Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Hazleton Junk Drive

On Holy Saturday this year I happened to look out my kitchen window and notice that my neighbors had a massive junk pile outside their garage. I immediately was brought back to my youth seeing the junk pile over my fence. So I decided to look a little closer at the junk pile when I had noticed what looked like a vacuum cleaner handle sticking up in the mountain of junk. I thought I could salvage the old vacuum cleaner. Luckily moments later I saw the junk haulers pull up their truck to haul away the junk. I went outside and asked the one man what kind of vacuum cleaner that was and he said it was a Hoover. Well he asked me If I wanted it and I said yes. After handing it to me I noticed that the Hoover was a vintage vacuum cleaner from the late 40s to early 50s. It was a Hoover Model 115 Junior. I groped the bag and noticed that the bag was full of dust. After about 2 hours of removing the dust from the shakeout bag with pliers and vacuuming it out with other vacuums I managed to get it cleaned up.
  The vacuum actually still worked when I plugged it in. However my mother disapproved of me bringing this antique vacuum into our home and my brother had taken it away and put it in the garbage. I guess they didn't want bugs and mites and germs. I tried to explain to them that it probably belonged to that little old lady who used to live next door to us and that the vacuum was probably bought at my grandfather's appliance store. They didn't buy my pleas to keep the machine. I hated to see it get thrown away after I spent time and aggravation to clean the thing out. I originally had plans to sell it to a vacuum collector.
  That whole ordeal has lead me to the main topic of my post today, The Hazleton Junk Drive.
  I'm going to be nostalgia tripping today to a part of my youth growing up in Hazleton, PA. Up until the year which I believe was 2002, the city held an annual junk drive once a year where you can throw literally anything away no questions asked. This was usually held in the springtime hence the term spring cleaning. However this was more like Christmas in July if you ask me.
  I still have vivid memories of seeing people walking up and down the city blocks rummaging through people's junk piles. People actually threw away some pretty good stuff from what I remember. The junk pickers would have their old beat up pickup trucks, full size station wagons with the back window smashed out of it filled with junk. I remember some of the junk pickers vividly double parking their vehicles and walking the blocks picking up people's junk. These junk pickers would give the American Pickers a run for their money since they were getting this junk for free and not lowballing hoarders for junk.
 Although as being around 12 years old when the Hazleton Junk Drive came to an end, I really never had a chance to explore people's junk piles that much. I believe the last year that Hazleton had the Junk Drive, my two nephews and I spotted an old leather salon chair a few blocks down the street from my old house and we decided to bring it home. So my 2 nephews and I walked down the street with a skateboard so we could put the chair on it and haul it home. We proceeded to put the chair on the skateboard and all three of us pushed the chair up the street so we could put it our backyard and make a robot out of the old chair.
  However just like the old Hoover Vaccum that I found in the trash, my Nephew's other grandmother came to pick them up at our old house and just so happened to be sitting on the front porch of my house talking to my mother. My nephew's grandmother had saw the 3 of us pushing this old salon chair on a skateboard and told us to put it back in a very annoyed tone. We ended up not taking the salon chair all the way back to where we got it from but to the back of my old house. Our old hose had a huge backyard which had a space in the back where the fence had ended. We kept it there for a few days and we really never got to build that robot that we had planned to make.
  However about 2 years later the City of Hazleton decided that the junk drive was unnecessary and obsolete when they made the rule that you can throw this stuff out every week for garbage not one time a year. Garbage day hasn't been the same ever since they changed the rule for allowing you to throw anything away every week. I want the junk drive back.