Mister Fix It #14133

Matted, canvas, & super high gloss prints available. Questions?


The Story

Way out in the way back is where you’ll 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, only a small cluster of houses and the road, if that.

This place in decorator pink is a retired handyman repair shop in a very small town on those wide-open flat plains, with a remarkable advertisement showing on the gable: WE FIX EVERYTHING, From Daybreak To Heartbreak.  It certainly takes a lot of kahunas to say something like that. Out there in the way backcountry, the unwritten rules say you’d better be able to back it up! At the bottom of it all, that statement is truly a tribute to optimism and confidence.

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. It was sparse and remote there. The kind of rural location that could very much use a handyman and his garage repair shop for leaky faucets, something needing a weld, 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 trip to Colorado to photograph ranch horses and wild ponies when I went through here. Using the old US routes, I tried to stay off the interstates for part of the way. Way out there, that’s where the real rural America that’s been bypassed still lies. It was a long way to and from anywhere to this place. Naturally, a jack-of-all-trades handyman 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!

It is clearly a big deal if the man could fix anything, not everyone can do that. But look at what else he could do well: promote himself. It would take some extra grapes 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!

If you like old places with character, have a look through the pictures in my Buildings Galleries. There is also a collection of one of my favorites there, old gas stations.

Location: rural Hugo, in the eastern Colorado plains. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks.

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