SuperBird in the Barn: Back to the School
I've been meaning to head back to Macomb, IL ever since I left there in 2004. I didn't leave there with a sense that it was the final time I would be there, I still didn't know if I would go back to Western Illinois University or transfer to Northern Illinois University. I did decide to transfer to Northern, and the rest is history.
This weekend I had Monday off, and I just needed to get out of town. I just wanted to go somewhere. I knew I wanted to go back to Macomb, so on Friday night, I decided to take the plunge and leave Saturday. I put insurance on the Challenger, packed up and headed out Saturday afternoon.
The next 4 hours went by as expected through the corn fields of IL. There was nothing to do but plan out the next few days. Where I would go, who I would see, what cars I would go try and find again. I arrived in Macomb a little after 6pm on Saturday. With no sunlight left, I just checked into my hotel and grabbed a bite to eat.
I woke up early and went into town to grab a bite to eat and then headed to the first car, the first car I found out there back when I was in college. A 70 Chevelle SS, it wasn’t far from the college campus, and I found it fairly quickly. It hadn’t moved since I had seen it last, except I think the tires had air in them now. The poor car was a 454 originally.
Snapped a few pictures of the Chevelle then headed out of town to the second car, a 72 Charger. I had spoken with the Chargers owner years ago, but hadn’t seen them in years. Also the fact that it was Sunday morning, most people were in church. So I just cruised by to see if the car was still there. It was, hadn’t moved since I had seen it last either. Not a Rallye or anything, but a solid project. I couldn’t stay long, so I continued on my way to see if my friend’s junkyard just up the road was open.
Driving out to the yard it was definitely odd, I hadn’t driven the road in 6 years, and I was reconnecting everything to my memories, which was fun. I remember where the road changed from a smooth surface to a bit rougher, the long dirt driveway into the yard, the cars sitting outside the yard. It all came rushing back. Going through some of these old towns was depressing too. Every place in their downtown area was closed and abandoned. I tried to find someplace to eat, and I had to actually go out of town to get a meal.
Entering the yard I could tell that the yard was closed, there was no cars in the driveway or anything. So I turned around and headed out. It looked the same, except with a few new items out front. They would be open tomorrow, I just had to change some plans around. It was eerie going through there though. As though time had stopped, very little had changed. Same fire trucks in the barn, hub caps, and barns full of hub caps. Tomorrow couldn’t come fast enough.
That wasn’t the end of my day, I knew of plenty more cars lying around that I wanted to visit to see if they were still there. So I headed the opposite direction, I headed west out of Macomb. There was a car I knew of that was the A-typical car in a barn. The car is a 1967 Satellite, 318 poly, auto on the floor, red with a WHITE PAINTED TOP. It 6 years ago just supposedly needed brake lines to be drivable, but it was in worse shape now. The chrome on the bumper was going, the car was sitting deeper and deeper in the mud, I talked to the owner for a bit, and I had talked to him last time I stopped by. He vaguely remembered me, so I refreshed his memory, told him about what I had been up to and what I do. Let him know that if he ever needed help with the car, to let me know. I gave him my car and parted company. I hope he calls some day.
After that, there were just a few more stops I had to make. I dropped by Lake Argyle in Colchester, IL. Beautiful place, I used to love going there with friends camping and just hanging out. Then made my way to more cars, a 65 Barracuda sitting behind and abandoned mobile home. The cover that once covered the car was now gone, and the toilets that used to keep it company have now mostly fallen over. Poor car is a V8, but probably won’t move again.
Just down the road is a 66 Valiant 4-door. That hadn’t moved in a long time either. So sad that it sat among the bushes and trees, it really is a cool little white Valiant that would make a good project for someone. And on the other side of town was a 66 Coronet 4-door that I can’t remember off hand, so it more then likely appeared within the past 6 years, or I could be loosing my mind.
It was getting later in the afternoon, I still wanted to go visit the campus, so I headed back to Macomb. It was a good day; I found old memories and dusted the cobwebs off. While I didn’t get everything I wanted accomplished, I still had one more day. And the next day made the whole trip worth wild.