An occasional journal of the Life of Reilly

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Sparks Junk


Note -- Once again the intersection of us and an Internet connection are few and far between – this entry took place on June 5, 2006 -- DR

Like knees and backs, some things just give out from overuse. We open and close our tailgate a dozen times a day to access all the gear stuffed in the back. The latch on the tailgate was opened one too many times, and it broke, leaving us with a tailgate that could only be opened with a screwdriver and wrench. A bit inconvenient, so we needed to find a replacement part. The parts store in Truckee did not have one, and there were no car dealerships in town. The clerk at the parts store suggested the Pull-a-Part junkyard in Reno. We decided to stop by on our way east from Truckee.

I asked Dad if he wanted to come along – maybe he wanted some new suspenders. He used to have a pair of suspenders that had a pattern like a tape measure, complete with the inch marks, appropriate for a craftsman like him. He wore them so much they stretched out. He kept the hardware, and replaced the suspender material with some seat belt webbing. I thought he might want to look for another color to supplement his wardrobe, but he was happy with the ones he had to buckle up his pants.

John and I found the place – located actually in Sparks, just east of Reno. We got there in the morning, just as the sun was starting to heat things up. Just like any great amusement park, we had to pay $2 just to get in, and we got our hand stamped in case we wanted to leave and come back. With tool bag in hand, we wandered to the small truck section. Up and down the aisles we went, looking for a Toyota of any vintage. Lots of Fords, Chevys, and other trucks gutted and stripped. The make and year of the vehicle was marked on the fender, or we would not have recognized what was left. We only found one 1994 Toyota, and the tailgate latch was already nabbed. Come to think of it, that is why we got a Toyota -- they don’t die easily.

Junkyards can be weird places – a couple of guys paid their admission fee to walk around and break windshields. Some vehicles look like they just gave out, while others were damaged from obviously serious collisions. As we headed out the gate I could hear the sounds of the local classic rock station playing Blue Oyster Cult’s “Don’t Fear the Reaper”.

We called a couple of other junkyards, and found one that sold new replacements of our part – apparently it’s a common failure. We are once again opening and closing our tailgate with ease.
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