“After five months at the think tank I’d saved enough to buy some tools I needed, and quit. I was going to go into business fixing motorcycles. My plan was to start small, working out of my garage. But soon I met Tommy, who had a line on some warehouse space that could be had for cheap rent. We went in on it together; my share of the rent was a hundred dollars per month.
“For the first three years of its existence, my shop was located in this brick warehouse, near the train station in the decaying downtown area of Richmond called Shockoe Bottom. The business grew fitfully during this time, with always-uncertain prospects in the leaking, uninsurable building that sat at ground zero of a planned baseball stadium. One day I surveyed the cans of gasoline, the solvent circulating in the parts cleaner, and above all the makeshift squatter’s wiring, and decided it was time to move. And in fact, the building has since burned down. But the episode I want to relate shortly, involving a Honda Magna, took place in this warehouse, so allow me to describe the scene.
“The warehouse held an underground economy, completely invisible from the street. In addition to my shop, known as Shockoe Moto to those who knew which glazed-over window to knock on, there was a two-man cabinet shop, and two other motorcycle mechanics operating independently. Down the hall was Garnet, the laconic Harley and Brit-bike old-timer with his Whitworth wrenches and long pauses, working in the gloom cast by a single drop light in the cavernous darkness. Sharing my well-lit space was Tommy, a painter of [girls] and diagnoser of steering shimmies. Elsewhere in the building there was an “architectural salvage” (that is, junk) dealer rumored to deal other things as well; a building contractor with an unintelligible South Carolina accent who carried around a spinal tap of morphine for a broken back; another builder, this one a lesbian gut-and-rehab, crack-house turnaround hustler; the warehouse drunk, unpredictably loving or vicious, with his interminable Olds Toronado restoration project; a black duck named BD with a taste for ankle flesh; and The Iraqi and his silk-shirt-wearing brother, who together “managed” the building. There were also various litters of kittens and a rotating series of questionable individuals, usually “in between situations,” living upstairs in the unheatable, uncoolable warehouse, including one very sexy young S and M model and a pizza delivery guy who shot a man in self-defense and then skipped town, leaving behind only a Koran and a pile of [magazines]. I’d gone from the Committee on Social Thought to this.”
Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft, pp. 109-111.
There’s an ancient radio sitting on the window ledge of my Dad’s shop. If my memory serves me correctly, he got it when he was a teenager. I can only imagine how many hit songs and radio show hosts came through the speakers over the years.
My favorite memories surrounding that radio are from the late 90’s.
Dad had a habit of listening to public radio on the weekends while cranking bolts on his Volkswagen Beetle, popping rivets into his (still unfinished) Nieuport 11 biplane, or just working on projects during those hot Georgia summers. His listening tastes ranged from the smooth voices on NPR to the energetic Irish fiddle music that so few stations play anymore. There was something homey about hearing those sounds as I rode my bike in the back yard or launched military operations with tiny plastic soldiers in the sandbox.
On occasion, I would find my way into the garage and pick up a ratchet of my own, helping Dad as best as I could. We would work side by side without talking, trying to avoid busting a knuckle on the wheel-well of the bug, while listening to the radio. Car Talk and A Prairie Home Companion were my favorites.
Now that I own a house and spend Saturdays working on projects of my own in the back yard, I figured it was time to get my own ancient radio; to create new memories backed by a soundtrack of public radio drifting through the screened door while I cut wood in the side yard, or wrap new tape on the handlebars of my fixie bicycle.
Isaiah opens with a condemnation of the Children of Israel. As Isaiah described what the nation was like because of their sin, we get a picture of a people that knew nothing of the ways of God. In verse 11 Isaiah mentioned the worthlessness of their sacrifices; he stated that their traditions and worship were vain because they tolerated and lived in sin, didn’t judge the wicked or support those in need. Because of this the Lord threatened to exterminate them. “‘But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ Truly, the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” This warning was to people who supposedly were children of God; the Children of Israel. But He gave them a way of redemption if they made their ways clean, put away their sin, “‘[learned] to do good, [sought] justice, [reproved] the ruthless, [defended] the orphan, and plead for the widow.'”
How well does this warning apply to the Gentile Church today? In a church culture of raising arms in fabricated “worship” at a christian rock concert, or accepting what God calls an abomination – what kind of wrath does God have on that church? However, “‘wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your deeds from My sight….. though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'”
There is hope for the Church!
Briggs (my flat-mate) and I drove up to Chicago last Saturday to see some sights and hang out.
As a man of God I should pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness. I should fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which I was called; keep the commandment without stain or reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Taken from 1 Timothy 6:11-14
I’ve been working on a project for the last couple of weeks (planning since last winter, though). It’s an action/drama youtube series called Runner Vision. Here are the first two teasers for it:
There’s one final teaser which should come out sometime within the next month.