TL during the 86 mustang period at the colony
After one of the parties that my room mate Jim and I had, I noticed that someone had made a beer can pyramid. We weren’t much into cleaning up back then, so it stayed there till the next party, and grew bigger. The next day, I tried to add another row to it and found that after a certain height, the cans would tilt in a zig zag kind of way and fall. Instead of giving up on building a huge pyramid, I looked at it and thought; why not make it three dimensional? This was the start of the beer can castles.
In the ‘dinning’ room area, that we never dinned in, there was a desk thing that my dad had built for my sister Tracey. It was made of two metal red shelving towers holding up an inch and a half thick particle board top that was the size of a sheet of plywood. It had a natural stain on it that made it smooth. It’s was very solid in its construction so I wasn’t worried about anyone bumping into it and knocking my planned castle.
Within a month, the castles where getting big and we started naming them. Soon the whole table was being used to make them upwards of 3 feet high. Then at one party, right at midnight, I turned and threw something at it, knocking cans over. Everyone looked at me for a second; Jim
grinned and threw something else at it. Soon everyone from all over the room where throwing small objects knocking cans all over the place. It was a bunch of fun destroying it! The next day I built a new one and it became a tradition of ‘destroy the castle at midnight’. Heck one night I ran and dove into it, smashing cans all over the place! We had at least 1,200 cans by then and I can’t help but wonder what our neighbors thought about all the crashing at midnight, lol.
It all came to a screeching halt one day when I got home and Jim had smashed all the cans and had them in plastic garbage bags. I was like, what the hell? Jim said the place was starting to stink like stale beer, so he was going to recycle them.
It’s been a pattern in my life, I build up something cool, acquire some interesting things, then one day, it always comes, it all gets cut down. I hate starting over, but I’ve come to expect it now.
During that period with Jim, we where slobs I guess. There where two paths from each couch that we used, that joined into one on the way to the kitchen, and it had a branch off to the bathroom. You name it, the bachelor cliché’s where all over the floor… pizza boxes, wadded up
napkins, empty beer cases and cans. On the balcony we had two of the gator back tires from my 86 Mustang that where worn out, but great for chairs! They stood up on like they where still on the car, and when you sat on it, it would sag just enough to be comfortable. You could rest your feet on the bottom of the inner ring of rubber and lean back against the sliding windows. If a car pulled in, all you had to do was lean forward and roll it just far enough to be able to look over the railing. The apartment was located in one of the landing lanes for O’Hare airport and at night we’d watch the huge jets coming in slowly and quietly so close you felt like you could throw a rock and hit it. No, we never did that… LOL.
At the time, I wasn’t an artist yet. I never even gave it a thought, but Jim was. He had bought some gray modeling clay to try his hand at, but for the life of me I cannot remember if he ever made anything really. He hadn’t touched it for a week, so I grabbed it and started making a
lizard man with big claws, horns on its head and a tail with spikes. It stood about 7 inches tall, and it looked pretty cool. I put it in the freezer that had nothing but big globs of frost building up in it. I faced it towards the front, its mouth gaping with big teeth and an outreached clawed hand towards the front. Jim never even noticed it was missing. Then one night, during another party, a girl opened the fridge for ice. She saw the lizard man and was like, what the heck is that? I quickly slammed the door shut and said with a straight face, ‘Don’t let that lil bastard thaw out, it tore the place up last time.’ I then calmy walked away, leaving them to wonder...