Monday, July 23, 2012
Junk-loving fans of the rusty/dusty/crusty/musty got some respect earlier this summer when the Wall Street Journal went junking in South Dakota with Ki!
The story and video got some prime real estate in the June 30 edition, captured in the detail-rich prose of the Journal's James R. "Bob" Hagerty!
That's him and Ki, above (a pair of pistols with a pair of pistols!), holding the toys they unearthed on a stop to the yard of Victor Settje, whom Hagerty described as the man to see in Scotland, S.D., if you are seeking junk.
"It was a blast riding around southeastern South Dakota with Ki and Cammie," said Hagerty, a reporter with more than three decades of journalistic experience working for the Journal on three continents. "Cammie knows where to find the most interesting piles of junk, the best pastries and the cleanest restrooms. What more could you ask?"
It was a fast, two-day trip, and Ki almost missed her flight!
She hopped a plane out of Los Angeles to meet Bob, who was flying in from Pittsburgh.
A gate change had Ki running to make the connection out of Minneapolis, where the pair hurriedly met and boarded another flight, for Sioux Falls, S.D.
(Ki was excited to meet Hagerty, recently having become enamored of his mother, Marilyn, a savvy and no-nonsense Grand Forks Herald reporter, after reading of her exploits. The senior Hagerty recently achieved cult celebrity status when her written review of the Olive Garden restaurant went viral, bringing her the admiring attention of heavy hitters from Anthony Bourdain to CNN's Anderson Cooper! )
Ki and Bob retrieved their boxy rental car and navigated the back roads to Yankton; Ki was excited to meet up with Cammie and let the junking begin!
Bob headed out for an early morning run and Cammie arrived! Then they headed out to Victor's!
"What a sight," Ki said! "The lumber yard was rickety and falling down. The town considers it an eyesore, but it was delightful to me!"
Here is Victor with his Black Lab, Missy, captured by Hagerty's lens in a reflective moment! (Bob, unaccustomed to junking, was reluctant to climb the stairs for fear of their imminent collapse!)
Victor and Bob enjoyed a lengthy conversation, including what the city thought of Victor's collection of discards, and of his upcoming trip to Alaska.
While this is what Ki likes to call another day at the office, this was new but welcome territory to Hagerty: "I've never really been interested in junk but I've always hated to see things thrown into the landfill rather than being fixed or transformed into something new. So Ki and Cammie are inspiring."
Did Hagerty bring home any souvenirs? No, he said, but he admitted being fascinated by the beauty of old glass insulators. He's not the only one!
"We had fun picking through Victor's stock," Ki said. Cammie bought a few items, including a bucket of parts for $15.
Then, lunch in a local cafe. "There was good food and conversations flew across the room, since everyone knows everyone," Ki said. "We were the obvious city slickers, except Cammie and [her husband] Dave," who regularly junk throughout the Midwest.
After lunch, they traversed long, dusty dirt roads to another farm, Alvin's, later dropping Bob so he could catch an early morning flight out of Sioux City.
Check tomorrow's post for more pictures from the expedition, including a plethora of visuals on the fabulous junk they saw!
And thanks, once again, to Bob, whose role as a trained observer brought the joys of junking to the Journal and its readers!