“We shall call him Clyde!”

It’s mostly my fault that we wound up with Clyde. But, the name falls to Chad. Let me clarify:

I have always wanted a little camper. Not some big thing I can’t even manage to park, or something so fancy we’ll be paying for it for the next 90 years. Just a little camper. If it’s kitschy, even better. I love kitsch. I love old stuff, and if it’s tacky or hideous, so much the better. So, I had been hunting off and on for years for an old camper we could do a little work on and go from there.

The problem with hunting an old camper in our area is that most of the old campers, people use for hunting. So, there aren’t many around, and the ones you find are ridiculously overpriced. I’d hunted for a long time, and finally decided to hunt around on eBay. This is where I first found Clyde.  A stunning hunk of white and avacado green aluminum siding with big, rounded windows. A custom bumper with a house AC mounted on it for air conditioning. A few interior shots showing an abundance of 1970’s decor (orange wallpaper, green flooring? Yes, please!). He was only $600. He was in ready-to-camp condition, according to the ad.

Did I mention he was in Illinois? Dang near to Chicago?  Yeah, I didn’t think it was that far. Google map a location before you buy something there, my friends. Google maps. Trust me. So, I get Dad (because he has a good sense of direction, has hauled campers for years and has a Dodge Dually that’s set up to tow) to map out the trip and go with me. Chad was sick as a dog, so we made him a “bed” in the back cab of the Dodge, doped him up on antibiotics and antihistamines, and away we went!

We went to pick him up and there he was, in all his faded glory. A skanky looking futon mattress across some plywood was the bed. Some badly applied econo-white paneling covered the walls. The windows didn’t leak, because they had about 10 pounds of caulking per window, all of it smeared out from the edges. At one point, the seams had split due to leaking, so chunks of aluminum had been added. He looked like crap. But, to me, he was beautiful. He was my dream camper!

On the way back home, we were discussing the camper and laughing about what we should name him. Dad and I assumed Chad was still asleep, when suddenly he booms out from the back, “We shall call him Clyde! And, he shall carry us across the shifting sands of the desert!”  Apparently, this was an allusion to the song “Ahab the Arab” by Ray Stevens. In it, Ahab’s trusty camel, Clyde, takes him safely thru the desert. So, the guy hopped up on sinus meds named the camper.

When we got him home, we discovered Clyde’s ugliness to be more than skin deep. He needed some major work. But, the good news is supplies are cheap, Chad and Dad can figure out how to fix anything, and we have plenty of time. So, now that you know the beginning, follow along with the adventures as we try to bring Clyde back to life and glory.

and floor of the past...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tYn_6NjcopY

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. sillyliss
    Jan 27, 2012 @ 21:51:01

    This is such a great concept for a blog. I am following your blog now so I can hear all the stories of Clyde forevermore. Heh heh. 🙂

    Reply

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