.....the brain child of brilliant
and eccentric Harlan Meyers in the Nashville, Tenn. area.
First, it's 'Harlan'
And you haven't lived until you've been to his cabin
Son Jim was a crew member on our '91 RAAM team.
I knew there was a bit of Harlan in him when he arrived in California for the start with some large steel Hi-E signs with magnets glued to the back, for application to the RV and van.
These looked like something from the side of a Mail-Pouch barn ad.
We found a one-day sign shop and I convinced him to have some 1990s style vinyl-cut magnetized signs made.
Not wanting to throw those relics away, I found a handy use for them a few hundred miles into the ride when the riders had to slow down for cattle grates on the course.
The two 12"x48" signs unrolled to form an 8' self-clinging pathway over those dangerous steel cattle grates to give us an unfair few minutes and save lots of (non Hi-E) rims.
After medical malfunctions in Cortez, Co on the 3d day, we were outa RAAM, but the crew took a leisurely sightseeing trip to get Jim home to the Hi-E compound in Nashville, TN.
After the cross-country escapade, this became the trip's 'Hi' lite for me.
The oversized family Log Cabin was cleverly unkempt and cluttered.
The kids' rooms were a cornucopia of toys and junk, like an auto salvage hard after a 7.5 quake.
Barely room to walk and hardly any floor visible.
But some very creative kid-ventions of Lego and other material, a tribute to Harlan's ingenuity, no doubt.
A yard strewn with abandoned autos and other industrial art as well.
A lil' bit of New Shelter, Mechanics Illustrated (very old back issues), and Heloise, all with the Meyer twist.
I couldn't wait any longer!
We three visitors couldn't hold it in!
We were chanting inside in unison, "the workshop! the workshop, the workshop:
Out of the wood and into the steel.
Yes, bolted-and-welded angle iron, two stories, and a basement.
Tin sheeting screwed on and overlapped, all recycled.
The main floor?
A grid or iron angles, tubing, pipe, and beams.
4x8 sections each with a sheet of tin bolted underneath, then concrete poured in and floated smooth on top.
From the basement, the sections looked like pillows (not pillars) of tin-capped concrete that could fall imminently.
The basement was where the 'world's largest rim' was stored.
A 20-foot-long conduit made of spiraled rim section.
He takes the tin foil, forms it like a seamless house gutter, makes a seamed box section, and spirals it.
Later, as hoops are needed, sections are cut off, slugged and riveted, punched, and eyeletted.
First floor, lathes, machines, and knee-deep in shavings and garbage.
Tin siding interrupted by recycles clear or translucent filon and fiberglass for light.
The nerve center - the office;
a 1970's 'son-of 'univac' vacuum tube/transistor/and mechanical computer 'system'
and then his 'CHAIR';
A recycled barber/dental type chair with an overhead truing/building stand.
As the chair swivels, the stand goes with it.
Didn't notice if it came with a cuspidor!
If anyone buys the lot, I'll take the chair
Actually, this dinosaur would need its own room.
Anyone for a field trip?
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