 sale....IT AIN'T JUNK!

Colloquially here in Texas we simply say, There's an ass for every saddle.

As for me, I conduct my rummaging everywhere but the high rent district. That means I'm ranging far and wide in Warrenton but with this Arthur Itis feller always on my back, I need to find new and better ways to conduct my rummaging efforts. It is at this point I am going to offer one VERY important Hints from Heloise style of advice to those of you who have not yet grown old, have not yet irrevocably damaged your body, or both. PLAN AHEAD FOR IT. Accelerated decrepitude - it happens. I'm not saying you should immediately go out and buy one of those motorized wheel chairs (by the way, I saw a guy with one equipped with TRACKS! No, REALLY!) .....but something like a golf cart will do nicely and probably go a long ways to preserving what ya got.

But, I'm getting ahead of myself. When the rain squall passed and the promise of a better day blew in, we hopped out and unloaded my fine steed, the $500 golf cart, and we made a bee-line toward the end opposite of where I had dropped off the wife. HER end has girly stuff that has been sewn, embroidered, or hastily nailed together and covered in some kind of chalk paint in colors that only appear around Easter-time. MY end has INDUSTRIAL stuff; stuff made of iron and steel and is chock full of history.... and rust.

This is an area so vast that a husband cannot hike it all before he must abandon his efforts in order to meet his wife in the middle of Warrenton for lunch, featuring ice-cold beer (which is its own food group in Texas) and some of the all-time worst burgers and nachos on the planet. Placed together on a single table, they represent a gustatory nightmare that is hard to wake up from. So, one ends up walking back for lunch which is one helluva long way just for food and then, conceivably have to walk one helluva long way back out to pick up where one left off. Not good. Not good at all.

Over the years, the after-meal return which meant MORE hiking (trudging, really) has become so infamously awful (and made worse by the porta-potties becoming farther and farther apart, we (meaning I) have changed tactics. Now, after lunch we traditionally gaggle up and spend the last bit of the day sashaying around in the Betwixt-and-Between section, never straying far from the impossibly clean porta-potties...(just in case).

Something as mundane as porta-potties wouldn't normally deserve a paragraph but Warrenton's portable facilities are really worthy of honorable mention. First, they are always in As-New condition. Second, there is NEVER any grafitti (in mid-Texas, apparently grafitti doesn't seem to exist.) Third, I would love to say they smell fresh as a daisy but there is NO odor whatsoever. Fourth, there is always a hand wash station outside or, if none, a table with plenty of hand sanitizer and someone nearby who is responsible for things. Wow. Just...WOW. I'm not a marketing guy but if I was, I would tell them to employ this catchy phrase -

We take care of OUR business, so you can do YOURS.

In the Betwixt and Between, we examine rummage stuff that fits into no particular category except for maybe calling it Pop Culture of Every Era. Over the years I have spent rummaging, I have discovered I'm a big fan of pop culture, chiefly because I'm a professional Amateur Historian and because it answers the six-word question that all historians eventually utter, which is - What the HELL were they thinking? Pop Culture not only represents the mindset of the people of the era, it also represents the technical and financial limitations of the time and the values and structure of the society.

Stated in less scholarly terms, it IS what WAS....and I dig it.

Allow me to offer a very simple example. The railing that separates a jury from the rest of a court room used to be an open rail with balusters. It was largely symbolic and meant to separate those who sit in judgement from those being judged. This was back in the day before women were allowed to be jurists. When that changed, so did the rail. Women, wearing skirts, benefitted from a new system; a fully closed rail, today still referred to as a "modesty rail". Who would imagine that something as mundane and simple as a railing could tell us so much? How do I know this? My father was a judge with a VERY old courtroom in a VERY old courthouse.

I know. I know. You just can't get this kind of infotainment anywhere else.

ANYhoo....

The B&B is the section is almost exclusively rummage that is "neither fish, nor fowl, nor good, red meat". By way of example, this is where one would expect to find creepy old holiday decorations; such as formerly presentable Santas that were once animated (and now look like intoxicated street bums who are having a stroke). There is other stuff that is not-yet-junk-but-nearly-so. Here, I have found wood and wicker seats (for ancient and now extinct wooden Ferris wheels), cars and trucks and boats cut through and through every which way and repurposed just as vigorously into wall hangings, porch swings and flower beds. Then there are the mannequins...so many, many mannequins. There is retail stuff of every kind; promotional items, vintage signage and lots of stuff you just don't see anymore...like cigarette vending machines.

Even the most vaguely reusable items, such as bottles, bottle openers and caps suddenly have unlimited potential. Bottles, heated and flattened, become wind chimes, bottle openers become wind chime clappers, and caps become....well, use your imagination. If you have a notion, this is the place to begin to fulfill it. If your goal is to make a mailbox out of a farm tractor, have they got a deal for YOU!

Now, previous to my owning a golf cart, the end result of this after-lunch tradition was either, (a) going home exhausted and sore and decidedly pissed at the distinct possibility that some manly item of incalculable value had been missed because the industrial area never got completely reconnoitered, or (b) abandoning my significant other to complete the search and, having to endure her displeasure immediately upon my return, and on the way home and later on after that. I only chose option 'b' once. NEVER AGAIN. She is right, of course. If you don't have wheels, there is simply too much to see if one is on foot.

So, the golf cart (*ahem*) golf CAR not only makes the recce far more efficient, riding around is far easier on my old bones and by extension, far more enjoyable. Leaving the poor, bloody infantry for the cavalry is and was a pleasure.

The golf car is, quite possibly the best $500 I ever spent. It provides MO of everything. MO time to rummage, MO space for purchases (because if things are going so well that you're running out of room, you simply make a run to the car and unload whatcha got and then whiz back). There are MO cool drinks ready at hand because there are four, count em, FOUR cup holders up front (AND room for a cooler). MO rummage area gets covered, MO stuff gets seen so there is MO satisfaction, and brother, all this leads to MO marital bliss.[/u]

Yeah. MO Bettah.

So, the first part of the day, we ran that golf car like a Predator Drone and 'mowed the grass'....back and forth, up and down on a slow roll, stopping to examine whatever looked promising...and I almost, ALMOST, got through it all before whizzing over to meet Mama for lunch. Afterwards, with her looking happy in her seat (with a frosty adult beverage), we returned and burned right through the remaining industrial section we left unfinished...

[b(SATISFACTION ACHIEVEMENT BADGE awarded!)[/b]

...and only then did we return to finish off the day at the Betwixt and Between. This area is small enough that it can be canvassed on foot without too much difficulty, so I parked the golf cart and everyone bailed out. As per normal I didn't get much more than 50 feet before I found something I couldn't pass up. A phone booth...with a pay phone. I know...Crazy, huh? Well, I DO have a reputation to maintain....and a bucket list far longer than I imagined.

I asked the seller, "Waddya want for the old phone?"
He replied, "$700...and the phone booth lights actually still work."
I said, "Well, I love it but $700? I don't love it THAT much!"
Without missing a beat he replied, "$500" (which was quite a retreat from $700!)
I said, "Nah. Can't do it. I guess these are a bit too rich for my blood."

Now I knew these guys had been selling here for a week (with a week to go) and this old phone booth hadn't moved even with this guy making a real effort to move it. Hmmm. So, I began to look around as if disinterested (which anyone should be at that price). Warrenton is the land of Wholesale Prices...not the land of Retail Prices.

He replied, "I'll tell ya what. I have GOT to sell this thing." (Was I REALLY the ONLY person who had shown any interest?) "My truck overheated really bad on the way here and I have to fix it so I can get it home. I sure don't want to have to haul this heavy thing going back."

So I was thinking, 'Discount By The Pound' rules are in effect. Usually, it's the other way around.

I said, "I kinda know my way around cars and trucks. Waddya got," and we began talking shop talk about his Dodge 318 and the many things that may make a vehicle overheat. We discussed every scenario I could think of, including ways to sort those troubles out by hook or by crook and Dear Reader, this guy was a LONG ways from home.

Finally, he said, "What are you charging for all this advice?"
I replied, "Not one damned thing. I just love things with wheels and engines. Besides, without actually seeing your truck, I may be dead wrong about much of it and, sadly, I think we are too far apart on the matter of the old phone booth. I sure hope I helped you out but now I have to say adios cause I want to shop around some more.

He said, "$300."

*Gulp!*

Now at THIS point, I was sure this fella was deadly serious about selling this phone and phone booth...to whomever might be standing in front of him expressing even the most vague and oblique interest in it. At the moment, that was ME. I guess I was the only person who was crazy enough to even ask about it but it surely wasn't something I was going to pay a lot of money for, chiefly because old phones and phone booths are a PITA to really do anything with and how am I going to explain this monsterous THING to my wife? Besides, no matter what his troubles were, he had another week of selling and if push came to shove, he could always unload it for a rock bottom price or similarly pass it over to another seller...and then it occurred to me. This fella really wants to sell this thing NOW....not LATER.

So I looked at the phone and the phone booth and then glanced over at him with one raised eyebrow and said in my best conspiratorial tone, "How crazy are you?"

It was my signal that together, he and I might give this deal just one more tiny little push.... to see if we could get it over the finish line.

He grinned at me and replied, "Pretty damned crazy."
I said, "I don't want to kick you while you're down but I've been pickin' around Warrenton all day long and I don't know exactly how much Mad Money I have left in my wallet right now but it ain't nowhere near $300...but, I'll tell you what...I'm going to show you what I've got. We'll look together and if you don't like what you see, you can say, NO.......and we'll part friends.

So, he nodded and I showed him...and I became the new owner of a Western Electric, single slot, touch-tone pay phone with an illuminated booth and by the time Doctor Smith returned, we had the booth loaded on the roof of the golf cart and were in the process of strapping it down so I could drive it over to my Suburban which was parked "WAY over yonder a fer piece".

When the Doc arrived, I figured I was in trouble. I really did but, I've been in trouble before and the threat of being in trouble really does very little to curb my intention to cut certain deals. God bless her, my wife just grinned and held up her phone and took pictures of her maniac husband standing by his $500 golf cart with a phone booth on its roof.

Yeah. She's my baby and she's a keeper! Maybe some night I'll get a giggle and a peck from her in the phone booth. That'll be good. :wink:

Cheers,
TJ
Last edited by m3a1 on April 1st, 2021, 1:49 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 30th, 2021, 10:29 am

Here are a few goodies observed while catting around in Warrenton.

Enjoy!

These tire stands weren't exactly the ones I was looking for, which are of a far earlier vintage and usually in the hundreds of dollars range (why, I don't know). This particular seller, who had located herself in the cheap seats. had made a small pile of these, just as you see here and then put a premium price on 'em. My first plan was to snap this photo and recreate one at home but it quickly became apparent that the seller was clearly pretty desperate to sell because she immediately offered a very low, buy-it-now price. So I brought the Bridgestone stand home.

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The fella who owned this truck had recreated it from reference photos to appear just like the ones his family had on their farm and he did not over-restore it. Pretty darned cool if you ask me. That's an original Chevrolet stake bed in the back. I have been told they only made them for a few years and then farmed the production out to other manufacturers such as Marion Body and Galion Truck Body Parts.

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As some point, this tractor 'followed him home' and came to live in his barn. YES...of course it runs!

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I never found the owner of this old truck but its soooo typically Texas.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 30th, 2021, 10:34 am

Hey, fella! Where's the fire?

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Chain drive! How cool is that?!!

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Hey, is that the famous $500 golf cart in the background?

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Maintained in a state of arrested decay. I heartily approve.

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Last edited by m3a1 on March 31st, 2021, 12:35 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » March 30th, 2021, 10:39 am

There's a LOT going on here...most of which is beyond my comprehension.

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That fella leaning against the post in the background is the owner. During our conversation I asked him if he owned IT, or it owned HIM. You know what his answer was... Gear heads. We're all the same.

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Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » April 2nd, 2021, 9:28 pm

More goodness found along Texas' Farm-to-Market roads....

Enjoy!

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Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » April 2nd, 2021, 9:32 pm

Mr. Bones is moving up on the To Do List. Way up.

Cleaned out the interior today. Removed everything that didn't have anything to do with the immediate issues at hand.

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Theres always something going on at the Beverly HIllbillies!

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » April 3rd, 2021, 11:59 pm

What's going on at the Beverly HIllbillies today?

Phoneage.

Today began with thunder storms rolling through. Got up early enough to dodge that storm and let the dogs out to do their business in the back yard. After the initial rain, the back yard became a mud puddle and was no longer accessible to the dogs unless one wanted add mopping the floor to the ever-present list of housekeeping chores. Then, I did what any red-blooded American man would do on a Saturday (and EVERY day is Saturday, around here). I returned to bed to wait out the rain in an unconscious state. I woke up to even MORE thunderstorms because the weatherman lied AGAIN (why am I not surprised) and with that, I decided that today might just be a write-off for any outdoorsy work.

One must show respect for The Weather Gods.

However, there was the matter of my recent purchase of a pay phone and having done my due diligence by researching the crap out of them via the power of the internet, I felt I was ready to take a stab at defeating what is widely regarded as locking system that is purty near impregnable. But every system has a weakness and pay phones are no different.

This is what I'm starting with

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This is what it SHOULD look like

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So I purchased a new lock mechanism several days ago (because I knew I was going to destroy the old one) and since the replacement arrived in the mail today, that was my signal to have at it. With some careful measuring of the new lock, between the rains I was able to defeat the whole shebang with a single deep dive through the case with a 3" cut-off wheel. If a lockset cannot be defeated, or drilled out with any guarantee of success, go right for the throat and cut the bolt off. My measurements were accurate and my cut was right on the mark. From measuring and marking to the end of the cut took less than 5 minutes and I was in.

Tah-dah!

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Note the two-bell ringy-dingy up in the corner of the back panel! Music to my ears.

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Once it was apart, judicious use of a lot of compressed air got most of the dirt and dust and dead things out. That cut through the case will be welded back up and ground off in preparation for new paint.

Why bother opening the case at all? Well, being able to take the phone apart makes renewing the finish on the case and it's numerous associated chrome-plated bits far easier because it is a highly modular design and can be broken down rather easily. Polishing the chrome is not only easier, it's also far more thorough. Getting into the corners to polish happens most easily with the chrome panel completely off the case. Having the front off is also necessary so as to be able to mount the back half of the phone properly. Finally, this phone may actually work (anything is possible) and having it open makes testing far easier.

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Once it was apart I came upon some clues as to it's age, beginning with a coin retrieval log (last entry, 1977) and then some replaceable sub assemblies dated 1987 and finally the makers mark on the front cover of 1998. Yes, the front cover separates completely from the back so it is entirely plausible that the front section is not original to the back.

The chrome shows its age which is A-OK because I wanted this to maintain some evidence of its age and usefulness. What I was hoping for was a phone representative of True Americana. Sadly, I must report that, in 1998, Western Electric was farming out the manufacture of these phones to Taiwan. I guess True Americana had already been sent offshore by then. :roll: How sad. There's a lesson in that, somewhere. Will we never learn?

Sometimes I just come away from these projects sadder, but wiser. Totally disappointed and bummed.

Anyway, I got the entire front half almost entirely disassembled and nearly ready for blasting. Part of me wants to go cheap and refinish it with paint but another part of me wants to go the better way and have it powder coated which will keep it presentable for many years to come and nearly impervious to the elements. The jury is still out on that matter and likely as not, it will probably come down to expense because, frankly, there is really no shortage of pay phones out there and someone will always have a better one.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » April 8th, 2021, 9:23 pm

The Beverly Hillbillies gang is 'taking it on the road'....

Found some goodies along the way that were worthy of a snapshot or two.

Coming soon, views of some of Elvis' fine automobile collection. Yeah, I DID visit Graceland! (which was creepy 'cause we were walking around a dead guy's house) but they also have an excellent museum complex.....

...and I visited Chicago's Klairmont Kollection which was, and IS absolutely AMAZING. Rarely do I have no words for something but the Klairmont Kollection really left me speechless (it's that good.)

So, stay tuned, I'll get to the sharing very soon.

Cheers,
TJ

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Re: Beverly Hillbillies

Post by m3a1 » April 12th, 2021, 10:18 am

I'm back after a loooooong drive from San Antonio, to Chicago, and back; a bit saddle sore but really non the worse for the wear.

Along the way, I gorged myself on mechanical goodness and snapped photos like a madman. Planes, trains, automobiles, some structures...even SUBMARINES is what's coming up. Managed to miss stopping at the surplus store in Texarkana BOTH ways...first time, due to haste (everybody wanted to go see stuff and stopping at something as mundane as a surplus store just wouldn't do...plus some of my passengers couldn't stomach the idea of having stinky old green stuff in the car with us all the way up. Alas, the return visit was missed due to our being in the area after hours AND on a Sunday.

Sometimes the stars just don't line up.

But, lucky for you, the stars DID line up, so it's time to buckle up. We'll begin with something kind of weird (and yet vaguely familiar) from the Elvis' Graceland collection. Enjoy!

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