Mister Fix It #14133

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The Story

Way out in the way back is where you’d find this handyman’s repair shop. This garage sits just where you need it most, where the Colorado plains are near endless and there are forty miles of nothing between towns of any size. Some of them have no size and are only a small cluster of houses these days if that. This place in decorator pink is a retired handyman’s repair shop in a very small town on those flat plains, with quite a remarkable advertisement showing on the gable. It certainly takes a lot of kahunas to say something like that. Out here in the way back country, the unwritten rules say you’d better be able to back it up! This is truly a tribute to optimism and confidence at the bottom of it all.

Only a true and capable handyman can say those words painted on the gable end and mean it. I would have enjoyed meeting the guy but his situation was long gone by the time I came across this place. It was in a very small and rustic town about 40 miles removed from the next one, way out on the Great Plains that might have been better off left to Kansas. Sparse, remote…the kind of rural location that could very much use a handyman and his garage repair shop for leaky faucets, a broken bicycle needing a weld, a flat on the car, or a radio on the fritz. Don’t forget about fixing the 100-year-old wiring over at the church, Aunt Martha’s sewing machine, and Old Man Jones’ rocker, too. Mister Fix It probably had plenty to do.

I was on a driving trip to northwestern Colorado to photograph ranch horses and wild ponies when I went through here. I decided to stay off the interstates for part of the way and travel the old US Routes. That’s where the real rural America that’s been bypassed still lies, like this example. It was a long way to and from anywhere to this place, so a jack-of-all-trades with the tools, a garage, and know-how to fix anything would be very useful to have around. If the place had been open, I would certainly have gone in to meet the genuine Mister Fix It!

If the man could fix anything, that’s clearly a big deal. But look at what else he could do well: promote himself. It would take some extra kahunas to paint your building pink and put up a very confident sign to tell the world this is where your flag is planted and what you can do!

Fancy some more abandoned buildings? Have a look at the variety of abandonments in the Buildings Galleries.

Location: Hugo, Colorado. Image and text © Andrew Dierks.

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