Sunday, June 6, 2010

War Surplus

Yesterday took me out of the house with the sisters and a niece for a photo shoot with their photo club.  We went to Smith & Edwards which was originally a war surplus store.  Their motto is "We've Got It If You Can Find It".  In the late 50s and early 60s, it was an accurate statement.  Besides acres of yard, they had a huge warehouse of a store. Stuff was piled on shelves helter skelter, and the only organization was when occasionally a pile would be pushed up a little more firmly in a spot - any spot. It was really war surplus too.  Now it is a big department store, all organized and everything.

 We were taking pictures for what was, in our vernacular, artsy-fartsy results.  It is low on my hit parade, but I haven't even officially joined the club, and I wasn't going to whine on a guest visit.  I figured on taking pictures of the girls taking their pictures. Seriously, the place would have to be upgraded to be called a garbage dump.   

What could this bin full of old insulators be called but artsy-fartsy?  I mean, they were way cool and everything, but . . .

OK.  I couldn't pass up a signs that says "Don't bonk". That was almost as good as the bunk cars in Kelso that say "No humping".  I asked our road master one night what the hell else there is to do in the middle of the desert.  It made him laugh.  I was 27.

This is a super example of the yard.  Keep in mind that the yard is a good 20 acres and more.  I don't know what it was that was stacked up on these pallets, but they were each one of them tipping a different direction.  Yeah.  Don't get too close.

Would you look at that. It's a roll of concertina wire.  We used to have a factory in town in the late 60s, early 70s that made concertina wire to send to Viet Nam.  The boys just out of high school usually worked there until they were drafted, then they worked with it again.

Hey, cool!  Smith & Eddie's has a junkyard dog. They also have a sign that said "Mines Danger"  A junkyard dog would make one cautious.  A serious warning of mines puts one into a whole different sphere.

Being as close to Hill Field as we were, we saw plenty of planes going over. They were prop planes too, which have a very different sound than jets.  Dang. How would it be to have that sound and sight strike fear for your life into your heart and mind?  

Niece's 17 year old son wanted a helmet if we could find one.  The first one we saw was so rusted it was falling apart.  Further on we saw another.  An empty helmet lying forlornly in a heap of trash is very unsettling.  A little beyond that were a hundred or so in piles and spread around.  It was unsettling.  My mind knew they were outdated and replaced by more modern equipment.  In my heart I saw all the helmets that no longer needed to be used by men who gave their all and followed the light.

The war surplus materials come from WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam.  I don't know if someone posed these helmets or if they just fell this way.  They are probably buddies.  They probably fell together.

Today is June 6, 2010.  66 years ago today, D-Day, the Allies invaded Normandy.  Thanks fellas.


  1. Somedays as silly as it is I read through your blogs and look at your ordinary yet heart touching pictures and it makes me tear up! I love getting to see things through your eyes from time to time!

  2. Thanks. That's very nice to hear. It always surprises me that anyone reads this thing.