Thursday, April 24, 2008


I live in Sullivan County, NY, an area known for its ramshackle bungalows, toy strewn Hassidic compounds and skull eyed Borst Belt hotel ruins. This is the man made landscape, nestled in some of the prettiest wild flower fields, sparkling lakes and winding back road ridges in the Northeast. Towns and villages like Monticello, Woodridge and South Fallsburg are even sadder testaments to lax building codes and lack of vision. The quaint factor (if there ever was one) has been torn down and bulldozed over years ago. Slack jawed hillbillys and stroller pushing women in bubushkas shuffle along these roads, eyes to the ground. Just over the bank lay busted TV sets, refridgerators and ancient, rusting farm equipment. For decades NO DUMPING signs might as well read DUMP HERE! But wait....I hear the sound of a truck with a bad muffler.
In these days of $4 per gal. gas, house forclosures and skyrocketing food prices, a new cottage industry has erupted. Scrap monkeys are everywhere. Along with rice and eggs, the price of metal has gone through the roof. An old wreck of a car that you couldn't give away a couple years ago, can now bring a couple hundred bucks. And in this trash strewn county, anyone with a pickup truck is mining the rust vein. Got a winch and a flatbed? You can get rich. A generational tradition of lazy litterbugs are turning green. Crap that has choked pristine streams for years, is being dragged up the bank and taken off to the scap hard for cold cash. In the process the entire county is being spruced up. Or rather partially cleaned. All the plastic and tires are left behind. No market yet for that.
It's interesting to see how over the years, some things that are thought to be previously worthless can develope cache. It's the free market at its best. Live long enough and the rust scrap heap of your life may be spotted in all that poison ivy and winched into the truck bed. Years ago when I was in a rock band, my rhythm section (always game for a prank) slipped Velvet Monkey guitarist Don Fleming some LSD without his knowledge. Poor Don never knew what hit him. But he played like never before, then went on to play with Sonic Youth and score Hollywood movies. What's this got to do with scrap metal? Absolutely nothing. Just thought I'd mention it. You never know when plastic and tires with be worth something.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home