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Remember the first time you went to Disneyland-Bear with me, I'm not telling another LowLife Mike story? Maybe you haven't ever had the opportunity to go to Disneyland specifically, if you need to, you can substitute your favorite place for Disneyland so that you can relate to my story in some small manner and follow along.
Either way, do you remember being so excited that you woke up super early to make the most of the meager 12 hours of daylight and trying to squeeze in as much fun as possible before the gates closed and you had to bring the day to an end? Then for the next three weeks, everybody you talked to was graced with your favorite story from the adventure, and God help them if they showed even the slightest interest in your tale, they would automatically be awarded the honor of hearing the story in its entirety starting from the night before. Well, that feeling almost precisely describes my enthusiasm for "junkyards." I can't really explain why or how it came to be that I have such an affinity for piles of mechanical stuff, but it ranks up there in my top three favorite things. I've already written a story about how pleased I am to have my very own yard of junk, but homo-sapiens being what they are, I will always yearn for more. For me, the pile is always rustier on the other side, and mine will never be big enough.
We don't have any pick-your-part- style yards here in Hemet, California but I got to know the guys at the my local yard well enough that I was given free run and could pick though the junk to search for the perfect part for my project on my own. I really couldn't ask for much more than that. Of course, every now and again someone new would come in to run the front counter and I'd have to break in another guy so that I could keep my roaming privileges intact, but it was always worth it. Unfortunately, now that we have moved our shop to the opposite side of town, my visits to the local yard have become scarcer than I'd like. I can't remember the last time I even walked in the front door, let alone wandered the yard lusting at their treasures. My time at the shop has become too valuable to waste drifting about the junkyard searching for the perfect part that I may never even use. I have had to resort to calling around to see who has the part that I'm looking for and hoping that when it's delivered that it is what I needed and in decent shape.
Talking with so many different yards, I have run into my share of odd personalities, usually helpful, but not always polite. One of the yards that I have recently had the pleasure of doing business with is California Mini-truck Dismantlers. They were genuinely helpful right from the start and they really know their minis. The thing that I like most about CalMini is that unlike so many other wrecking yards, they don't send any truck to the scrapper until the ghost is gone and even then they save every last bolt and bracket, just in case. 2009 marks 30 years in business for CalMini, and if any place deserves an extra special thanks from the minitruckin' community, it's them. So to Ron, Nick, Manny, Marshall, Mike, Rossendo, Victor, and everyone else working there, here is your theoretical cake, it's made with care and appreciation from wood fibers and lignin, pressed into flat sheets then printed, stapled and mailed to subscribers around the world. Enjoy it!