Wednesday, May 1, 2013

For years and years...

I drove past the high fenced embankments...


I googled and found some aerial pictures and history...

...but I kept wondering.

It seemed like the GM Proving Ground at the eastern perimeter of Mesa was going to make me wonder forever.

Built in 1953 to test vehicles in weather and road conditions not available at the original auto proving grounds in Michican, the vast expanse of flat, wide open triple digit temperatured desert seemed like the place to built test tracks and facilities.

I've read that the Corvette was incubated in this facility.

And the 57 Chevy.

I've read that some of the steep curved banks were marked '90 mph min.'. 

I've heard that GM hauled a lot of black-clad loads out of the buildings and surrounding proving grounds before handing over the keys to the new land-developer buyers.

I've never really been a car person, but those miles of high-fences and that heavily gated and guarded entry into the facility really made me wonder.

And although I won't ever understand what really happened there, I don't have to wonder what's inside the gates anymore.

Mr. Jenny and I are going on Thursday afternoon to look at salvage at the facility.

On Saturday morning after we left our little MoMo's soccer game...
...we wandered by the Proving Grounds and saw that some of the metal sheets covering the fences had been torn down.

I didn't even have to screech at Mr. Jenny to pull over. He was just as excited as I was. We wandered around peeking through the fence for quite a while.

We saw cool stuff laying in the rubble.   Cool stuff like stop signs and some fire hydrants and a bunch of rusty metal 'something-or-others'.
Mr. Jenny and I like stuff like that.
I know.  
We're weird.
And we watch American Pickers faithfully.
As we were peeking, a few trucks started pulling in and  out of the gate.
"I should go talk to one of those guys," I told Mr. Jenny.
He just looked at me like I was crazy.
But then I looked at the stop sign and fire hydrant laying by the fence.
And  I gathered my courage, jumped out of the truck and ran across the parking lot toward a dirty black truck waiting to pull in.  
I know I startled the driver half to death.
I'm sure I looked like a red-faced (it was over 100 degrees out in full sun) frumpy, middle-aged, chubby crazy woman...
But I didn't care.
"Hey," I panted.   "Hey, there's some cool stuff laying over there in that rubble and I wondered if I could take it?!"
He looked at me.   And looked toward the passenger side of the car.  
Sadly, there was no-one there to rescue him from me.
"Ummm...say what?"   he said.
I slowed my speaking down.  
And repeated my request.
"Ummm...I think you need to call Dan," he said and started to pull away.
"Wait!   WAIT!  I need Dan's number!"
"Ummm..." he mumbled as he gently gunned the truck engine.   After muttering, "Just call the company," he pulled away.
Mr. Jenny had driven the truck over by this time and I gratefully crawled into the air-conditioned cab.
"How'd that go?" 
"It went okay.  I think I scared the guy, though!" I replied.
Mr. Jenny raised his eyebrows.
"I'm supposed to call Dan," I told him smugly.   "I'm going to find out how we can salvage some stuff in there."
Mr. Jenny enquired if I got Dan's number.
"Don't you worry about it, I'll find Dan," I reassured him. 
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Monica said...

Please don't make us wait long for part 2! I'm excited to hear the rest of the story!

Tracy Cook said...

auo glad i popped by brilliant read

Pam Beers. said...

A fire hydrant and a stop sign in front of your stone house is a very good idea.

The fire hydrant is for the dogs strolling by, and the stop sign is for people to stop and linger while taking pictures of your dream house.

Alright, already, hurry up with part 2.

Karen S. said...

Oh my goodness, I hope all goes well with Dan, and getting some of that stuff! I am excited for part two. I am curious as to what they're doing there now, they must be active with something, if folk are around and trucks moving in and out! It's so cool!

Naperville Now said...

yes, don't wait too long to let us know how this one turns out!

Pat Tillett said...

I'm here from the future to read the first part first! Can't wait to go back and read part II.

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Oh yes! Salvage of great junk! Say you got some stuff!

pasqueflower said...

Cool! I watch American Pickers, too, but only on occasion. Great fun.
So let us know how the "pickins" go on Thursday!

Maggie Grace said...

Reading :))

Splendid Little Stars said...

off to the next installment (hopefully!)...