If you are looking to understand how it is that someone could amass such a collection of unique, performance, run of the mill, and seemingly totally uninteresting cars… well please let me know. I’m not sure either.
I think that I was always interested in the machines that took us places- I built model cars, rockets, planes, and played with electric trains. I also had a early start on computers... as seen in the picture. As a kid in the 70’s, our space program captivated me. That led me to being an aviation enthusiast in the 80’s, and a pilot myself in the 90’s. It had been my plan that I was going to grow up to be a commercial pilot, but the job at the phone company that paid for my flight time turned into a career, and where I have been since I was 18.
I also loved to take things apart- like our family TV, and the VCR. Fortunately I got them put back together. I would visit my mother once a year, who at the time was a mechanic and would have me working in the shop doing whatever dirty work you could make a kid do- like packing grease into Ford Pinto wheel bearings. This is also when I learned how it all worked- how air, fuel, and spark turned into rotational energy, and all the other systems that gave life to metal, rubber, plastic and glass. She also had 10 cars parked in her yard from the customers who didn’t pay. So having 10 cars was normal... I blame my mother. Fortunately my stepmother provided some balance with museums, plays, and concerts. As she was a librarian- I also was blessed with the opportunity to do book reports… all summer when school was out. I think I probably benefited greatly from that.
My late teens came with a paycheck- I was able to start pursuing my car hobby. My girlfriend went along for the ride, and Cherri and I got married in 1995. Back then, the reward came from fixing our cars myself- and spending the money we saved on date night. We purchased our 1st garage in 1994. It also came with a house. When a check engine light came on… I was excited for the opportunity to take something apart. We had our first son in 1998, our 2nd in 2001, and our daughter in 2005. There was always a fun car or two in the background. The garage and the house grew, as did our jobs and our kids. We focused on experiences, taking our family around the country and around the world- on planes and trains, and roadtrips. In later years- I was able to spin the hobby into a side hustle. Buying an old Vette, or Lotus, and many others- doing the repairs, fixing the trim, cleaning them up, and making a few dollars. My oldest son Thor became an enthusiast, Guy benefitted from having a collection to drive from, and Callie had zero interest (except the DeLorean)… although she just asked about learning to fly.
I lost Cherri to cancer in early 2019. The Barn was in part a project to keep me focused, and a retreat when I needed time. Mowing the lawn, doing an oil change, and tending to the garden were therapeutic, and it still is. As 2021 starts- Thor is finishing college and Guy is in his 1st year at the UofM. Callie started high school from home during Covid. We spend our summers at our lake in central Minnesota with our friends and family, and we can’t wait to start traveling again. I have not been to the office in over a year, but also feel very fortunate to work where I do. I started at AT&T when I was 18 years old- at a company store people leased their phones from (you could not actually own a telephone until the 1980’s), to being an operator, selling long distance (when that was a thing), to Cellular- when caller ID was a brand new feature, and then text messaging. It was a challenge to get the public used to the idea of sending a text instead of just calling them! This is my 16th year at Verizon supporting our Government teams, and our public safety customers.
Thank you for visiting the Car Barn Garage and allowing me to spend some time sharing my hobby with you.