Those Days Are Gone ....

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2016: Those Days Are Gone ....
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Monday, July 18, 2016 - 09:57 pm:

I read this thread: http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/599638/660349.html?1468891088
... and a recurring philosophical question came back into my head.

Aunt Pat is 83 years old. 5 years ago Uncle Chet died and left her with a MOUNTAIN of hoarded
junk to dispose of once her grief had subsided. It was three years in the making. Bi-yearly trips
down to visit and help organize the masses for a "someday" yard sale came to fruition this year,
and oh, what a madhouse it was !

Uncle Chet was a Depression kid, and a hoarder, extraordinaire. He saved everything, and spent
a lifetime buying up "good deals" and insane amounts of duplicates of things he'd never use. As
an example, we pulled 143 never-used, complete rod-and-reel fishing pole sets from the attic, most
still with the price tags on them. Anything from fly fishing to ocean trawling. Chet was ready to go,
but never went.

His mountain of tools filled a 4 car garage to a point it could not be accessed without moving stuff
out of one's way to get in to the interior areas. Drill presses, grinders, table saws, radial arm saws
all the way down to 11,000 screwdrivers and an untold number of wrenches and socket sets. Much
of it was old, and much of it high quality stuff.

Camping gear, hunting gear, automotive supplies and tools, furniture, it went on and on ! We opened
the sale on Saturday at 0900hrs (after 3 hours of moving stuff out into the enormous driveway area,
and were unable to make space for half again as much still left in the house. End of day total sales
exceeded $10,000. We decided to do a second day to get the rest of the stuff out of the house, and
with a still staggering amount of stuff to get off the property at 1400hrs, the decision was made to price
EVERYTHING at one dollar. The frenzy went ballistic.

At 1700hrs we changed the signs to "EVERYTHING FREE" and what remained was carted off by a
still-coming crowd.

The non-stop comment out of everyone was that this is what a garage sale SHOULD be, or that they
had not seen a sale like this in YEARS !

It was cool stuff. It was old stuff. It was priced to move, and nowhere on the property was a plastic
chinese children's toy or baby clothes. People were astonished.

================================================

It seems to me that somewhere during my lifetime, what we do and produce in this country has turned
to pure crap, and the reactions we had at this sale confirmed that others were shocked to see anything
but rubbish at a yard sale, the world having given up hope on ever seeing anything else.

When I was a kid, I saw old and cool stuff all around me. Most of it was not considered anything special
and sadly, probably ended up destroyed in a pit or fire or dump, because no one appreciated that the days
of higher quality and old and cool were indeed past us. I have a hard time imagining anyone ever wanting
to restore and pleasure drive their 1997 Taurus, or historic tours being given of that 1974 double-wide. A
vast collection of plastic water bottles ? Yet strangely, all but a very few fruitcakes thought in 1940 that
old cast iron kiddy toys were anything special, that radial wave streetlights would be cool, that a sputtering
and finicky old horseless carriage had charm, let alone would be "fun" to drive !

Maybe I am preaching to the choir ? Maybe I am all washed up ? But it seems to me the days of America
where cool things of enduring quality are no longer made and no one really seems to care. Interestingly busy
street scenes of 1915 are happily "cleaned up" to a sterile, faceless, code-conforming blasÚ, and people
seem to like it that way.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Monday, July 18, 2016 - 10:55 pm:

Wow, that sounds like a yard sale I would a loved.
Not all of us like the new junk. Trouble is I forget sometimes until I try to move a muscle that I am pushing 50.
So I am nearing the old geezer status.

You have to be careful when you discus topics like this because we could point at alot of different things as the cause of lack of caring.

But some of it comes back to us, the geezers that have the old stuff and want it preserved. We have to get it out there so the young can see it and get curious. Curiosity has not left all young people.
I must admit, it is gonna take alot to get the youngans eyes off their telephones since this pokeyman thing came about. They walk right off cliffs trying to see some critter on the screen.
"HEY watch out,there is a bus coming" Shut up I am trying to see a Pokey man" Splat.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Monday, July 18, 2016 - 10:59 pm:

Huh, Splat! :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Wayne Sheldon, Grass Valley, CA on Monday, July 18, 2016 - 11:13 pm:

You ARE preaching to the choir. And I enjoyed reading it. For way too many years, I have felt like the lone voice in the wilderness. Sometimes it is nice to know that I am not the only one.
Drive carefully my friend, and enjoy, W2


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, July 18, 2016 - 11:37 pm:

Old junk is better than new crap.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Steve Jelf, Parkerfield KS on Monday, July 18, 2016 - 11:59 pm:

An elaboration on the motto: http://dauntlessgeezer.com/DG12.html


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Doug Money - Braidwood, IL on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 07:10 am:

I understand what you are saying and agree but how many people in the 1930s ever thought anyone would want to restore and drive a Model T?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 07:47 am:

Burger your post reminded me of this song
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxLtXJzo3Ew


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 11:24 am:

Doug, That's my philosophical question .... I cannot see it NOW. Plastic chinese
lawn furniture, or whatever .... IS there a difference, or is it all in MY head ??? :-P


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Harold Schwendeman - Sumner,WA on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 11:35 am:

Burger - Enjoyed reading your post. Boy! That's one sale I wish I'd have been able to go to! And as far as what I guess I'd call,..."the deterioration of manufacturing quality in the U.S.A.", I couldn't agree with you more. A common expression is that we've become "a throw away society". And it's true!

To turn this interesting discussion around a bit to something a bit more positive, I suppose that maybe one good thing about what's happened because of lack of quality goods being manufactured here anymore is that there still ARE a few things of exceptional quality still manufactured in the United States of America nowadays, and they really stand out as exceptional. One thing that comes to mind are Henry Rifles. Now then, being that I've mentioned firearms, please don't turn this into a debate about firearms. There are those that are violently offended by any mention of firearms. If you are one of those folks, PLEASE KEEP YOUR OPINIONS TO YOURSELF ref. firearms! I'm only saying that Henry Rifles are an extremely excellent product, and Anthony Imperato, the CEO of that company is extremely proud of his 100% U.S.A. company, his "Made in U.S.A." product and his American employees. There is a video all about it (Google "Henry Rifles") that is very well worth watching and that will somewhat restore your "American Pride"!

Again, to turn this back around a bit toward an ol' geezer discussion,.....I'm reminded of something that I find really disgusting and that has become common practice in this country. And that is using an old and very respected brand-name that has always been known for quality, and putting that name on absolutely "junk" products. How many have purchased something in recent years because of it's well respected brand name, just to find out that it's junk? You know, names like Sunbeam, Black & Decker, Zenith, Craftsman, Cub Cadet, etc, etc. Kind of "deceptive practice" I'd call it. Anyway,......enough whining, right? FWIW,........harold


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By George John Drobnock on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 12:16 pm:

It sounds like a Potlatch.

But interestingly in some places it is/was ban.

Potlatching was made illegal in Canada in 1884 in an amendment to the Indian Act and the United States in the late 19th century, largely at the urging of missionaries and government agents who considered it "a worse than useless custom" that was seen as wasteful, unproductive, and contrary to 'civilized values' of accumulation.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 12:34 pm:

I got a visit from the City the day after I put up a street light (and pole) in my front yard:



The City electrical inspector was quite blustery in his insistence that this was not only illegal,
but unsafe and had to come down.

I am no David Hasselhoff, but I do know a few things about electrical hardware and such ...
I pointed out that the single 60 watt bulb was powered over 10g wire from a 15amp breaker
on my house circuit. The City, on the other hand, ran the same exactly wiring for their series
lighting down Grand Ave. at a much higher voltage, with less insulation, and they better take
that down too !

I was told to "Put a ground on that fixture !" and that was the end of all that "old and icky"
talk from him. Later, he came around and inquired about some of the old "Frankenstein"
switch gear he had seen in my shop, and this evolved into a fun sharing and occasional visits
just to talk "old and cool".

Fast forward 8 years and the pole is still there. My old friend the inspector has retired, and
a new guy shows up with the same fire-n-brimstone BS and wants it all taken down. My previous
argument was like trying to teach my cat how to edit documents on the computer, and it came
down to "I'll see you in court, Sir." The guy could not think outside the code book. It was old,
therefore it was unsafe and bad.

I pointed out that a CD 296 glass insulator (as used on my pole) was rated at 25,000v flashover.
His City circuits, running much higher voltage, were strung on steel bracket-mounted spools,
rated at less than 1000v flashover. According to his logic, since glass pintype insulators were
not shown in his book, they therefore all fell under "knob and tube" wiring and were thusly ruled
"illegal". I spun 90║ on my heels and pointed to the pole nearby with the same construction
and asked for an explanation and we were back to the cat and computer. The guy was utterly
shut down to any rational thought on anything not defined by his "newest-is-best" book.

Now, being the kind of guy that I am, and having a few resources that might play into finding
resolution, I researched a thought I had about new tech lighting and came up with a solution
to change my exterior lighting over to 12v LED. The theory worked, and recent developments
in LED tech have produced historic appearance Edison-type bulbs that look like 1910, light like
1910, but run on 12v and require only a step down transformer at the feed end, and changing
the bulb at the use end.

So, for the sake of practice, new tech saved me from new rules, and I can now run 10 fixtures
on the same current draw as one fixture on the old 120v/60 watt system. But I still am dumbfounded
by the way this TRAINED ELECTRICAL PROFESSIONAL was incapable of thinking for himself, AND
that pervasive paradigm that old = bad.

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh !


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Mack Cole ---- Earth on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 12:59 pm:

I know what you mean about old good names being put on new JUNK.
Take Bolens for example. They used to make 1 heck of a good garden tractor. Now the "bolens" that come in my shop for repair are stamped tin junk that is rebadged MTD.
Same for Troy Bilt. I bet Dean Leath would be churning like a roto tiller in his grave if he knew how badly they have down graded his equipment and name.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By G.R.Cheshire on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 01:09 pm:

Mack; I still have my 1964 1050 Bolens The tractor works.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 01:39 pm:

{The deterioration of manufacturing quality in the USA] I think it's the buying public rather than the ability to make in the USA the good stuff!!! We see it on the forum almost every day!! Even when shopping for safety items such as hoist and rigging almost everyone posting can't get to horriable fright to buy the offshore cheap junk!!!!!!!! fast enough!!!!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 12:31 am:

I love coming to this forum, because I hear all kinds of talk like this and know I've found kindred spirits. The only difference is most of you are old enough to remember when SOME of that "cool old junk" was shiny and new.

For example, I was working on sharpening the blades on my great-grandfather's lawnmower. You know, the kind with cast iron wheels that drive the reel via ground speed, and nary a gasoline engine in sight? My mom and my aunt came out to the barn and asked what I was doing. I told them I was sharpening the reel. When they asked why, I looked at them and said "So it'll cut grass." Since then I've had the wood handle and roller deteriorate, so they're awaiting rebuilding. But until they fell apart it mowed as good or better than any mower we own, and we own several.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 12:37 pm:

The wifeperson is something of an eco-freak and while I was in AFG, ditched my old gas
lawnmower and procured a new push type reel mower that doesn't not cut our crappy lawn
for #@! I always have to chase all the "long hairs" after a mow with the weedeater while I
edge. Two years ago I made a cross-state trip with Widdo Bwudder to sell some insulators
that paid for my truck:



.... and on the return trip, we stopped to look at a rust pile along the way that led us to a
guy who had a warehouse full of collected rusty junk. We bought so much stuff my poor old
truck had a tough go getting it all home !!!

In the mix we got a TT railroad jack with the correct Gilbert O. Hunt marking, a matching
Gilbert O. Hunt hay rake, a C.S.& Co. cast iron grinder that looks like it has never been used,
and a lawn mower just as Jared describes, also looking so fresh, it may also have never been
used.

Slacker that I am, I have yet to take the mower apart and get it all lubed and working right.
But it sure looks good and proper in the mix of all things old and cool assembled in the Temple
of Cool Stuff. :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Wednesday, July 20, 2016 - 01:46 pm:

Very good post Burger!!!


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jared Buckert on Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 08:29 am:

Burger, I might have to look you up if I'm ever in the Spokane area. The Temple of Cool Stuff sounds like my kind of church.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By JohnCodman on Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 08:58 am:

The build quality of my T is outstanding. The fact that unrestored at age 89 it still runs dependably is proof of that. My "go to" pair of sheet metal cutters is an articulated set that was made in the USA in the teens. Having said that, yesterday I was talking to one of my former students who runs his own car repair business. The conversation involved the reliability of today's cars. If you go back to the 50s and 60s, a car with 90,000 miles on it was almost always a beater with the next stop either a demolition derby or the junkyard. The first car that I ever saw with 100,000 miles on it was a '54 Olds that had a broken exhaust valve. he said that today it is abnormal if he doesn't have at least one 150,000 mile plus car in for routine service every day. 200,000 miles is not unusual. We still make good stuff here.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 09:18 am:

Yup,Now if we as in us could just get the cheap dollar store crowd to buy it! There is nothing i hate more than a senior citizen buying off shore!!! To me i think it say's i got mine and to hell with the rest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Friday, July 22, 2016 - 11:59 am:

I have pondered the 50's car survival for years and come to some less-than-concrete
conclusions.

I like finned cars. Outside of T-era cars, they were the the interesting ones on the road
when I was a kid. But strangely, when out field hunting these George Jetson relics, one
would find the old "bathtub" 40's and early 50's cars on a 100-to-1 ratio over the finned
beasts. It made no sense.

But being a study of history and culture, I well remember the general disdain for those
over-the-top chromed monsters in the 60's and 70's, and I paid attention to the "vibes"
and stories told by my elders of junking them as fast as they could haul them in, not because
they were worn out or broken, but because people came to see that period and those
cars as ugly and excessive. Conversely, the more conservatively styled bathtubs were
kept in reserve and survived.

Another twist to the mix was the initiation of Federal smog standards that turned the
good road machines built in the 60's into the lame dogs passed off as "cars" the 70's, ....
by this time the finned cars were getting scarce from forced attrition and people realized
a "better car" was not to be had by buying new, so a high percentage of those 60's cars
were saved and survive today.

Back in the day, I ran this theory past wrecking yard owners and general car enthusiasts
and most agreed with my observations. After 40 years of declining, turd-shaped styling of
new cars, the "futuristic" wings, antennas, bright pastel colors, and rocket-themed gadgetry
makes these cars highly sought after, and many forget or can't understand how UNpopular
these beasts were. Junked, just because people did not want to be seen in one. Today,
that 1959 Dodge convertible you could not GIVE AWAY in 1965 or 80, will easily command
a hundred grand at auction, with FAR more people wanting them than the few that survived
the scrapper's torch can supply.

Another case of the unwashed masses not knowing "cool" when they held it in their hands.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Freighter Jim on Friday, July 22, 2016 - 12:14 pm:

Jared,

Everyone should stop & visit Burger if they pass thru Spokane

He is a Treasure.


Freighter Jim


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Bill Harper - Keene, NH on Friday, July 22, 2016 - 01:27 pm:

"There is nothing i hate more than a senior citizen buying off shore!!!"

Golly, Bud, that statement is a bit harsh.

I make a effort to spend my money on American made products when I can, but being on a fixed income does, sometimes, force a purchase of something made elsewhere. Please understand that I prefer that my dollars stay in this country, but there are occasions when the thin wallet forces a foreign purchase. Patriotic Flag Waving but Poor Bill.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Friday, July 22, 2016 - 08:00 pm:

Agree Bill, Napa rebuilt parts are often from Mexico. The exact same fuel filters from napa sold by auto zone are made in Poland, just a different box. My two post car lift 9000 pound is made guess where? Works very well. Go to Costco, Freds, Sears, and many if not most products other then food are not from USA. As I understand the only hand tools made completely in the USA are Armstrong. A 3/8 inch wobble wrench 135. The same wrench from Sears not as good but works fine with a lifetime replacement is about 35.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Burger in Spokane on Friday, July 22, 2016 - 09:11 pm:

Anyone coming through Spokanistan is invited to visit the Temple of Old and Cool. The more time I have
to hang up all the junk I have collected, the more fun it becomes to look at it all. Give a call. Drop on by.

As for buying foreign-made stuff .... It is difficult to avoid, and in many cases for my business, the best stuff
on the market is foreign-made. I don't really have a problem with that. What bums me is the way what is cool
and old (and potentially of very high quality) is cast aside as being "obsolete", worn out, or too much trouble to
fix, instead buying cheesy crap that may be shiny, but is poorly made and not near the level of quality of the old
stuff .... all because the old stuff takes a little effort, looks "out of style", or isn't covered in shiny paint. :-P

Wasn't it Patrick Henry who said "Give me convenience, or give me death" ? No ?

Oh yeah, ... I guess that was Jello Biafra.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Michael Garrison - Rice Minnesota on Friday, July 22, 2016 - 11:22 pm:

I'm adding this comment on a tablet produced in China because my "Philco" laptop never made it to the market.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By brass car guy on Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 12:06 am:

We are often bombarded with import solicitations pertaining to my wife's Subaru Service Centers. My all time favorite solicitation was regarding the quality and availability of a Taiwanese vendor. their tag line was priceless,

"Taiwan Quality, At Chinese Prices"

What else could you ask for cheezy products and even cheezier prices

just sayin'

brasscarguy


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Kenneth W DeLong on Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 09:14 am:

I started with Chevy in 1966 at what was at one time where the Rainer was built.When the plant was closed in 1983 i went to Olds which at the time was booming!! Plant 1 2 3 and plant 4 no longer exist as well as a huge Fisher Body plant is gone! Olds no longer exist!! A friend of mine tells that in 1943 the jap's were trying to kill his father and if they had he would not be here! In Saginaw foundry's have closed and the chinese now own steering gear! Laugh and giggle if you wan't but i guess we get what we pay for!! Bud.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Paul Vitko on Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 12:26 pm:

I forgot to add Home Depot to the list-----just for kicks see where lawn mowers, and many other products such as pipe fittings and electric parts come from. many brands of lawn mowers are made by MTD---- Know where that's from?


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