Garage Town

Today’s post comes from Jacque.

Recently we spent the weekend with friends who are now living in Eveleth, MN.  They moved there 18 months ago when they inherited Jane’s family home from her brother who inherited it from their parents.    Lou saw it when he helped them move there last Spring. This was the first time I viewed it.

When I saw it I realized that Jane inherited a garage with a house, not a house with the garage.

A big hobby in Eveleth, and apparently much of N. Minnesota is restoring vintage cars.  Her brother was into this In A Big Way.  He built a 3 car garage, one stall holding a lift and sporting a heated floor.  Then he built a second 2 car garage perpendicular to the 3 car garage.  There are tools, immaculately kept and carefully arranged throughout the entire facility. No medical operating room could rival for neatness and sanitation.  It was impressive.

We attended a vintage car show near by that testified to the popularity of this particular hobby in Northern Minnesota.   After seeing the car show,  I understood the number of elaborate garages scattered throughout the town. Many people there have this hobby.   The houses in town are small, depression-era homes.  The accompanying garages are large, elaborate, and decked out with the most modern equipment, much like the garages our friends now own.  To be fair, Jane had told me about the hobby and the garages, but really, this was outside of my reality.  I just did not understand until I saw it in person.


“What a hobby,” I thought.  “How peculiar.”

But then, what about my hobbies and my peculiar equipment?  After all, I mix clay in a food processor, then run it through a pasta machine, finally baking the end product in a toaster oven.  Maybe the owner of the garages would not find my use of kitchen equipment at all ordinary.

Which leads to the question of the day.

Is there anything odd about your hobby(s)?


76 thoughts on “Garage Town”

  1. Nice job, Jaque. Eveleth is a funny little town. I’ve been there many, many times. Husband’s best friend, Jon, grew up there and for many years they had a cabin on the lake that we’d visit at least once every summer. I bet Jon knew Jane’s family. Did you visit the Wellstone memorial a little outside of town where his plane crashed?

    My hobbies are pretty “normal,” I think. Can’t think of anything about them that would seem odd to anyone. I mean it is normal to have lots of books, some of which you’ve never read, right? And what’s so strange about having hundreds of cookbooks when you rarely follow a recipe?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Indeed ! Because I have many books, some of which I have not read, that must be normal. Same with the cookbook collection and the not actually following the recipe that closely.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. And no, we did not get to the memorial. I did not realize it was so close until we were leaving. We spent our time looking at mining equipment
        ( mammoth) and vintage cars.


        1. It’s worth visiting, Jacque. It’s just a little off the beaten path in a serene setting. A good place to contemplate the lives of those lost in that crash.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. you can do that from here too

          there is a new politician that reminded me of eels tone at a dfl dessert gala for cd3 the other night
          phillips is his name
          he is getting poised to beat out eric paulson
          i had heard good things about him then when the song and dance intros were done the line was real long so i went to talk to chris coleman about daytons seat and when i was done the line was even longer so i went to get coffee and the guy at the coffee table (phillips was the only guy sharp enough to bring his own coffee and in typical dfl fashion the powers that be provided coffee for 50 when 400 showed up) was the campaign manager. he gave me the lowdown and said he came out of retirement to work for phillips
          he had been welstones campaign manager and had tried to help others along the way but was feeling ready to hang it up…until phillips
          great story
          got adopted after his dad died in vietnam nam into the phillips liquor family who are all about philanthropy and taking it one step further decided to go into public service
          i love this guy
          finally a strong candidate to knock off an invisible yes man who hides behind spontaneous phone bank town hall meetings where he calls you and then is able to avoid or drop your call
          eric is a plug n play republican


    2. I remember someone once writing,”Expecting to have on a bookshelf only books you have already read is like expecting a refrigerator full of food you’ve already eaten.”

      Liked by 7 people

  2. That car renovation thing is amazingly popular. There is a channel on cable TV–the Velocity Channel–that runs shows about customizing vintage cars 24/7. You wouldn’t think there was that much to show on that theme–and as someone who has watched the shows I would say that is likely true–and yet the flow of shows never stops.

    It might be true that most hobbies look odd to outsiders. Back when I had a body and could do hobbies I went to amazing lengths to catch fish that I returned to the water.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. We don’t have cable and can’t watch at home, but watching HGTV on the gym TV’s is enough to get Kelly to the gym. So there’s that.


    1. you do have a body that can do hobbies it just needs to be a modified list of hobbies

      with the ability to search on the Internet what you need is a really good mouse in order to have a hobby today.


  3. It strikes me that having massive garages and vintage cars is a really big committment to a hobby. If anything is odd about my choice of hobby, it’s my failure to commit to just one. I have supplies and tools for just about any form of art—paints (oil, acrylic, watercolor, guache), pastels, colored pencils, pen & ink, carving tools, engraving tools, tools and supplies for stained glass, tools and supplies for book arts. At one time or another, I’ve done them all but never quite settled.

    Then there are my books, if you can consider collecting a hobby. Probably the oddest thing about my books lies in the areas of my special interests. Those are so rarified that there’s no one I know or have found in correspondence who can appreciate or relate to my collections. To the extent that a hobby is a social act—one where the hobby provides a common ground with other like-minded individuals—my book collections are failures.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. you could have a hobby collecting list of people with like minded interests
      not all in one person but many who like watercolor, stained glass or the first edition reworking of old books you enjoy
      your varied interests make you a tennis ace man able to thrive in multiple conversations … now if only you enjoyed conversation


  4. Don’t get me started on the big garages – there is one next door, two across the alley. East End Winona is full of folks who have a garage at least as big as their house. The group next door has eight cars, incl. the ones for their kids… the mammoth garage holds a ’53 Pontiac about the color of the car pictured at top, a late 60s sports car, and one other.

    What’s odd about how I collect books is my practice of purging the shelves when they start overflowing – I’ll remove what I think I won’t ever read (or re-read), to make some room for me to start collecting at sidewalk sales, thrift shops, etc. In the time spent doing this, I could probably read a couple of books.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not sure any of my hobbies are exotic. The only thing I really have to say about my rubber stamping and paper crafting is how much junk I have to go with the craft -paper, punches, scissors, ribbons, stamps, well over 100 stamp pads. I’d say it was sad except that I think it’s cheaper than therapy.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. My other hobby I like to call Room Design, but Husband will tell you it’s actually just moving furniture around – and once you get it there, don’t get attached, because a couple of months down the road it may all move again. Sometimes this involves just the one room, but the one that is currently brewing involves the whole house, and includes finding a real piano. : ) It will be ready in my mind just about the time he gets of his crutches.


  7. I don’t think I have a hobby anymore

    are used to collect bottles and the bottles were not being collected for their value but for their memories

    I had a friend that did the same thing with rocks and each rock reminded her of a place and when she looked at the rocks on her bookshelves she had a story to go with each and they were great stories

    I used to collect hats but I turn that into a business and now I refer to my store as a collection but it’s no longer a connection now it’s a business

    I enjoy painting and working in Clay and have a recent ambition to begin doing bronze castings but those are at hobby stores or interests

    I guess maybe all movies could be considered a hobby I have loved and studied all movies since I was about 12 or 13

    for muni Humphrey Bogart lawn Chaney Roslyn Russell Ethel Mirman Maryland Munro Judy holiday and as time goes on I come to realize that those were the old movies when I watch them they had been made about 20 years before
    today they’re old movies
    my characteristic 1 mile wide 1 inch deep interests allow me to have conversations with many people about things they know a lot more about than I do I have opinions not expertise
    so I guess without about my hobby is it when someone talks about their interest I oftentimes have a related side story of something that I have done or been interested in or been involved in that’s related when I have no business being in the discussion other than the fact that it caused me to spend some time in that wheel house once upon a time

    Big garages are the original man cave
    they serve kind of the same purpose as an ice fishing house
    guys go out there to get away from the house and delve into something they can become immersed in
    all cars is a great excuse but if you talk to those old car guys you’ll find out that by the time they’re done paying for parts that they scrounge and search out on the Internet and the amount of time involved in getting those old cars roadworthy they have a cool car that has some value to it but most often they have spent a lot more than I can ever get back

    I was at an old car convention in Spokane Washington for an extended period of time when my son was pitching for the American Legion baseball World Series and I got to talk to a lot of the old car enthusiasts and found that they were willing to sell their car for about 25% of what they had invested

    some very cool cars some phenomenal cool cars at a price that much more reasonable than I would’ve ever guessed

    vinyl LPs
    there’s my hobby I collect and love vinyl LPs

    I have bought two collections one from a jazz big band era guy who had a great collection of about 1500 LPs all written up in three ring binder’s and placed in plastic sleeves numerically and alphabetically arranged

    The next from a daughter who is father passed away and left a radio station full of LPs after the radio station heading evolve through five or six different genres including polka religious country western pop rhythm and blues and it makes for a wonderful collection of Eclectic albums
    what’s quirky about it is the amount of shelf space required and how I have to be able to remember if Frank Sinatra is in male singers in jazz or exactly where often times in show tunes

    I suppose if I did it right I would have each album in a catalog cross-referencing and showing its location on the shelf

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Dale has people that come in there and disc jockey with their record collections either on a rotating basis or on a permanent basis and I’ve considered taking a look at a one hour slot


  8. One of my favorite hobbies is something I’ve never heard anyone else claim. It is affordable, even for me, requires no athleticism and can be indulged in at any time I’m alert. That hobby is wandering around in my past, taking time to relive old stories, always seeking to fill in blanks and resolve puzzles.

    I often start by revisiting a really familiar story. My favorite memories are as distinct as if they happened a week ago. But then I try to push beyond the stuff that is clear and vivid, moving into lesser stories and fuzzy areas. Almost never do I have a conventional motive for trying to clarify the past; it is a self-rewarding activity.

    An example might make this clearer. I’ve been playing with memories of playground equipment in schools and parks. My grade school had swings (really tall), teeter-totters, a merry-go-round, a collection of pipes that were called a “jungle gym” and two or three slides. The swings were high enough to be frightening, especially if you stood on the seat to pump for height or to “bail out” and go flying. Some of the boys would lure a victim into sitting on a teeter totter and then dive off, causing the victim to crash to earth. The biggest slide was about eight feet high (far higher than anything I’ve seen on modern playgrounds). The ground for all of this playground equipment was covered with crushed cinders, a somewhat dangerous but cheap product for a school heated with a coal stove.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. sometimes the story doesn’t need to have a punchline
        you just go along and it feels like your sitting in an easy chair then it pauses but you care because the voice is true then when it picks back up it’s with familiar characters and places and a story begins to evolve then a sense of closure on that but the tale leads somewhere eventually and the author has a chance to say make that a scene in this tom sawyer without the sam clemens set of eyes
        i love jon hassler buy the stories he weaves


    1. Was the jungle gym one of those bullet-shaped affairs? And was there also one of those sets of parallel bars like a ladder set horizontally on four legs, where a kid could travel hand over hand across or hang from his or her knees?

      Even more ephemeral than the equipment were the games and chants that sprang up on the playground. When I say chants, I mean especially the rhyming patter that accompanied jump rope sessions. Those and the playground games went back decades, sometimes to the previous century or beyond, with no apparent transmission from one generation to another. They just appeared spontaneously. The games I remember specifically were Red Rover, Pom Pom Pullaway, and a seemingly pointless game we called” Squish Squash Applesauce”. In Squish Squash Applesauce, a line of kids would form perpendicularly to a building wall and combine their bulk to squash the child closest to the building against the wall in three thrusts. The chant would go, “Squish, Squash, Applesauce” (each word coinciding with a thrust) “Eevy, Ivey, Over”. With “Over”, the squashed person would slip out of position and the next person in the line would become the squashee.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The jungle gym was a collection of pipes fitted together to form a structure maybe five feet high. It was designed for kids to swing and travel along, hanging down from the pipes. There were openings so you could go hand-after-hand while hanging, moving from one area to another. It was far from the easiest bit of playground apparatus to use. I’ll always remember the highly polished feel of the pipes that had been gripped by so many small hands.

        Kevin Kling has a wonderful story about pumping for height on tall swings. His story is that there was a drive-in movie theater that showed porn (can that be true?) and that as a kid he could catch glimpses of the screen by pumping hard on the swing set!

        As for chants, the one I remember best was the call to end a game of hide-and-go-seek. It was “Olly, olly opsen, all in FREE!” Never knew what that meant.

        Liked by 3 people

  9. When I was still working in theater as an avocation, the sorts of things I wound up doing were frequently odd: using plastic needlepoint mesh as a base, covering them with silver lame for creating Tin Woodsman parts; using a potato as a stamper (like we did as kids) to create a wallpaper pattern; using latex house paint to dye fabric so it looks like green-ish parchment paper and then using a slightly darker green to recreate DaVinci drawings (latex paint holds up better than dye when your set will face the outdoor elements of rain, hot sun, wind, bugs…); creating a “trophy” pig’s butt, with curly tail and legs hanging down, out of papier mache suitable for hanging on a wall like deer antlers…I miss those oddball challenges. But not enough to give up weeks of normal sleep.

    These days my hobby has been slinging words, stringing them together in a variety of ways to resist the current administration (and keep my sanity). I have been sending a weekly email out to a group of folks – many of them people I participated in the Women’s March in DC with back in January. I post them each week on a blog (I think my name has that link now). I write letters (I found a swell widget that faxes letters to my senators using my phone’s text message abilities). I get on my soap box other places…sometimes it’s not about social justice or the current administration. I really should string a few words together for a fresh post here…hmmm…

    Liked by 3 people

        1. I should add that part of the gig is that each week I attempt to distill down the week’s events and activities into three actions to take that week – done one, do them all, do none. It has helped me process what is happening in our country these last several months to have the discipline of summarizing for others.

          Liked by 2 people

    1. Why don’t you string a few words together about this group as a post? I would like to know more. Do they still meet on 2nd Saturdays at 9 am? This is something I have been looking for since the election. You have been too shy about this.


      1. We do still meet 2nd Saturdays at 9am. I have been shy about it mostly because – even though I know I am among predominantly like-minded people here – it seems like the Trail is (or has been) a politics-free zone at least in the posts, if not always the comments.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. dales gone now

          he used to put the handcuffs on me for rants

          i kind of feel like i don’t want to poison the well and get it started but it’s been hard


  10. Husband collects hymnals. I thought all these years that he even stole one once from a United Church in Brandon MB, but he informs me he got their permission to take one.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. My mother has a collection as well – though she (I suppose) could claim professional interest – or at least former professional interest – as a retired church musician. I gotta admit, it gave me goosebumps to see a hymnal from practically the time of the Reformation with a version of “A Mighty Fortress” at the Luther exhibit last fall (it was a “second edition” not the “first”).

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Give it some time. It won’t be long until Canadians are moved up to Enemy #1 and a wall will be ordered up. PM Trudeau will say something sensible and before you know it you are locked out.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. OT: for baboons who read, I just read a good book The Girl With Seven Names tells the moving story of a woman who managed to escape from North Korea. The language doesn’t sing (English is her third language, after all) but the story is gripping and well told. And with all the nastiness going on in modern times, it is good to be reminded that we in this society have been blessed to live such positive, fortunate lives.


  12. There is nothing peculiar about feeling like you’re going to go crazy if you don’t get outside and shoot pictures, right? Or feeling like you’re incomplete without a camera. Or, if you don’t have a camera with you and you see something that catches your eye, you use your hand to compose an imaginary shot. Nothing peculiar about that at all.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I like to blog and comment on other people’s posts, which leaves zero time for any hobbies at all. Showering is only performed on command and I’ve mainlined all of my fluid nutrients so that I don’t need to stop for meals or cocktails. I’m trying to find someone to sleep for me.


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