This past weekend, my wife and I went to visit my younger brother at his home-away-from-home, The Crucible. While visiting our local arts collective, we spent a good deal of time in the neon gallery where little brother's work was being exhibited. As usual, we liked his piece the best, but we found ourselves lingering there amidst the glowing gas. Part of the attraction was the ever-ebullient conversation I was having with my sibling, but the other reason was the location. All of the neon pieces were being exhibited inside a restored caboose. We got to hang out for an hour or so in a restored train car.
It took me back to my youth, when our father took us to visit a friend of his who had recently acquired an old caboose, and was in the process of finding some way to turn it into a lounge or restaurant. Mostly I remember spending all my time climbing up the ladders with my brothers and leaping from one side of the cupola, a perilous leap of some three feet.
As I related this story to my wife, she confessed to her own enthusiasm for retired rolling stock, and wondered if there might be some way to get a caboose into our back yard. In terms of aesthetics, it would easily fit in. Then came the discussion of just how we might go about getting the many thousands of pounds of steel and wood over our house and into our back yard. I suppose if we were truly serious about it, we would knock down our garage for the occasion, then rebuild it after the placement. How hard could it be? We never discussed expense. It was amusing enough just to entertain the idea of flatbed trailers and massive cranes that would be involved. We enjoyed, however briefly, living the dream.
Yesterday morning, I was reading about how NASA is wondering what they will do with their three Space Shuttles after next September's final flight of the Discovery. I'm no expert, but I believe those things are more modular in construction, and could be taken apart into larger, discrete pieces to be re-assembled later. I'm just saying.