in his backyard haven

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Dirt, Rocks and Missiles: Part One

On Sunday Katie and I had a bit of energy to start digging through the garage. This is a 3 stall place that is filled with Dad's hobbies and tools and trains and Christmas decorations - just to scratch the surface.


Katie was crawling around in the rafters. Here are some of the things we found:

  • 1 deflated dinosaur pool flotation device. We don't have a pool and Katie, the youngest is 30 now. Not sure who last used that thing. It was nearby the Slip and Slide that we were never allowed to use because it was too hard on the grass.
  • 1 drafting table. Missing the table part. This had been in Joe's room in Arkansas. Last seen standing in 1989.
  • Bags and Bags of insulation.
  • Wall paper rolls from our kitchen in Arkansas. Circa 1984
  • Rubber molds of rocks - for his train displays
  • More Christmas lights than necessary to light the outside of the White House
  • Reels of movies
  • Photographic slides on glass
  • tripods
  • luggage
  • More tools than a Sears showroom
  • Trains, Train parts, train tracks, miniature trees and train buildings
  • these things just scratch the surface of what is in there.

This moment took me back to the summer of 1989 when we moved from Arkansas to California. Somehow Joe and I found ourselves left alone at our house in Arkansas for a few weeks. Mom had taken Amy and Katie to visit her parents and Dad was working already in California. Joe and I, (19 and 17) were left back at the house and given the task to start packing up the garage until the movers came,

The moment was quite similar. We were sorting through things that belonged to his RR hobby, things from his Air Force days and random things that Dad always seemed to find another use for.

Overwhelmed, we began to just fill the boxes. 

Our favorite box title? Dirt, Rocks and Missiles


  1. I found the drafting table top in another location. We also found some sort of riddle in an old briefcase. It looks like something that would now circulate through a forwarded email but it was hand written by dad. Apparently, JFK figured it out in 20 minutes. Usually it will take longer. I will find it and scan it for the blog.


  2. that pool dragon was mine. i may have taken to the beach.
    more importantly: dad set us to the task of packing the garage with explicit instructions to label every box accurately. we were in the doghouse because dad came back after most of that summer to find that mostly we had just partied all summer. annoyed at having to meticulously package Dad's unruly collection everything he ever came into contact with, Molly hoisted jars of dirt (used for modeling), rocks hat dad had collected from roadsides for years of automobile trips (for modeling) and bits of the outer skin of Titan II missiles. Molly labeled the box "Dirt, Rocks and Missiles."