Captured: We Meet by Accident

20 comments on Captured: We Meet by Accident
2 minutes
We Meet by Accident

When I was married, one day I was driving my wife’s car down a narrow road near our home. Something distracted my attention and in the half second I looked away from the road the car drifted slightly to the right and a utility pole at pavement’s edge violently removed the passenger-side mirror. Her little sporty car’s bright red finish had dulled after more than a decade of service, so it didn’t make sense to buy a shiny new mirror. I called around to junkyards looking for a donor car, and only Wrecks, Inc., had one. When I got there, a gruff man behind a counter looked up the part in a book and grunted a price at me. When I accepted, a small, scruffy fellow appeared and led me to a beat-up little truck with no doors. “Get in,” he said, and we sped off. As the truck bounced its way through the yard, I clutched the dashboard just trying to stay inside the truck. Finally he found the car. He couldn’t figure out how to remove the mirror, but since I had just removed what was left of the one on my wife’s car I took his tools and did it myself. Then it was back to holding on for dear life as we drove back to the counter, where I paid for my prize.

Wrecks, Inc., went out of business several years ago, but its great sign still stands. It’s kind of a local landmark on old US 52 just northwest of Indianapolis. It used to light up at night in red and green neon, but today the tubes inside are broken and hanging loose. I’m sure it’s a matter of time before the sign is removed. With any luck it will find its way into a private sign collection or perhaps to the American Sign Museum.

Dig neon? Check out the great theater sign I found in Crossville, Tennessee, and the neon along the Michigan Road in Logansport, Indiana.


20 responses to “Captured: We Meet by Accident”

  1. Versa Kay Avatar

    I am reminded of a trffic police sign post which advised drivers not to indulge in “wreckless driving”.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I want my driving to be wreckless (as in free of wrecks)!

  2. ryoko861 Avatar

    That needs to be framed! I hope it gets salvaged and saved. It’s priceless actually! Junkyards make excellent money if ran correctly. The ones by me do a mint!

    1. Jim Avatar

      I think this one closed because the owner wanted to retire. It was always busy! I’m sure it made great money.

  3. Mike Avatar

    There’s a fine line between junk yards and museums. The main difference may be that junk yards don’t charge for admission.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Ah, yes, we are of like mind there! A blog I follow called The Truth About Cars has a recurring feature called Down on the Junkyard where one of the writers photographs a “museum piece” awaiting the jaws of the crusher. It’s a highlight.

  4. mj monaghan Avatar

    Great sign, Jim. Would be a tragedy for it to go away. Really like your blog!

    1. Jim Avatar

      Thanks! Glad you’re reading.

  5. zorgor Avatar

    They’re out of business? That’s a bummer! I’ve gotten parts there too in the past.

    1. Jim Avatar

      I read someplace that he sold out to Traders Point Christian Church so they could build there, but then they built farther up the road. I dunno!

  6. vanilla Avatar

    How things change! I used to maintain and repair my cars courtesy G.W.Pierce, but these days I don’t even recognize half the gadgets on the car.

    1. Jim Avatar

      The only car I’ve had that I could have worked on was the ’75 Pinto. All the rest have too much computer control for me to do anything beyond dead simple stuff.

  7. Paul Avatar

    What a great sign. I’ve never been inside of a junk yard, though there are some close to the house. Fortunately, I’ve not needed parts or, when I have, they’ve been covered by insurance. :) I would certainly hope that they keep this sign around.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Junkyards are fun! But still, I’m glad I can now afford to pay a mechanic to fix my car.

  8. Mike Avatar

    A lot of the business has moved on line. When people are looking for old car parts they are most often doing it these days on ebay.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Time marches on. But buying parts on eBay almost certainly isn’t as much fun as slogging through a junkyard.

  9. Kaitlin Avatar

    Awesome sign. I’ve never seen anything like it!

    1. Jim Avatar

      It’s a head turner!

  10. Pete Oscar Avatar

    It was the greatest junkyard I’ve ever been to. Unfortunately the owner Mickey B. Maurer has passed away and the family decided to close it down. What a shame.

    1. Jim Avatar

      Well, at least the sign still endures.

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