Bill's Garage Memorabilia
"BUCKLEY MOTORS" in Buckley, Illinois (1946-1982)
THE SNAPSHOTS IN THIS PICTURE are part of Barbara's memory box
of her father,
(see it here along with the story of how it was created). This is Bill Schaumburg "in his element," as he looked in his daily work clothes,
up on a ladder, and standing proudly in front of his new
red-and-white Plymouth in 1959. The garage picture shows the front
door and a pile of junk waiting to be hauled away. (He never worried
about what people thought; just went about his business.)
AFTER OUR FATHER DIED, my sisters and I searched through his personal
belongings for things we wanted to keep, and we each wanted different things,
such as eyeglasses, keys, pens, watches, shaving items, and so on. Mostly I
wanted little things I could put in the memory box I was planning and the idea
for it came the day we were all out in his garage looking through his
collection of tools (and, yes, a lot of junk he couldn't part with). I was the
only one who saw beauty in the stack of grease-covered tractor gaskets back in
the corner. When I scratched the surface and saw they were copper, I realized
their value to me. The different-sized holes in this gasket would make a perfect
window-mat for photographs. I spent hours cleaning them and then spraying them
with a fixative to prevent tarnishing, and later sent one to Mollie as an
additional keepsake in her collection.
Mollie had a special connection with her Daddy, and being very nostalgic, she
kept an unusual collection of things he loved, as you can see below. Mary took
some of his old wood working planes and a personalized license plate with his
WJS initials and a number.
A story told in the book discusses this particular car that Mollie drove to work
the summer before she left for college. She was lucky to escape physical harm,
but this accident left its mark in her memory.
All the tools and other personal items in the photo to the right came from Bill's garage
or were used by him when he worked. As mentioned
above, the copper gasket adds special interest to the arrangement, and Bill's last license plate and two of his
hats add add color.
This cash register, made in 1923, weighs 400 pounds. Serial number 2070307;
model number 912 (2) RS-E (designates that it was electric or crank). Bill liked to buy things he liked but didn't really need, and he may have
thought a cash register would impress his customers. "It worked when I was a kid," Mollie told
me, "but it doesn't work now. I remember he used to keep nuts and bolts in the
For a long time this was a decorative feature and great conversation starter on
the fireplace hearth in the Wakeman's family room. Now in the garage, Jim
wonders (hopefully) if someone might steal it if he left the door open some day.
AT LEFT, a straw hat Bill liked, and the last pair of work boots he owned.
One makes a good vase for some dried flowers, and the cat sculpture just needed
a new home. A cigar box and a box that once held cotton balls lead into the rest
of the shelf that holds an assortment of little collectibles.
AT RIGHT, Barbara's oil painting of "Daddy's Garage." See story behind it