Saturday, November 27, 2010

You light up my life!

How ya'all are? Elmer the frog here about to weave you some tales about lighting. Old Faithful has been sitting around for a long time. What's that got to do with lighting you ask? Well, keep yer britches on cause I am about to tell you. When you sit around doing nothing in New York weather,  things start to happen. And I don't mean good things. I am talking deterioration! Old Faithful's lights were put in sometime around 1959, at least that is what the dwp's say. And they are still there which made the man and the lady very happy! However, like I said before these two like finding things that are original but don't always like the way they look. In Old Faithful's case his lights still shine but not as brightly and not as pretty as they did back in the old days. So, once again out came the tools and at the lady dwp's orders the man dwp started removing the light fixtures. The lady says one thing she doesn't mess with is electricity. After the fridge incident I'll bet she doesn't mess with those anymore either but I want to stick to the topic at hand. They took those lights away and once again Old Faithful went into his paranoia state talking about meeting up with the junkyard crusher.
They just took them out to make them better I said.
I can see myself on the crusher conveyor now he said.
No fridge and now no lights he said.
I am useless he said.
But look at your kitchen I said.
What good is a kitchen with no fridge for food and no lights to cook by he said.
It's over, he said. I knew it all along, he said.
You'll see, I said, You gotta have faith.
Now I will admit, I get a little nervous myself when the dwp's start taking out the essentials but I believe in them. And yes those lights were a bit of an eyesore. Rusty and dull and dusty. Luckily this has been just one more opportunity for me to say..."I told you so" to Old Faithful. The gas lamp on the overhead storage compartment above the dinette was fully intact globe and all. Here is a before and after!

The ceiling light over the dining area has a nice fiberglass shade but the fixture was rusty and the shade dirty. Here is a before and after.

The two side lights were dull dirty and ugly. Here is a before and after.

The dwp's have not yet done the bathroom or the the back bedroom light but I am sure they will turn out just as nice. One more opportunity for me, Elmer Weaver, therapist to Old Faithful, to build self esteem in my old friend (and to say "I told you so" of course!)
Old Faithful is absolutely overjoyed!!! Speechless he was for a change! I keep telling him, have faith. Your time is not over and there are better days to come. And when the dwp's are through with you, there is going to be some very lucky somebody out there who will want to come and get you and spend all their time in you! Besides, I say, your better than a lily pad to me in the condition you are in. So once you are beautiful again why wouldn't somebody just fall in love with you! Old Faithful was quite for a moment and I thought he might finally be coming around to my point of view.
Well, I still don't have a fridge, he said.
Old Faithful, I said, you are one ornery son of a trailer. I promise you, you will get a fridge, but until then, like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!

There is a reason for that escape door!

Howdy ya'all! Elmer the frog back to weaving tales here! We had a lil bit of excitement inside Old Faithful and it had everything to do with the old refrigerator! Old Faithful was still storing food inside of it when the dwp's got him. Yep, old moldy cheese and the likes. Well, the lady dwp didn't like that idea and so she decided to pull it out of it's spot and take it outside to hose it down and give a good going over. So, all by her lonesome she pulled it out of the hole and got it only so far until she had to hollar for the man dwp to come and help her. When the man dwp got inside of Old Faithful he told her to get out and get out quick...there was an ammonia leak. It's funny now so I can laugh. You know how Old Faithful has what they call an escape door? Well, Old Faithful said he never saw anyone actually use it to escape...until the lady dwp came along. Leaping lizards you should have seen her jump over the bed area and out that back escape door in a matter of seconds!The man dwp put on a mask. Boy did he look funny! He bravely ventured back in and with all of his courage and strength he pulled that old fridge out and through Old Faithful's door and into the driveway! While all this was going on the lady dwp was in a're going to be okay right?, she kept asking over and over again. Neither one of them worried about me or Old Faithful! Alas, all is well. Except of course for Old Faithful. That fridge was one his luxury features and we aren't quite sure it is going to go back in the door it went out. Old Faithful feels kinda empty inside like they removed one of his lungs or something. I keep reassuring him that they will provide a transplant, but you know Old Faithful...forever the pessimist! I told him he should feel good like he just had liposuction and lost a quick 100lbs. Old Faithful said something about frogs legs being a delicacy and at that point I decided  sit quietly and wait for some more action from the dwps. I surely do hope they don't get hungry!

I will spare you a photo of the innards!

Old Faithful's big empty space!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Hey good looking whatcha got cooking?

Hi again folks. Elmer the frog here hopping in to weave you some more tales about my good friend Old Faithful. Let me give you some history first. Back in 1945 a guy by the name of Elmer Weaver (go figure) started the Yellowstone Coach Company building and selling Yellowstone Travel Trailers in Wakarusa, Indiana. They say that back then Yellowstones were the trailer of choice for carnival employees. The largest trailer built by this company was 27ft and they never went any bigger. Old Faithful hails from Wakarusa and a good thing too cause these travel travels are known for being well built. They are also known for having all the amenities for a very comfortable style of living while on the road. All Yellowstones built in 1960 and before were never painted and sported the beautiful silver aluminum look. Just like Old Faithful! The original company no longer builds these trailers. The Gulfstream company builds a line of luxury trailers today that they call Yellowstones! If you follow this blog you will see what I mean when I tell you these babies are well built!
While I am at it I might as well give you the history of the man and the lady. They like to think of themselves as old trailer surgeons, at least that is what the camper me and Old Faithful sit next to told us. He said that he and the other trailers being restored call them the Driveway People cause the only time we see them is when they are in the driveway working on us. So, from this point on I will refer to them as the man DWP and the Lady DWP...DWP being short for DriveWay People. From what I hear they have an appreciation for "old" things and days gone by. They absolutely love bringing old travel trailers out of old fields and barns and making them look like they did in their heyday so that some day a somebody will once again enjoy them in all their glory.

Last time I told you that the lady dwp was going to do some work on the kitchenette. Well, work she did! Lot's of things got done and I think Old Faithful, the pessimist that he is, is starting to believe that something big is going to happen to his old self!
First, let me tell you about Dixie the stove. She is original and has been with Old Faithful since the beginning around 1959. The lady dwp removed all of her knobs, both upper and lower oven and broiler handles, the grates and the loose nameplate. The splash guard on the right was also removed. The splash guard is aluminum attached to birch with aluminum trim that goes along the edge. It was dull, dirty and full of grease. Old grease! Here is what it looked like:

 The splash guard was polished with diamond brite truck box polish. The lady and the man dwp's love it! I heard them talking about how they used to shine aluminum the hard way until they discovered this magical liquid! The back of the splash guard was sanded and shellaced. It looks like a mirror now! I never knew how handsome I am for a frog but I sit in front of it often now. Old Faithful says I am just being vain!
This is the backside before

This is the splash guard when it was dull and dirty

And here it is all polished and shiny!

Miss Fanny the fan was a mess too! Dusty and dirty and her cover was full of grease!

The walls behind the stove were full of grease too. They will be sanded and recoated.

The fan cover was pretty bad. It had to be painted. I heard some talk of it getting another paint job because the lady and man dwp's aren't sure they like the color.

Luckily, Dixie's handles were just covered in surface rust. The lady dwp said she would use some elbow grease to get it off. I am not sure why because I didn't see her use her elbows to do it...she used her hands! You can see from the picture how nice the one that is cleaned up looks compared to the rusty one!
Here's Dixie all put back together and bright and shiny! 
For some reason the man dwp and the lady dwp like to find things Old Faithful has that are original, but they don't always like the way they look. Take the original glass towel rod with chrome end pieces. Well the chrome had seen better days!

The man dwp tried to polish these up but they just weren't cutting it! Must be the elbow grease wasn't working on these!

Now the man and the lady dwp's had a big debate over what to do. This goes back to them liking to keep things as close to original as possible and in this case they didn't think they would find the original bar attachments so out came the rustoleum chrome finish. Beautiful I say!

The next thing I want to tell you about is the sink. Ooooooeeeee was it disgusting and here are some pictures to prove it!
If you look closely you can see me sitting under the spigot. I like water! I have also been living for the day when this thing runs some again.

The sink, by the way, is original too! I heard the lady and the man dwp's say so!

Nice bronze faucet manifold underneath!

Just so you all can see how good that elbow grease works here is a before picture followed by an after...
 Holy flying flies does that thing shine now! Old Faithful said he could hardly believe it himself! But that is not all the lady dwp did. She sanded the cabinets, shellaced the cabinets, shined up the handles and latches, sanded the cutting board, shined the chrome trim and put in brand new screws and then put everything back together again! Unhopping believable! I thought I heard Old Faithful say he could almost smell bacon and eggs just a cooking on Dixie while he was sitting next to a stream in a beautiful campground....but when I asked him to repeat it he just told me to go find some lily pad to croak on!
Since details seem to be so important to the man and lady dwp's I might as well show you the cutting board! I know...booring!
The top part has been sanded and the bottom is what it did look like.
The lady dwp got some shellac on the board and has to sand it one more time but you sure can see the difference!

The man dwp took out this window and resealed it with some butyl rubber tape he got from Vintage Trailer supply. The lady dwp repaired the wood and everything is now water tight as a frogs skin!

Old Faithful has nice shiny hardware (need I mention original?) and nice shiny birch. The lady dwp even made some curtains out of vintage material and she just had to hang them for a few minutes to see what they would like like. I think I saw the man dwp roll his eyes!

Can you smell the bacon and eggs cooking yet?

And so this is the the beginning of a new beginning for Old Faithful. I am sure of it. Every time the man and lady dwp's take something out of Old Faithful to do something to it he thinks he is one step away from the crusher. And I remind him of the brave little toaster and how that story ended. He doesn't quite believe me but he will. I have faith in these dwp's. Time for me to hop on back into Old Faithful for the night. Even though he never actually says so I know he misses me while I am in the house writing these blog entries. Until then, like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Old Faithful the old geezer!

Hello all you people out there in blogger land! My name is Elmer the Frog and I am about to weave you up a story about my good ole friend Old Faithful. I see some bright things in our future and I'd like you to come on along for the ride!
For some time now Old Faithful and I have been living, if that is what you can call it, in the Adirondacks in New York. Some kid left me in this travel travel when he got tired of me and I have been sitting here ever since. But the story is not about me, it's about Old Faithful the forgotten 1959 Yellowstone travel trailer who lets me live in him. I guess we have both been pretty much forgotten and I gotta tell ya Old Faithful is pretty forlorn about the whole thing. Well, you know what they say about frogs being lucky and I kept telling Old Faithful that things would turn around as long as we stuck together. I am an optimist and my good buddy here is the king of pessimism.
A few days ago these people came and walked inside with flashlights. Next thing we knew Old Faithful's lights were being hooked up and we were cruising down the mountain roads! Here is us before we left, you can't see me cause I am hiding inside!

We went to three gas stations before the people found a place to put air in Old Faithful's tires. I told Old Faithful that air in the tires is the beginning of better things to come and I think he felt better afterward too. Of course the ole geezer would never admit it. Then we were on the road for almost 5 hours. It was windy and rainy and dark and for a while there I wasn't quite sure Old Faithful was up to the task so I told him the story about the little engine that could and told him to just keep repeating "I think I can, I think I can". He told me to go find some lily pad to hang out on and I told him he was my lil lily pad. He did perk up though about the last mile or two. And then we sat in another driveway for the night. Didn't sleep a wink though. We stayed up all night arguing about what was going to happen when the sun came up! Old Faithful, the pessimist that he is, said the sun probably wouldn't come up.
Well, come up it did! Mind you it wasn't all sunshine and happiness though. The people that brought us home walked right on in the next morning. Not sure I am gonna like them too much. They spent all this time putting Old Faithful down! Picking out flaws and blemishes and even when they talked about things giving him character it was in a negative way. Sheesh! All the work I been doing on Old Faithful's self esteem and they crushed it in about 7 minutes flat.

Old Faithful just a shivered when they talked about ripping out this back wall!

The last guy who cared put these bunks in and they talked about ripping those out too!

The lady said the curtains and the table just had to go and they both said they were gonna rip out the front wall also!

They were glad to see that Old Faithful still had his Dixie stove.

The man liked Old Faithful's cool screens but said the door needs work.

And the bathroom...we don't even want to go there! (No pun intended)
Now mind you, these people did say some nice things. They said Old Faithful hardly had any dents in his aluminum skin and that the floor and underbelly and wheel wells were pretty amazing. They liked Old Faithfuls original "but dirty" light fixtures and the original "but in need of polishing" hardware. "He is solid" they said and "that is what counts" they said.
Last night the handsome gentleman camper we were parked next to told us the lady and man were pretty cool. He also told us a story about a 1963 Shasta Airflyte, named Old Glory,  that took off about a week ago to go live with a family in Massachusetts. Said she was the ugliest thing when she got here and turned out so fine when they were through! I think I saw Old Faithful's Aluminum start to twinkle a bit when he said that. Of course, Old Faithful will never admit to it.
So I checked out Old Glory's story on blogspot and hopped right back home to Old Faithful to tell him all about the amazing transformation. (There is a link on this blog if you want to check it out for yourself.)
Old Faithful told me to stop spinning stories.
You'll see I said!
Prove it he said.
That's when I told him I would but he was too BIG to fit in the door to the house where the computer is and then Old Faithful proceeded to give me the silent treatment.
Couldn't take any more put downs I guess.
Now if you have read this far that means you are interested in what happens to us, er, I mean Old Faithful. If you want to hop along on this adventure with me and my friend Old Faithful become a follower! From what I have heard there is a major transformation that is about to happen and I will report all the details to each and every one of you. I will report back to Old Faithful and let him know how many fans he has. He probably won't believe me. Just like he doesn't believe that his future is going to be bright. He thinks he will never go camping again, no one will ever love him enough to hitch him up and take him for a summer ride. He says he will never hear laughter over a card game or smell bacon and eggs in the morning. I keep telling him he just has to have faith! It will happen and when it does he will be the coolest travel trailer in any of the many campgrounds he is going to visit real soon.
What's in it for me you ask? I am just looking forward to the day when I can say "I told you so!" Ahhh..I will be contently croaking that line!

Well, I have to get back inside of my friend Old Faithful. He has been so lonely since the day I met him and we need to stick together you know. I heard the lady talking about working on the kitchenette. I will tell you all about it the next time I hop on in to the computer. Until then, like my buddy Billy Joel says, tomorrow ain't as bad as it seems, yeah yeah yeah I'm keeping the faith!