(Image looks a bit sharper and cooler if you click to view in lightbox)
This is the first image of what will be an ongoing series that I’m dubbing “Over the Fence.” There is a bit of a backstory on this, so hopefully you don’t mind reading a few extra words today.
We moved into this 100-year old, downtown Phoenix house back in November and met a few of our neighbors right off the bat. Great people. One of them was a guy named John who has lived on our block for over 20 years and owns five houses just on our street. He rents them, fixes them up and is usually seen running up and down the sidewalks working on something.
From our upstairs guest house we can see down into a small portion of one his backyards. Ever since I saw the rusted old cars he has back there, I’ve longed to explore what else might exist “over the fence.” It took me a bit of time to ask, because I didn’t want to appear like some weirdo, but when I finally did he had no problem. Sure, go over there anytime I want and here is where you open the gate.
I took him up on the offer last Friday afternoon. My daughter and I wandered over to what is actually TWO backyards since he owns the adjoining house and has a portion of the fence taken down. After a brief overall exploration, I was dumbfounded to find over TWELVE CARS in this guy’s backyard. Twelve.
Sadly or fantastically, depending on how you look at it…most of these cars are in vast degrees of deterioration and are hidden in little nooks and crannies of the backyard. I actually found out later than one of his houses which basically cannot be saved and needs to be bulldozed, has two cars INSIDE it. I’m kind of nervous about stepping foot inside a condemned house, but I think I may need to ask that question.
Now, he seems to collect a lot of “micro cars” from long ago. One of the pictures I’ll post later this week is of a 1953 BMW Isetta 300. It’s tiny, like a true and actual Mini Cooper.
This one in the above picture was pretty amazing, especially when you got to the front of the car and the exposed, completely rusted out engine. The view in the photo is the rear-left tail light or what is left of it. I was struck by the rich details of the paint, the rust and the streaks of white coming from these “legions” all over the trunk.
Needless to say, I’m hoping to get back in that yard soon. I believe on my first run I only got about 1/10th of what is possible and I only left because Lyla told me it was time to go. She has a way of getting me to do what she wants…I think it’s because she’s super cute and I’m a big pushover.
Regardless, I hope you are jealous. Having this kind of stuff to shoot about 20 feet away is heck of a lot of fun.
As Kenny Banya once said: “That’s GOLD Jerry…GOLD!”
(exif: canon eos 5d mark ii, canon 50mm 1.4, iso 100, f/2.2)