In the beginning...

Early on in my collecting signs an gas pumps days I was struggling to find contacts of people to buy things from and had reverted to my old ere internet ways of just driving around and sniffing out the cool stuff still left to be had by Junk Hunters like me.

I can’t remember exactly why but somehow my wife and I had made a trip up to Twin Falls ID to visit some dear friends from our College days that had introduced us by setting us up to go to a church meeting on a blind date. After all, it was just a church meeting and a little food after and the fact that my wife was engaged to her high school sweetheart who was at home in California working so they could afford to get married 2 months later, didn’t really apply to this kind of arrangement. Apparently, that’s another story for another day!

Anyway, we were at our friends the Parkhursts who had introduced us over 50 years before and were about to head home to Utah. In the meantime, I had heard of a sort of famous collector that lived somewhere around Blackfoot that I really wanted to meed as I had heard he really was an excellent source for Gas Pumps and Signs and Globes, which I didn’t collect at the time. Rody was the name I had but no last name. Then there was another guy who had done some gas pump restorations and sold a lot of gas pumps to collectors in Utah.

Of course, I decided to follow the leads down and take the back roads to Riverside ID to do it. That’s where the pump guy supposedly lived. Off we went! I heard some tall tales and even found a pump or two but nothing too exciting till we passed an old junkyard with some signs of some very cool old stuff. I got the name of the owners from their mom who lived in an old 50’s trailer house at the front of the junkyard.

She was the “junkyard dog” that kept the scavengers away I assumed, but they weren’t there at the, so we headed on to

Riverside. Upon arriving I could see that the town was small enough that I could just ask around and find the gas pump guy I was looking for. So it was, and so it happened. I got his name and saw where he lived and went there only to find him not a home? Of course? What would you expect? I decided to wait around as the neighbor told us about when he would be home from work. It is a cute little old town, so we wandered around and met neighbors, one of whom was quite interested in our collecting hobby himself. The family gathered around and told us stories and even told us about a standing Texaco sign in front of the original old gas/service station in a place about 40 miles North on the road to Arco in a little ghost town called Atomic City. We had time, and I figured I’d take my chances as I’d followed worse tales before. We got a somewhat decent description of where to go and how to go and headed out. The drive got more and more desolate the farther we drove, and no one lived out there, and no one was on the road going in either direction! We drove for what seemed like forever and just as we were about to give up on the directions we saw a sign pointing to go left to Atomic City.

Tags Petroliana Collector, Lakeside Storage and Museum, Self Storage, AAALakeside Storage, gas pumps, Passion for signs, Lakeside museum

Hanging from the Truck...

We made the long drive to Albuquerque. I had become so tired that upon stopping and parking in the lot just slipped out of the truck door as I held on the inside roof handle while completely forgetting that I was a cripple until my feet hit the ground and my legs had zero strength to hold my body up!

This was months after the accident, so I was healing but also completely atrophied so I could bear no weight at all! Fortunately, my reflexes still worked so I managed to catch myself and hold myself from crumbling on the drive while Jeannie ran and got the wheelchair loose from the trailer and brought it to catch me hanging from the door of the truck. That experience was quite eye-opening to begin the trip.

A transfer board and a Jazzy put me right back to work...

Eventually I was able to get in a wheel chair and finally Julie and mom went to Salt Lake and bought me a couple wheel chairs, because if one if good than why not two. Great I was now versatile. One was a light weight chair that mom could easily lift to get in and out of the car and the other was an electric Jazzy that I could cruise around on.

Of course they let me use ta transfer board to get from my bed to the wheel chair to use the toilet after several days of being stuck in bed! By now I had devised longer transfer boards and after I got out of the care Gulag had Jeannie take me to Home Depot and bought some boards to get creative so I could be productive while being a full time cripple!

I made some long transfer boards so I could get in and out of the car. Then I figured out how to get from my Jazzy which let me get back to work.

"The Mother Ship"...

We arrived with me semi aware of what was going on and by now in a lot of pain. Of course they called for a pelvis specialist which there is only one of in Utah Valley. Surprise he was in on vacation in Hawaii! Nice I thought, right when I need him. They somehow managed to Catheter me which I was later told I made a lot of complaint about, and then did a procedure to stop the internal bleeding and finally loaded me up in another ambulance and sent me off to the huge new hospital in Salt Lake City they refer to as “The Mother Ship”.

ambulance ride to Murry Hospital

Not Going to make a Deal

We then went to see another collector named Sam, who also has a reputation but who asked me to take him a Carter sign to trade for something he had. I brought the sign with no real expectations as I knew it might get tricky. He had a beautiful place in Broken Arrow with about 50 signs on poles on a hill top. Very impressive and not even the best of their collection which is in Tulsa however, I could see he wasn’t going to make a deal so we visited and left for Joplin about two hours away for the night.

Broken Arrow Hillside