Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Shocking Experience

My dad is a handy guy. Not in a change-a-lightbulb-quick-as-a-wink kind of handy. But handy as in, he can rebuild a barn, and restore an antique bathtub, and install antique flooring, and rig up the wiring so all the lights and tvs turn on at the same time, and learn how to keep bees, and make his own mulch, and rebuild vintage lever action shock absorbers. Kind of a renaissance man in Carhartts.

And what are lever action shock absorbers, you ask? Why, I'd love to tell you. As soon as I figure them out. Which I'll need to do soon since it's my new job to sell them.

My parents moved to Whidbey Island about 8 years ago and bought this 100 year old farm house on 6 acres. My dad is in the middle of remodeling the house, and is always and forever remodeling the barn.
The barn is his shop. But I'm thinking it may be a little different than the kind of your dad had. While your dad has one shiny radial arm saw in the corner, my dad has 4. My dad's shop has a scrap metal WING. He has several lathes, of both the wood and metal variety. He has his own sandblaster. I mean, you never know when you come across something that needs sand blasting, right? He gave my husband a table saw because he had so many of them. See that doorway below all the extention cords in the picture? That doorway leads into ROOMS.
There are no peg boards with outlines of hammers and screwdrivers in this shop. And this shop does not have one of everything. This shop has 14 of everything.

This shop is bigger than my house and I have gotten lost in it before.



About 10 years ago my dad bought this lever shocks business from this guy. I don't even know how he knew about this. I quit asking a long time ago. His favorite thing to do is find these crazy things and get the deal of the century. But anyhoo, he bought this business, selling vintage shock absorbers for vintage cars and trucks. Which apparently some people need. Whatever. In the first year the business paid for itself. He did it 3 more years and then "retired" from it. Sold the business to my cousin and bought it back. Sold the business to my brother-in-law, then bought it back.

And then stored it here. In the back of the Garage Mahal. See each of those boxes--they each contain either a single or a pair of shock absorbers for a particular vintage car. This is actually only a partial picture since I would need a wide angled lens to capture the entire inventory.
And why am I wasting your valuable time with this random bit of trivia about my dad? Because this is my new job. Selling lever shocks. Remember when I told you how supportive and helpful my family has been with our journey into financial oblivion? This is one of the ways they have been helping. There's gold on them thar shelves. As soon as I can figure out which part goes with which American car from 1915 to 1955.



Yesterday I spend the day with my dad, in the unheated barn, inventorying shocks. Which I think could be the reason I can't move my right shoulder today. Either that, or the fact that I'm turning 40 in 9 days. Or perhaps both.


Doesn't this new business just scream Knitting Queen?


And yet, I'm fine with this! I'll make money for me, money for my folks, and it's one small step toward cleaning out the world's largest shop while the owner and creator is still alive.

So now I work in a yarn shop, make baby hats, and sell vintage lever action shock absorbers. I can sell you yarn AND the correct shocks for a '38 Studabaker. Anything to pay the mortgage and keep me away from Murder She Wrote.




6 comments:

David Smith said...

Ooh, ooh, your new nom de plume:

The shocKING Queen

I just dare you to feed that into Google and see what comes up.

Leah Smith said...

And you used to tease ME for having the weirdest combination of jobs!


~Leah
my pink toes

Meghan said...

I'd love to comment, but I'm a bit speechless

Wilde Thyme Knits said...

Wow, what a wonderful property your parents have. My hubby would be green with envy if he could see your dad's shop!
Good luck with the shocks. Hoping those are the only type of shocks you have to deal with now! (oh, and so glad you've escaped our friend Jessica;-)

cori said...

OK, now that my mouth is CLOSED again, WOW! That's some barn. And that's some shock-whatcha-ma-callems! Go Jen. And, please don't ever let me wander thru your Dad's barn without proper gear (a flare gun for when I get lost; a bullhorn to call for help; a first aid kit; etc).

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