Thursday, July 31, 2008

for a good cause

Been awhile in posting, not much going on in Anna Land.

However, something that has happened is Anna's name plate has been drilled off. It is on it's way to Steve at Vintage Trailer Supply to be reproduced. Vintage Trailer Supply will soon be offering exact copies of Anna's name plate for those 61- 64 International models built in Ohio. Presently he just offers the California plate. Hope all you out there purchase them from him. Anyone that does will get a complimentary number stamping from me. You just pay shipping and I will do it free of charge on any of those name plates once they are offered. This is not an offer from Vintage Trailer Supply, this is offered by Frank's Trailer Works as a thank you for using one of Steve's plates.

I have been asked recently about the polishing and where it is going. Well not much has been going on. I did however, today buy a new cyclo polisher from, yes, Vintage Trailer supply. I plan to get back on the horse soon.

I will have to go back and compound many areas that I did previously with the Diamond Brite Tool Box polish. That polish only shined the surface and did not really polish. As you can see in the photo above it is streaked with new oxidation. This is the results after three months. It is all a learning experience about what works and what does not. I have learned that the best way to polish is with the best tools and supplies possible. Nuvite is without a doubt the way to go. It cleans the pores and polishes the surface with a precise abrasive grit. The difference is like night and day within a short period of time.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"Hey Frank, Where the hell you been?"

That is what a friend asked me the other day. We hadn't seen each other in many years and as all conversations seem to go these days... "Well, I bought a 1962 Airstream and I..."

However Anna sits in the yard just looking pretty. I have not done a single thing to her since we cleaned her up after the Vintage Trailer Jam. I need to find out what happened to my water pump. The power is going to the pump, but it does not turn on when you open the tap. I have a window with a broken corner miter. A torn rear bumper that needs to be bent back into place and welded. And, to top it it all off about 100 more hours of polishing.

I have a good excuse, no an explanation of why it is not done. I do not make excuses. I have been lazy. Seriously, lazy. And I have been working on the siding on my house. Working alone, on a ladder, with cement siding takes time. I am very fearful on a ladder. As soon as I get above the first floor window, I start to sweat. But now all the siding is on and the change has been dramatic. I now get to have some fun with ginger bread. The front part of the house was built in 1870 so it seems appropriate to put some on. I am also going to do some fancy porch details to dress up our modest little house.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Artscape 2008

The city of Baltimore has been kind enough to have an arts festival every year. The festival is held on the campus of the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where I got my BFA. There is art everywhere, even some that is good. Food vendors come from all over to serve up all sorts of exotic stuff. But the highlight is always the free music. Over the years we have seen some fantastic acts here, and this year was no exception. This year the head liners were the Whalers. For those that do not know, the Whalers were Bob Marley's band. Being a huge reggae fan we had to go.

Beth had some Jamaican, I had some Lebanese, Ava had a good old fashion corn dog, and Halle had some of all of of ours. You have to love a festival with margaritas on tap. After we ate, we stumbled upon this Excella. I tried to find the owner, but no one was at home. The generator was cranked up, but no one was there.

The crowd was very into the show even in the 95 degree heat and not a cloud in the sky. Folks of all ages and colors were dancing away. Reggae has that effect on people, it makes you want to dance. Any way before the first song was over it smelled and felt like Jamaica in downtown Baltimore.

Getting ayrie they were.... For those about to or in the middle of polishing... this is the music that gets me going. For some reason reggae is very conducive to polishing.

You know there is some funky reggae going on when the bass player is wearing a bullet proof vest. Is that because there might be some husbands out there gunning for him?

We did have a fabulous evening dancing to some reggae as a family.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One more from the JAM

The response I have gotten from this blog have been wonderful. So many people have reached out and told me how they feel. Some have even stated that they look forward to a new post. I wish I had some more done on Anna, but since we cleaned her out after the JAM nothing has happened. Sure, there is a ton of work to do, I just have been playing catch up with the work that pays the bills and trying to finish the siding of my house. Because I have done nothing on Anna, and because I have nothing truly new, I have opted to post more from the JAM

I thought I might post about our visit to the Saratoga Springs Automobile Museum. Wish my Grandfather was still alive because this is the type of museum he loved. He would take me all that he could find as a kid. Private or public, he loved to go look at cars. Well, the museum was just across the street from the JAM, and we made it in to see the show.

The museum knew I was coming, so just for me they had a show of my favorite car, the Pontiac GTO. I am sure someone will comment on how much better something else is, but I have always thought of the GTO as my favorite. As my friend Steve says, "The GTO is tits brother, tits"

Hey you can't camp in your GTO in the museum, get out of here you freak.

This right here has always been my favorite car. The 1967 GTO is my dream car for sure. I never driven one or even riden in one, but man they get me excited. If I were allowed to choose one car this would be the one for me.

Here is a real Ferrarri from the days when they were race cars. That red is still offered today.

Here is my car. I loaned it to the museum... Actually this is a nice little two seater. The guy showing us around said that the car could get 40 -45 mpg. Maybe the Playboy should go back into production. I would drive one of these for sure.

The radiator cap from a Pierce Arrow. This car was built by hand. Every single piece was crafted by a man not some factory produced parts. This car makes all today look like a Yugo. It had a bar in the rear, now that is my kind of car.

I always wanted to build one of these soap box racers but never did. These two were very cool.

Where I grew up we did not have real soap box racers like these. Ours were much more home spun.

I sure hope they don't drive like their mother. If they do, then this would be the right car for them.
In fourteen years this will be a reality...

Friday, July 18, 2008

A super special one

So this will be my last posting about the JAM. I have saved the best for last, and it will be well worth the wait.

This is a 1939 Clipper and it is currently owned by April and Andy Hershberger. April and Andy are members of the WDCU, so I have the pleasure of seeing them often. They are part of the young blood of the WBCCI and have been severely bitten by aluminitis. They got into it with a newer unit, but quickly converted over to a vintage one. Their trailer collection has been growing, but after this one it is all down hill.

This view is so classic of the pre war Airstreams. Those eyes peering out at you are mesmerizing to say the least.

This trailer was believe to be owned by the Mc Faul Brothers who were early country western stars. Very little of the original interior exist, for that matter, none of the interior exists. Very little of even the frame work that supports the shell remains. Andy and April have a major job ahead of them for every inch of the trailer will need to be custom made. I doubt anything could be bought right off the shelf. I hope they have a restorer with great love in his heart to do this one. It will take more than money, it will take extreme passion and compassion. There are at least two exterior skins that need replacing and all the wooden frames inside were made of laminated wood strips. Many forms will have to be created to make all of those and hundreds of strips of wood milled out to be glued together.

Fred Caldwell, historian for the Vintage Airstream Club, was to give a talk on weather this was actually an Airstream. He had a talk put together with slides, but the weather forced it to be canceled. I was fortunate enough to run into him the next day and ask the question. I said "Fred, is it or not?" He told me the answer, but I will wait until he has published an article in the Vintage Advantage or discloses it for the VAP listeners. If you ever run into Fred, you will be graced. His service to the club is exceptional and his expertise is unbelievable. I could have spent days listening to him talk.

April and Andy, If you read this, keep me in mind, I will love her like you do.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I have developed a great love for the water decal. I look at them as trailer trash high art. They captivate my attention when ever I see them and I just love the way they look on the door within the door. At any rally I snap many pictures of the ones I see. The Vintage Tailer Jam presented many of them to me.

I was turned on to the IMPKO decal when Rob Baker put them on his list of Christmas suggestions for the Airstreamers wives. I cannot tell you which VAP episode it was, but his mention of them sent me searching. I had never even noticed them before he mentioned it. Well the water decals produced in the 50's and 60's by IMPKO, Baxter Lane, Goldfarb, and Lindgren- Turner Co. have captivated my passion for collecting. I am a ruthless bidder on E bay that once I decide I want it, watch out.

I liked this one because it had a Vintage Airstream Podcast sticker

This here is my door. It is like a buffalo robe in that it tells a story. We camped in Virginia the first time. It was the WDCU Installation Rally in New Port News. Next we camped at Cunningham State Park in Maryland. Then came the Cherry Blossom Festival Rally, Crayfish rally in New Jersey, The East Coast Vintage in Stanton Va, the Vintage Jam... it reads like a history book if you know how to read it.

IMPKO Decals make any setting seem absolutely perfect... right down to the grill marks on the hot dogs. I never had the chance to talk with this couple, but their set up was picture perfect and the IMPKO decals on their door sure looked sweet.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Upon the sea were many ships

One of the best aspects of the Vintage Trailer Jam was the SOB's or Some Other Brands. I enjoy the fact that I own an Airstream, but know that there are many cool vintage units that sport other names besides Airstream. I was able to tour just about every SOB at the Jam and thought they were all super special. The ratio was 30 Sob's out of 89 units at this event. I kind of wish there had been more to dilute the waters.

Sabrina Artel brought her Bee Line. She does a podcast called Trailer Talk from it so it serves as her home and mobile recording studio. I was interviewed by her, but have no idea what she was going after for a theme of her show. I think it is about why we all attend these vintage events and why they are different from other social gatherings.

little, little... Can you say Volkswagen Beetle tow vehicle?

This is an Eribe Puck that is German made and has to weight about 500 pounds tops. I had extensive photos of this trailer, but they were lost on my old hard drive.

There was a huge range in styles. This little canned ham was about eleven feet long. It's owner was the polar opposite to his trailer and I would have liked to witness him trying to squeeze through the door.

Some SOB's are even shiny aluminum just like Airstreams. This was a sweet little unit.

There were two fine looking Spartans. If you have never had the pleasure of seeing the inside of a Spartan, well you should. These babies are first class all the way.

This rig came down from Quebec. It looks like a an Airstream, but is totally home built. It was very cool and the owners were also fun to visit with.

The paint job here is doing the wave.

Nice decor..

This was my personal favorite SOB at the Jam. It is called a Kom- Pak Trailer. Yes, the roof is a boat and it is complete with oars. The thing I liked best about this trailer is that the person that restored it was fifteen years old. I am sure that Dad threw in a few hands, but it was pretty much his project. I feel there might be hope for the next generation when I meet kids like this. He was forthright and direct in his pride for what he had accomplished. He should be very proud of what he has done.

The back end folds down just like a tear drop trailer. Here you see Dad enjoying his morning the right way.

Very cool kitchen built into the rear end. I witnessed many meals being prepared on the Coleman white gas stove. The quality of the craftsmanship was very impressive to me. The fiberglass body work was as smooth as glass and the woodwork looked very professional. The as found state of this trailer would have left many thinking they were crazy to take this one on, but man did they pull off a sweet ride.

Over the mountains we went

I have to apologize that this post comes so late after the fact. My youngest dropped the Mac Book from the truck while fueling up at a Flying J. The impact broke the hard drive and killed the computer. Apple was kind enough to fix it for free, but four years of memories stored in my photos of all our trips has been lost. Anyone reading this, that has been putting off backing up such stuff, do it now. It is devestatting to know that the birth of Halle, many birthdays, trips to Costa Rica, Mexico, the western states, and countless family events are gone forever. I still have some restoration photos because of this blog, but almost all are gone. I had been procrastinating and for that I have paid the ultimate price. Learn and live, live and learn... Don't be a fool like me, back your shit up today.

Anyway back to the fun... We slept at Rob Bakers house as you saw in my last post. Rob's wife Zoe is as wonderful as it gets. She made us feel like family and my only regret was that we could not have stayed longer. I find it an odd thing that one can feel so comfortable around someone that was not too long ago a total stranger. I have been experiencing this with many of our Airstream friends. Rob and Zoe really make us feel like family and to that I must say thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We were sent away with a pancake breakfast and some directions of how to go over the mountain to Oneonta on some of the roads that are gray lines on the map. Let me tell you, central New York is a beautiful place. That section of our trip was some of the finest scenery on the entire trip. Eventually we did have to get on the highway, but even the scenery from 88 was nothing to sneeze at.

Anna likes hanging out with the big boys at the rest areas. I could see her flirting with many a polished tanker and quilted aluminum trailer while we stretched our legs and used the facilities. It is no problem, I am not jealous, because I know where she sleeps at night.

As I came up next to this guy I could see him pushing the pedal to the the floor in a vain attempt to get his rig moving faster. He was yet another SOB left behind Anna's wake.

see you down the road.....

And my girls slept right through all the excitement. Sure must be nice being the passenger.

All along the highway we were looking for other trailers heading to Saratoga Springs. Not one was to be seen except white boxes on the highway. The reason we could not find any was because they were all in Saratoga Springs all ready. We pulled up to the event and were greeted by a sea of trailers.

I must say seeing so much vintage aluminum in one place was quite the sight. Seeing vintage aluminum that was not just Airstream was an even better treat for me. In my next post I will highlight some of those non Airstream units.

I am lucky to have a good friend on the parking crew. Mr. Mistral Blue was kind enough to have saved me an extra special spot in the back, in the trees, away from the main crowd, and right next to him. Even though I had run out 185 feet of cords to get my three amps, it was well worth the nice setting. This is our third time camping with Mr and Mrs Mistral Blue. Each time it gets better and better. Also near us were many members of the WDCU so family was close by. I seem to be graced with seeing the usual suspects at these events, and I really like it.