Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picking Thru Bob's Junk

We went picking yesterday.  We ran across a very interesting guy, Bob, and his junk.  Bob is an eighty year old semi-retired upholsterer and castle builder.  In addition to gathering massive quantities of junk Bob has run a successful business, raised 11 kids, participated in establishing a traditional value based private school and built his very own castle.

Bob's junk is piled into the family compound.  Chris, Morgan and I were there for more than 4 hours yesterday and barely scratched the surface.  The photos here are to show you what I like the most about picking and what I like a lot less.  I like the people that we meet.  Bob is one of the most interesting people that we have encountered.  I dislike the digging through piles of stuff and the mounds of dirt that we meet.

The compound is located in a 22 acre former granite quarry site.  The quarry closed with the crash of 1929.  Bob added new warehouse and factory space to the existing quarry buildings.  Ultimately Bob built his castle in the sky on top of the 65 foot tall granite slag heap.

 This is the parking lot showing the scale of Bob's building.

 Bob standing in front of a very small portion of his stash.
Morgan is digging through some of the stuff stacked on a trailer in the warehouse.

 The cupboard is stacked with many, many Mason jars.
 Chris proudly posing with one of his finds.  2 cast iron fluted columns.  He found on column when he noticed about 3 inches sticking out from behind a pile of stuff.  We presumed that there had to be a second column so Chris circled the stash.  He found it, under many items on the other side of the pallet racking.
 Pair of cast iron legs from some sort of antique machinery.
 Some of the stuff that we ultimately bought from Bob.
 I bought these light fixtures.  They are green enamel and coated with hundred year old granite dust.
 Chris and Morgan bought this cast iron legged tables.
 1950's bike mark Schwinn and Our Own Hardware.
 This Willys was in the garage behind the warehouse, but we did not buy it.
 Bob entering a smaller building on the site.  It was stacked with 100's of thousands of books.
 This piece has been in place long enough to have the tree incorporate it under the bark.
 Somewhere under this pile of junk, which includes vines growing in from a broken window, I found this neat little California impressionist oil painting.

 And this is Bob's castle.  Built on top of the huge pile of granite waste.  The foundation consists of cement formed and reinforced between the giant granite blocks.  It has hundreds of feet of windows overlooking the surrounding prairie.
 One of the castle's towers and the cone shaped chimney on the wood burner that heats the castle.

The driveway entrance into the castle.

 The giant doors that close off to protect the building.  Bob is entering through a small door in the giant portals.
 The castle overlooks the 140 deep 14 million gallon quarry pit.  It even has a diving dock cantilevered from below the castle.
And Bob even is a goat herder with his goats scaling the rough stone piled hills.

We had a great day picking.  We had a great day touring.  And I had a great day showering off the accumulated dirt of many years of junking.

Mr. Flannery

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