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The Junk Yard

By Jim Willett [ March 2003 ]

In the early 1940s a junkyard which included all sorts of very old vehicles and eventually comprised both sides of the street where I lived (about mile from my home located in the city of St. Albans) was established by the Shapiro Brothers.

This yard was formed as a source for their used parts store located on Federal Street. If there was anything in my life that started me down that one-way road to a deep affection for old vehicles, it must have been Shapiro's Junk Yard. It was a virtual Disney World for a "junkie" like me.

Through my formative years, and despite the best attempts of the Shapiros and the pleas of my parents, a siren song and musty smell of those old vehicles and fascinating piles of junk drew me into that playground of obsolete and rusty "toys".

I soon learned the skills of running at full speed among the car bodies and piles of iron as I eluded the Shapiros who were in full pursuit.

Ah, it was wonderful! Eventually I did grown up and became pretty good friends with the brothers, and of course, after purchasing my first car, a 1938 Pontiac, used the yard frequently to keep my car on the road.

The yard lasted into the early 70s, and even though the brothers (there were three) are gone, as I write this I can look out of my kitchen window in the same house where I lived as a child and see those fields straddling Aldis Street. Both are still void of any structures, but with just a little imagination I can see my "playground" in all its glory.

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