Wastelands of Suburbia

A place where the cast-off ephemera of the last four generations comes to rest, and is discussed fondly....Like junk, or the injection-molded minutiae of history? Welcome home...Junkyards, yard sales, roadside oddities, thrift stores and more-your memories are deep inside the box, so keep shaking.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Das Awksch Fest!

Ahhh, August-searing heat, unpredictable precipitation, and fair and festival season. I spent the day at Das Awksch Fest (The August Festival) in Macungie, PA. The opressive hot weather of the past week mercifully subsided, and we were able to walk the fest in relative comfort.

For the uninitiated, Awksch Fest is a combination antique toy and car show, as well as car parts flea market-everything any worthwhile suburban junkyard needs. I have been unable to attend the show the last few years, and the last time I was there, I had no money anyway. This year I took the folks-The Old Man is currently blowing our inheritance on cast metal toys. (More power to him, it's not about money with me anyway). My brother, who knows about as much about cars as the average Mall Queen, also decided to roll along. Yes, I am able to enjoy a day with my family, who knew...

Just a sampling of the antique goodies available at one of dozens of tables at the show.

I was at least a little disappointed in one aspect-finally flush with a respectable amount of cash, I did not see many of the 80s toys I had lusted after from the last show-Micronauts, GI Joe, Mobile Action Command and the like-we tried to determine why this may have been. Mom suggested maybe the increasing popularity of Ebay. I added that maybe the actual or perceived affluence of my generation had taken many once available toys off the market, in one fell swoop of adult overcompensation. Nonetheless, there were plenty of opportunities to smile and say to anyone within earshot "I had that!" when a familiar toy emerged from the enless tangle of goodies.

I was in search of some vintage racing photos-I am currently covering the gross green paint job in my bathroom with framed photos until I am physically able to paint again. I am a photography enthusiast anyway, and I figured a neat collection of diverse photos would give the average bathroom visitor some, ah, inspiration...Plus it would look like Ruby Tuesday or Cracker Barrel would, if theft weren't an issue. I managed to find one nice dirt track photo, plus the unexpected-SIX copies of insurance claim photos from New Jersey Bell, dating to the Sixties! Let me explain my excitement. I am currently an employee (albeit injured and on comp) of a major telecommunications company. As a result, one of my favorite collectible photo genres is phone company vehicles, particularly of the old Bell System variety. These photos can be tricky to find, but to find shots of trucks and vans wrecked in the line of duty is nearly the Holy Grail for me. I got six for thirty bucks, which I split with The Old Man (he's a Bell retiree and collector of memorabilia as well). I'll put some up when I get them scanned.

Two guys I couldn't get to move check out a vintage Pontiac that looked as if it had been dipped in ink...gorgeous...

The car show had the usual suspects-plenty of vintage Chevys and Fords, as well as a few choice Mopars and the errant oddball marque. What's nice about Macungie is you get a wide sampling-everything from Stanley Steamers to vintage work trucks are represented, and everything in between. I got some nice Mopar pics for Brain, who is a diamond-star freak. WAY TO TELL YOU ARE AGING, ITEM 1-your high school ride is entered in the show and is NOT considered a classic. Some nut had entered his shit brown, 1981 Ford Fairmont in the show. I had one of these in high school-it was affectionately known as The Turd. Brown with matching brown vinyl top, she could carry ten offensive linemen in a pinch and two half-kegs of beer with the trunk closed. She had an indestructable Pinto motor and racy buckets out of a Mustang. I had my first girl in my Turd, and I look back at her fondly-the car, I mean.

A neat vintage rod.

Fuel Injected Chevies in 1957? The guys milling around said it was true, and the old man said it was notoriously unreliable.

As the day wore on, we got sunburned and my back began to bark, but I had recieved my annual fill of cool toys, cooler junk, and old car smell. Despite this, I can't wait until next year.


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