Unraveling while traveling; life between the windshield and the rear-view mirror

Chair Man of the Bored

As certain as a phase of the moon, a menstrual cycle, or the arrival of a utility bill, this monthly read may lift DeTour Village, pop.320  from obscurity….and enlighten the reader, especially those of you who enjoy both sitting and a good story.

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Now for the legend of the Thonet Hairpin Bentwood Chair

 

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The background: in late 2008, we lost a good friend Glen Shaw, unexpectedly (not a misprint) at age 92.  After a distinguished career as a captain on Great Lake freighters, he retired at his home in DeTour Village, MI with his lovely first mate of 72 years, Joan.  Glen and I spent many hours together.  He talked.  I listened.  In the presence of a master story-teller, writer, & wit possessed with a sharp mind and memory, listening is the best policy.

Aged 11, as a fifth grader in 1928, he watched the large old Hotel DeTour burn to the ground from a roofing tar heater gone awry. As the wooden structure incinerated, the grade schoolers were allowed to watch from the school playground across the street.  In the chaos, people ran into-and-out of the building, throwing out beds, furniture, and anything of value that was certain to be destroyed in the fire.

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After school that day, Glen picked up a chair at random and carried it home.  He kept it for 80+ years,  using it as saw horse more than once.  I noticed it, stoic and forlorn in the corner of his garage, and commented on its original finish, simplicity, and graceful design.  Over a cold beer, he relayed his chair story and vowed, ‘if I die before you, the chair is yours’.

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His darling widow, Joan, called me several months after his death and reminded me that the chair now belonged to me ( I had forgotten the promise he made, but she had not).  The chair, a Thonet, made of beech, still retains the original label on the underside, exhibiting the latest patent date of March 29, 1910.

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I can’t describe how much the chair means to me.  I use it daily when lacing my shoes.  I choose it over a deck chair when entertaining guests….and during those solitary moments when staring over Lake Huron seeking solace and inspiration.  It defines the rhythmic nature of life and the value of true friendship.  Without ever saying a word, the chair listens.

Captain Glen, old pal, you took a back seat to no one, I miss you and wish you, “four whistles, full steam ahead”.  

On being a Ba T ster *

For most Ba T sters,  arithmetic preceded interest in cars. Taking a journalist’s view, Math 101, herein is a modest introduction to a favored website, BringATrailer.com . The web identity tacitly implies that described vehicles may be ‘projects’, however that element applies to a minor %age.  The logo is hardly subtle.

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* Minimal background noise; the genesis, Jan2007, CA, ‘gearhead’ Randy Nonnenberg and  colleague, Gentry Underwood, via Texas, the UK, and now CA, shared a common interest in unusual vehicles offered for sale, foreign and domestic.  They began to share the addictive passion online, an itching Lyme Rock virus, slow growing.

Knowledgeable, self-assured, neither would ever order french toast in a German restaurant.

Nonnenberg ⬇,  Underwood ➘

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Noted writer, Rob Sass, seen in his 911, described Ba T in detail, Autoweek, Nov2015. ⬇ His must-read, best seller, “Ran When Parked”, will no doubt lead to a sequel, “Needs a Recharge”.

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Fast forward one decade, Ba T has morphed into a seismic game-changer for auctioning interesting, ‘cool’ collectible cars.

Of note, the past 30 days activity; ~late April-May 20, 2017

  • Rolling average # of daily offerings       50.31
  • total # lots offered,                                    337
  • total # sold                                                  253 (75.07% sellthru)
  • total # reserve not met                             84 (24.93%)
  • total $$, sales                              $6,545,401.00
  • average $ price/vehicle sold           $25,871.15

 

Marketing autos may be arbitrarily divided;

Tier 1   (high end auction venues)

RM Sotheby

Gooding & Co

Bonham

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Tier 2    (cattle calls)

Barrett Jackson

Leake

Mecum

Russo & Steele

Auction America (RMS subsidiary) 

Hey, you paid too much, but we’re on TV !

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Tier 3     (low end)

eBay

Hemmings (refined pulp)

Craigslist

Autotrader (pulp)

Local daily newspaper classifieds

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Tier 4     (slim to zero, overdone glam rags)

DuPont Registry

Robb Report

Prior to Ba T, a vacuum existed between tier 2 and 3.  No longer applicable, as Ba T, by simple extrapolation (multiply the figures above x 12) is a threat to all four tier’s vulnerability;

  • unbiased descriptions
  • thorough commentary by the Ba T community

Fair warning: i.e., on occasion, clumsy, clever, clairvoyant, clueless, cliquish, classic, clarifying, clinical, often challenging both spelling and grammar, but always entertaining…..pure fun, free, at your own desk, functioning mute and delete keys at the ready.

    • no tent rental, glossy ads & catalogues, lanyards, gasbag auctioneers, frantic floormen waving hankies, biker dudes with white gloves pushing cars on/off stage, EtOH-infused bidders & bimbos, klieg lights, unbuttoned velocity channel ‘stars’, clad in Peter Pan bling.  557a08a7ebca2.image

“If I overbid, you get that tattoo I promised”

  • professional site management; realistic and reasonable fee structure, real time finish, zero snipe or shill bidding.

A well-written critique of the live auction experience can be viewed here, writer unknown. Lengthy, however it encompasses parallel results, voiced by many sellers.

                      Auctionmania Circus  ⬇

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Full disclosure: the author has no ownership and/or financial interest/currency in any business entity listed herein.  Any resemblance to person/persons, living or deceased, is not coincidental.

 

©insightout2017

Daisy II , the sequel

Subtitle : Black sedan, White knuckles, Crimson dawn, Brown………..

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Pre-dawn, final day of reckoning, the pink aura of the civil sunrise suggests the ancient mariner adage, “red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning”.  In a nearby industrial park, I await the arrival of the open air transporter assigned to deliver Daisy from Indiana to a San Diego container ship.DSCN9635.JPG

The driver, a no-nonsense, chain smoker on his 5th cup of robust Starbucks, refuses my offer to help load, ‘insurance regs, you understand, we’re not allowed to take chances with non-professionals‘.  After providing oral instruction on the old Benz’ Hydrak © shifting, I’m dismissed, ‘no prob, bucko, I’ve been doing this for 40 years’.

It has begun to rain.  After 20 minutes of failed attempts, Mr. Flying J, truck stop poster boy for 5 hour energy, decides I’m his new best friend. ‘Maybe you should do this, but back this puppy on, as I gotta drive it off and I can’t find reverse’.

Please ? 

Readers have encountered terrifying driving experiences, and for many, more mobile PTSD moments they might prefer to forget:

  • blizzard whiteout, dust storm, pea soup fog; take your pick
  • witnessing a head-on collision, collecting body parts off asphalt
  • hitting a deer after dark, at 60 mph, with the top down, after 4 beers
  • small plane landing on I-95 directly over your hood
  • doing a 180°, in traffic, on an icy road
  • driving in Rome

You may even have your own…..share if your pulse exceeds 140.

Mine is about to happen.  Approaching death road, I’m doing the arithmetic and realize that maybe death row is a better option. All I’ve committed to do is drive a 50 y/o car, weighing 3000 lbs., up 100 feet, on two rusty 12 inch wide planks, zero guardrails, 10 feet above the earth’s surface, at 2 mph, in the rain….backward.

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DSCN9639.JPGDSCN9637.JPG            While Ice Road trucker stood by casually sucking on a Marlboro menthol.

Was the first attempt successful ?  Yes.

Would I ever do it again ?  Never.

None of the makers of men’s undergarments; Hanes®, Jockey®, Under Armor®, have the dark brown option…briefs or boxers, except Duluth Trading®.

Did I have any regrets in kissing Daisy goodbye one last time, a nice old girl who loved the road and might never be driven again ?

Who spoke to me, trunk open, as if to say, "let's rumble"
                              Who spoke to me, trunk open, as if to say, “let’s rumble”

 

Only one.

 

Karl Baisch, 4 pc with keys
Karl Baisch, Autokofferfabrik, Stuttgart, 4 pc with keys

Room to pack Immodium, Kaopectate, and Charmin tissue, I wish I had kept her plaid, wool-lined, luggage with the yellow silk ribbons.

 

©insightout2017