Friday, January 27, 2017

Car Art and Desert Finds

Odometer 54446

Ajo, AZ

Joan and I love to take long walks, and it was during one of these walks that I got the idea of doing a blog post on people's yard art.

The desert is a great preserver of cars, and folks here love to show off the parts and pieces that they have collected.  Most of it is very tasteful, in my humble opinion- of course I'm a car guy.

This display is maybe a hint of what used to be.  Of course, more could turn up at any time!

A little desert patina on this 40's  Buick Special Deluxe

This family has two crawler tractors in their side yard.  Awfully close to their orange trees, but it looks awesome- I'd like to get one for our yard!

This antique's dealer has a couple Durant Star Fours in his inventory.  This one is fairly complete, the other is a lot rougher.  The Durants were "assembled cars" built from parts made by other manufacturers.   Near as I can tell they are early twenties vintage - probably 1925?

Desert Find Kenwood 2-way Radio
Disassembly and cleaning
While Joan and I were on a walk-about in the BLM area south of town we came across a pretty high dollar Kenwood UHF/VHF radio.  We spoke to a Border Patrol Captain who said it's not one of theirs- most likely from an undocumented border crosser.  There is no identification on, or in the radio and it has no charging base, but I was determined to check it out- see if I could determine if it still works.  I took it apart and cleaned out very little dust and cleaned a little bit of corrosion.  The radio has very good moisture seals and someone had put caulking around the knobs for extra insurance.

A little sand in the charging base
I remembered seeing a charging base for a Kenwood on one of the first outings Mark took me on in November.  That trip was in a different area about 10 miles from where we found the radio.  I used Mark's GPS to backtrack to that location one evening with Joan.  We found it just before dusk and skedaddled back home before dark.

I took the base apart and inspected all the components and it looked good except for the sand that has crept in over the months it has been lying in the desert.

I now have 2 of the three components needed to find out if this thing works.  The last part I need is the 12 volt charging cable that goes from a 12 volt power port to the plug in the back of the cradle.  Thanks to Kenwood, that is an uncommon item, and I don't really want to order one til I know if any of this works.   The Li-on battery may be toast.  Even if the radio were to operate flawlessly, I have no use for it.  It is still currently sold by Kenwood in the $400 range and I don't mind putting energy into cleaning it up, but not sure I want to incur any expenses.

When I get back to Oregon, I'll check to see what the City of Port Orford uses and see if this will charge up and power-up, and be useful to them.

Next week Joan and I are off to Medford, Oregon.  I have been offered an opportunity to present 3 separate safety trainings.  We have booked a flight to Portland where we'll rent a car and drive to Salem for a quick visit to my mom and brothers before driving to Medford.  For those that do not know, I work occasionally for a safety training company based in Eugene.  That company offers trainings on Fall Protection, Scaffold Safety, Confined Space, Excavation, Forklift, Telehandler, Aerial Work Platforms, and more, including a whole contingent of programs for Rescue.
Joan and I were offered two days of training in Medford, followed by 3 more days in Grants Pass.  I say Joan and I, because although I do the presentations, we are a good team, and it takes a lot of support to do it well.  My employer will fly me up and back, and provide us with lodging, expenses, and a fee, so why not?  It will be an adventure!

Your Traveling Friends,

Jeff and Joan


  1. Nice Find - Post it on Craigslist

  2. Hello Jeff & Joan!
    Great to read your posts. As I looked at your photos the surrounding areas looked quite familiar. As did the old cars and parts. And I said to myself, "boy this sure looks like Ajo." Then I finally read that it was Ajo. My sister and I drove past the old car display with the cactus in it. I quickly recognized it. My sister lived in that newly remodeled home on the corner. (I want to say Rosedale Street, not sure.). I am from Ajo, born and raised. Left in 1983 and now live in Tucson. I was so surprised to see Ajo in your posts. Loved it! Thank you, Pedro Maya. Keep up the good work.