About the Colony

How Steve Jobs and a caveman helped with garage cleanup

Last weekend, I performed that great American tradition of cleaning out the garage.

Like most of you, I have a two-car garage attached to my home. I have always maintained that the primary purpose of the garage is to hold the car, or cars. I have always garaged my vehicles.

The exception to that rule came about when I started the restoration of a ’46 Willys Jeep.

In order to protect its already-rusted body, it got one side of the garage, and my little pickup stayed outside. The other half of the garage was for the large family car.

At least I thought it was large, until last week. I decided to trade in the small pickup and more comfortable SUV for a new pickup. It is one of those with a crew cab, a kinda car/pickup truck.

I love the car. It is everything I wanted. I can still haul around the grandchildren and haul a piece of plywood.

But it wouldn’t fit in the garage.

A steel workbench/drawer unit was in the way. So I spent close to 10 hours taking every single thing out of the garage and putting it in the driveway. I freed up one side of the garage, confident that, with the mirrors folded in, I would clear the doorway. I should explain that, for some reason, instead of a 17-foot double garage door, my condo garage has two 9-foot doors.

I need to stop right here and give praise to two people who were very much a part of this garage “makeover.”

The first is Steve Jobs, who I guess is mostly responsible for my iPhone. I was able to text the family and give away things like fake Christmas trees, an air compressor and more. I even picked up a metal shelf from one of my daughters, who happened to be cleaning out her own garage.

The other person I need to thank is some caveman who invented the wheel.

I have one of those steel pry bars that weighs almost as much as I do. I was able to use it to move the heavy steel bench an inch at a time. After almost an hour, I had it away from the wall enough to put two pieces of pipe under it. Then I simply rolled the entire unit across the concrete floor to the other side.

In fact, it got moving so fast that one corner of the bench hit the wall where it was going to rest and caused it to turn sideways, almost into its final resting place.

Those two inventions saved my day.

So I pulled the truck into the garage, only to discover it is about 9 inches too long. I may have to resort to another great invention, the reciprocating saw, which is better known colloquially as the Sawzall.

Lon Allan’s column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for five decades, and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at leallan@tcsn.net.