Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Junk Man Cometh . . .

At the risk of being declared by the Blogger administrators as an unauthorized blog junkyard, I submit the below photos of a dilapidated old panel truck for your enjoyment (?). (Please don't report me to Blogger as an eyesore site !)
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I'm not even going to begin to pretend that I can tell you the make, model, and year of construction of this old rust heap, for me it was just a beautiful old wreck that was well in tune with the landscape around it, in an area of France known as the Causses, which was mentionned in a couple of posts just a few days back. I think on the night of the full moon, there is a ghost who emerges from a nearby cave and starts this baby up, to take it for a midnight moonlight joy ride. As there are no tires on the rims, it goes careening around corners with a mighty spray of sparks, terrorizing rabbits and hedgehogs who run for cover when they hear it coming. . .
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This sign mentioning "Risk" was at a site on the Verdun Battlefield which I photographed on a 1995 visit there. . . In French it says "Danger de Mort", or "Danger of Death", in German "Achtung Lebensgefahr" translates roughly as "Caution, Mortal Danger", but in English, it just says, "Risk Jeopardy". . . but does not mention "death". . .
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40 comments:

Country Girl said...

It almost looks like an armored bus. And I'd never report ya!

Patricia said...

I love subtitles in movies and so I appreciate the photograph of the sign. Translation as an art form.

Just saw a lot of great old heaps out west on vacation. Yours looks like it had quite a history!

TechnoBabe said...

Old discarded vehicles arouse the imagination. It is fun to imagine who drove it and what it was used for and how it ended up there.

Arnaud said...

Oh, un Type H Citroën !
Typique des années 50-60 et officellement reconnu comme le premier "panier à salade" de la police.
Je passerais bien une nuit à l'intérieur à attendre le fantôme de la lande pour lui faire une petite causette !!!

English Rider said...

I agree with Arnaud. I think it is affectionately called a "Tube Citroen" We had one to transport stone from the quarry. It was 35 years old when we bought it, in 1982'ish. It had an old fashioned crank-handle starter. It ran fine until we passed it on to someone who forgot the importance of oil. It resided for a long time by the roadside of the Vallee du Gapeau near Toulon. It was still there when we left for America.

Re: the sign - The English art of understatement?

AmyR said...

Far from an eyesore! I love to see all the heaps you find. They are gorgeous in their own way. :D

Janie said...

Interesting wrick. It's fun to imagine that someone emerges from the caves occasionally and goes for a joy ride.

Steve said...

Wow. An apocalyptic ice cream van! I'll have the glow in the dark Flake 99 please!

jeff said...

Enfin Owen ! Tu as retrouvé le camion tube de mon papa ! Nous avions le même il y a quelques années ! Le moteur donnait dans la cabine du conducteur ! Je me souviens d'une fois où une bougie tenait par un bout de bois parce que le filetage était naze ! Et bien, la bougie s'est "éjectée" à la vitesse lumière et j'ai eu très peur ! Risk Jeopardy ! ! !
A bientôt Owen !
Pas vacances M'sieur Owen ?...;-)

Eamon said...

Great photos. You are right to notice 'Risk Jeopardy' - it's an odd use of English. Sounds like a board game :0

Buskitten said...

Hi Owen,
Tiddles and I are on holiday on an Italian lake - and yes we have been making sandcastles!
This is rather a rickety old computer in il bar, so the keys are not really working! Sorry for any mistakes and see you all sooner than a soon thing!
Love
Liz, Tiddles and Stepford Bunnies xxx

Lydia said...

At first look I see something pitiful, a bus with its nose cut off. But it really does have a lot of charm.
Last night we watched the amazing Life After People show on The History Channel. The episode showed how vehicles would break down in various climates. Fascinating!

ladydi said...

Where's the FedEx sign on the truck?

Bill Evertson said...

We are in mortal danger of appreciating the decayed and discarded as art. What will become of us poor jeopardized artists? Please Owen - some photos of the slag heaps of our broken dreams ;)

Rain said...

Junk or not, I love the look of antique/old cars! It's amazing to see how they transformed over the years and decades! That truck reminds me of the villain's vehicle in "Jeepers Creepers"...if you're a horror movie fan, you'll know what I mean, lol! If not,that's okay too, it's still a cool truck!

Harry 'aka' Mojo said...

Owen..I'd love to have this truck and turn it into a SURFMOBILE!! woohooo!
Kegs of Ale and guitars inside..surfboards and kayaks on top..I would pick up four of my wildest friends and up the California coast we would go..searching for the perfect wave....Ahhh BLISS!!!
I owe you an email soon Lad!
Harry/ Mojo
Sandy Eggo, CA.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Where on earth do you FIND this stuff anyway? ultra-cool.

Snowbrush said...

I don't get what constituted the danger that the sign referred to....?

the watercats said...

.. I think I'm going to have to go away and become a mechanic, there must be fortunes to be made hopping over to France, driving around the countryside picking up groovy wrecks, doing them up and selling them on!.. as for the sign.. love the stiff upper lip english translation!.. "death!.. don't be a fool man! It's just a few unexploded landmines!".. (continue the rant about frogs and krauts in stereotypical accent and manner..).. lol...
cheers for the congrats by the way!

The Sagittarian said...

Oh my goodness, what a wreck! Looks like ti would be fun to play in tho'....

Adrian LaRoque said...

Great shot!

Faye Pekas said...

No way would you be booted out of the blogdom for this great shot.

One man's trash is a bloggers treasure. :)

Alyson (New England Living) said...

Loved the imagery of the ghosts coming out of the caves to go on midnight runs. Also, AMAZING photos! Love it!

Owen said...

Country Girl, Well, some of the armor is falling off, it had seen better days... really appreciate your not turning me in ! :-D

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Hi Patricia, translation is indeed an art form, and it's amazing how creative it gets sometimes... hope you took some pictures of the heaps you saw in the West... I'd love to head back out that way and really poke around a little bit on the back roads... one of these years... sigh...

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Techno B., Imagination is what it's all about... For sure I'd love to know more about what led up to this final resting place, if only they could tell their stories...

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Ahh Arnaud, merci ! I was thinking you might know... I'm obviously going to have to brush up on my knowledge of extinct automobile species... donc, la police s'en servait aussi ? Va falloir que je trouve qqs vieux films des années 50 pour voir... Et oui, le phantome nous attend, on peut y aller le rencontrer ensemble si tu veux. Peut-être Jeff viendrait aussi ? A bientôt, a+...

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Dear English, gosh, so you actually rode in one of these geezers ??? Wow. I can picture it riding very low on its springs, practically scraping the ground, with a load full of quarry stone... and leaning precariously going around curves in the road... Too bad they forgot to put oil in your old one, stressed engines do tend to need lubrication...

Owen said...

Hey Amy, glad you like it... the French version of what I'm sure you've seen by the side of some back desert roads in California...

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Hi Janie, well, there may be a whole batallion of ghosts down that way for all I know, who all meet up for full moon rallies...

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Steve ! Bring the kids, there's plenty of glow in the dark ice cream for everyone... could have some fun no doubt photo-shopping a sign onto the side of this thing...

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Salut Jeff ! Alors, cela s'appelle vraiment un camion tube ? Marrant, pourquoi "tube"... Et si l'on montait dedans, est-ce que cela veut dire que l'on était... entubé ????? Désolé, cela m'a échappé.... Heureusement que tu as échappé à la bougie qui a été éjecté... mieux une bougie éjecté qu'un passager... Bon, pas encore les vacances, mais bientôt... encore cette semaine au boulot...

Tchin, tchin... oui, tchin... ;-D

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Eamon, that's exactly what I was thinking, a double entendre board game... thanks for dropping in here to this humble little blog...

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Dear Liz, Tiddles, and Stepford Bunnies, aahhhh mama mia, so you're in Italy... now I understand why I saw a story in the press last week that said a small orange tiger was spotted in the company of George Clooney at his lakefront home in Italy... Hope you are all having a wonderful time !!! Did you take the new caravan with you ???
Cheers, so happy to hear from you all... hope those bunnies are behaving themselves ! :-D

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Hi Lydia, that does sound fascinating. As for its nose, I think it was a little bashed in, but perhaps not actually amputated... hope all is well with you as the summer rolls into August...

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Hi Diana ! Yeah, there's all sorts of signs that need to be photo-shopped onto the side of this truck... if I have time maybe I'll try a few, actually this looks more like an old UPS truck, just needs a coat of brown paint...

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Hey Bill, there are plenty of slag heap photos in the pipeline; and your mention of broken dreams reminds me of a song....

"All the years combine
they melt into a dream
A broken angel sings
from a guitar
In the end there's just a song
comes crying like the wind
through all the broken dreams
and vanished years"
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Name that tune !???! In any case, in my book, discarded and decayed objects like this make fabulous art... take care....

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Owen said...

Hi Rain,
Haven't seen Jeepers Creepers yet... but I'm sure this truck could have figured in some horror movies, as well as some comedies... I can see Louis Funes behind the wheel... Your new blog is great, and very green... a woodlands retreat for the summer...

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Hey Mojo Harry ! Excellent idea !!! Kegs of ale with a built in tap... When I was living in California I just had a VW bus to go up and down the coast with the acoustic guitar, and parked by the beach, with a fire going after sunset... but this model would allow a few more people to squeeze in I guess, and the more, the merrier, eh ??? !

Take care, thanks for dropping by !
And keep that mojo simmering !

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Hi Daisy ! Well like someone said, "Don't tell me this town ain't got no hear, you just gotta poke around"... and that's exactly what I love to do to find things like this... just get out and start poking around, going up side roads into the woods, or away from civilization... it's amazing what one stumbles on...

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Snowbrush... first the sign was referring to the risk I facetiously mentioned in the first line of the text... afraid that Blogger might shut down my blog as an unauthorized dumping ground for junked cars and other rubbish... I'm kind of a "trashy" kind of guy sometimes, second, the sign was announcing the risk for rabbits and hedgehogs who may be in trouble when the aforementioned ghost gets behind the wheel on the night of the full moon, and third the sign was me winking at the world, you know, life in itself is an inherent risk, we are always at jeopardy of having life come to an end... here today, gone tomorrow sort of thing... the underlying message being, of course, enjoy it while we can... hope that makes some sort of sense, it could also refer to the risk of being misunderstood as an artist, as a human... what was that song "Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood" !!! :-D

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Dear Watercats, you guys are a riot ! Love ya ! Yearh, I think you're right, there's probably a fortune to be made recovering some of these old rusting hulks... but then again, perhaps they've earned the right to rest in peace ?

And for sure, unexploded landmines or artillery ordnance is still a problem in some places, this sign was near a fort that had seen terrible shelling, also there was a risk of falling into very deep holes in very dark tunnels... which could have a negative impact on one's short term health perspectives... better to be above ground busking in the fresh air !!!

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Dearest Amanda, not sure what kind of play you have in mind for this old Citroen, but knowing you, I fear the worst, it's a good thing Lynne's not here yet !!! But come on over anytime, if you care to expand on that theme ?! ;-D

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Adrian... thanks !!!

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Hi Faye ! Ah, thanks for re-assuring me, I was getting a little worried there, as I have piled up quite a bit of other folk's trash in these pages...

Love your lighthouse !

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Hi Alyson; thanks so much for dropping in here ! Glad you liked the ghost... I'm fairly certain he's friendly, he just misses driving a bit... and raising a little hell from time to time !

Stumbled on your blog the other day, was really taken with your cemetery work... take care....

Sharon said...

Your story of about the "rust heap" and the ghost is as wonderful as the photos!

louciao said...

Hmmm...I have been contemplating this poor baby for two days now. It looks like something that could easily be fabricated in Albert County (where I live), pieced together with scraps of plywood and aluminum siding left over from housing jobs. Maybe I should get a grant and start a company. Hmmm...

I showed it to Pierre and he thinks it's great & is keen to go recuperate it. He thought RV, I'm leaning towards cottage. You'll have a place to stay when you visit les Causses!

Peter said...

I wonder why in French you talk about Death Danger and in German (and in Swedish) of Life Danger? Anyhow, it's the same.

Owen said...

Peter, yeah, odd thing perspectives... is the glass half full or half empty ? Same glass with some water in it... (or beer... !) :-D

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Hi Lynne, Maybe if we could collect enough of them we could construct a sprawling 20 room camping mansion, three or four stories high ? Hmm, I can see it now... although it might be a little hard to keep it cool in the summer... maybe if painted white ?

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Hey Sharon, glad you enjoyed the ghost... a long time ago an aunt of mine wrote a book called "Ghosts Who Went To School", with a character in it named Owen... I've liked ghosts ever since... friendly ones anyway...

English Rider said...

This particular post has inspired a lot of people. I went searching for more info. and, yes, it was nicknamed a "Tube Citroen". I even came across a Daily Telegraph article called "Tubular Belle" which I wish had been my own idea. This vehicle was produced from 1947-1982, no wonder there were so many around. Thanks for the memories.

Robert said...

Sympathique ce vieux citroen

louciao said...

A camping mansion! That is probably the only way I would care to camp anymore!

robert said...

Good morning Owen,
spend many hours discovering what was in foreign cellars, sneaking into houses (those of our neighbours, knowing that they knew) as a child.
Cars - well, Athens has more than 3mio of them, guess that's another risk for life as well. Luckily there are only toy cars beneath my lemon trees ;)

Owen said...

E. Rider, thanks very much for that, indeed, the Tubular Belle story is interesting. If anyone is interested, it is here :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/motoring/4756131/Tubular-belle.html

It seems that, like many things French, the name "Tube" for this light truck springs from the acronym T.U.B., or Traction Utilitaire Basse...

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Hi Robert, hope your move is going ok... en fait, très sympathique... merci, et bon weekend à toi !

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Well, I guess if it's a mansion, it's not really camping any more... but what the hey... :-D

Owen said...

Hi Robert in Athens, in fact, when I answered the comment just above yours I was thinking it was you... and then, here you are just a minute later... so, I really do hope your move is going ok and that all is well with you in the new place... with the lemon tree... best wishes for an excellent weekend...

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@ Robert à St Malo, bonjour et bienvenu, j'aurais dû vérifier, mais Robert en Grece vient depuis un moment, je croyais que c'était lui, bref, a case of mistaken identiy... bon, je viens de faire un petit saut vers le grand bleu, visiblement il va falloir que je regarde plus en profondeur, déjà ce vieux coque de bateau me parle sérieusement... et St Malo... c'est un coin de la Brétagne que j'adore. Il est tard maintenant pour ce soir, mais merci de ta visite, je retournerai au Grand Bleu avec plaisir...

Happy said...

Hi! 2009 Reims air show photos are HERE
enjoy some plane spotting ;-)

Plenty more pictures -- on other themes -- are here:
HERE

The Sagittarian said...

Actually, "Danger Mort"...I think this might be the French version of HP (Voldermort).

Marguerite said...

Wow, Owen! That's some bus. Kinda reminds me of the old Volkswagon Bus of the 70's, minus a few parts. lol Lassiez les bon temps rouler!

Owen said...

Salut Marguerite... yep, a real party-mobile. Even a bit bigger than a VW bus, of which I had a couple in the US... Let the good times roll, for sure !

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Hi Saj... you may be onto something there, I haven't seen the new movie yet, will have to remedy that here one of these days soon...

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Hello Happy, thanks for your visit... couldn't see a profile or link through to a blog though ?
Cheers...

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