The Year of the Yard

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The yard became my life. I worked there from Monday to Saturday and I loved my job. It was like being at a big garage sale everyday. I started to become more invovled in the operations of the yard until one day I told the owner I could run the place better than the present manager. He agreed, and demoted my then manager and made me general manager of the yard. The fellow who was demoted didn't like me much after that but on a whole, most people thought it was for the best. I found myself selling a lot less parts and becoming much more invovled in work place politics.

tim yard

The picture on the left is of Tim. I "stole" him from Parts Source. In fact, I hired a lot of younger guys in an effort to replace the old, washed out guys that worked at the yard when I first started. Along with Tim I was able to hire a guy named Duncan that Melonie had worked with, and numerous other young men over the 2 years that I was there. That picture of Tim was taken from my desk. Tim was good at keeping my sanity.

The picture on the right is of the yard from the back. You can see our "office" to the right. The yard was best in the summer when the ground was hard. Any other season it was a gooey swamp. It always made me laugh when "racer boys" use to come looking for Honda parts and they would ask if yard was muddy because they were concerned about getting their white sneakers dirty. I will never forget watching "cool guys" tippy toe through the mud and hopping over puddles.

The yard was no ordinary place. With a remote controlled fart machine in the customers waiting chairs, and other daily pranks constantly keeping us laughing. If you wanted a good deal on a used part, you had better be prepared to make crank calls for us, or even give us your hat if we liked it enough. I remember a bunch of drunk Newfs coming in desperatly needing a tire. They had no money so I ended up taking one of their watches. Of course it wasn't all fun and games. To this day it is the only place were people have threatened to hurt or even kill me. I remember one fine fellow telling me "I'm coming back with a gun, and then you are going to have no face." Charming.

This year marked my first time being out of debt. I was making very good money and I was in want of nothing. Everything I wanted, I got. However, money cannot buy you love or happiness. Things with Melone and I were steadily falling apart. We thought a change in apartment would do us some good. A bigger place with more room for the both of us. Melonie found an amazing place on Hess Street. It was very expensive by Hamilton standards, but well worth it. We were the first people to live in this two floor apartment of an older home, and everything was brand new. The landlord had kept all the old wood trim up during the renovation so the rooms looked really good.

hess2 hess1

The picture on the left shows you the upper floor where we had our bedroom in the centre, an office at the far end, and a TV area in the area where the photo was taken from. The picture on the right shows you the dining room on the first floor.

Despite our best efforts(well that could be debated) to fix our relationship, it fell completely apart. In the picture of our dining room you can see that I have moved into it, and was sleeping on the couch. It was not long till Melonie moved out.

I suppose I could have found a cheaper place and moved out too, but Ray had told me his friend Megan was looking for a place to live in Hamilton while she went to school. I decided to make the dining room my space, and rented Megan the upstairs floor. I was so embaressed the day Megan came from Manitoba with her parents to move in. I had two days earlier vomited all over the front foyer(thank god it was tile), but couldn't get the stains out of the grout(I don't think she noticed), and to top it off the girl down the street had all four of her tires slashed. Welcome to Hamilton Megan, it's really not all that bad.

Throughout the year I was able to travel three times. The first was to Portland, Oregon on business, the second was a vacation to BC and ofcourse a quick trip to Portland, and the third was a business trip to San Francisco that Duncan came to also. It was becoming very apparent to me that what I was happiest when I was on the West Coast. It would take me a bit longer to actually act on that impulse.

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