Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Lawn Mower Man (Goodbye To Old School Film)
Photo by John Hoff
This is David Pitcock, an honest scrap metal hound with a sideline in fixing and selling "curb sided" lawn mowers. As I told my little son...
"These are our kind of people. Think of them like your uncle who lives out in the country, only they live here in the city."
Pitcock sold me a great lawn mower for $50, which I have "permanently loaned" to Peter Teachout, Vice President of the Hawthorne Neighborhood Association, since his mower wasn't working and (as he put it) he got frustrated with it and left it out all winter.
Put it out on the curb for David Pitcock to pick up, I say, and complete the mechanical "circle of life."
Pitcock is a self-described "hill billy." He lives in a house owned by a relative just a few blocks away, and I met him when I was driving around looking for dishonest scrap metal hounds. He gave me a business card and went into a funny monologue about all the copper he was stealing. Truthfully, the guy is so fearfully law-abiding he won't even pick up scrap metal in an abandoned yard without procuring permission, even if he might (quite arguably) be doing somebody a favor.
Actually, based on my conversation with him, he won't even pick rhubarb out of an abandoned yard. He lives in perpetual loathing of his neighbor, who he refers to as "Mama," who is supposedly calling in complaints about him all the time based on (for example) too many vehicles in the yard.
(Mama's complaints can't be discounted. I am not taking sides, here)
Pitcock claims "Mama" and her incessant gripes are the reason he is leaving the neighborhood, but somebody else at the residence told me (rather casually) the house is being lost to foreclosure, and THAT is the reason they are leaving. Things were pretty rough inside the house. When I came by to talk to David about purchasing the lawn mower, one of the guys downstairs yelled for David to wake up and come down.
When there was no immediate response, he picked up an axe and pounded on the ceiling. Pitcock came down and sold me the mower for a fistful of dollars.
It works great! And what a price!