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My Own Personal Storage Wars

My Own Personal Storage Wars:  Part One

I live in West Texas, where orange dust, mud storms, town-crushing tornadoes, poisonous cotton sprays and deferred hopes for a more beautiful cultural life hang in the air.  We are known for Buddy Holly and Texas Tech and guns and people not messing with us.  And just like anywhere, we have good people who buy stuff and keep stuff and then run out of space for their stuff.  Garages and closets and drawers and attics stuffed with stuff until the stuff sticks out like a swollen gut, requiring either “garage sale liposuction” or some more space elsewhere.

And I have to say that in West Texas, especially in Lubbock, there are some incredible self storage sites.  Lubbock Self Storage is impressive.  They let you bring in your “stuffings”, place them inside climate controlled units where they are secured and protected as if they were the crown jewels.  When you see these places, you cannot help but want to ask if you can rent them as a place to hang on the weekends.  Shut the door on these storage units, install a big screen TV and a comfortable couch and you’ve got a secret spot to nap and jam sports images in your brain.  (I doubt this is allowed, but as an escape from the dust and other people, I wish it were (Pink Floyd Reference).)  Anyway, there are a lot of these fancy and affordable storage sites in Lubbock and the best of them deliver what they promise.

Now as to Storage Wars, I have yet to see the cast from A&E’s Storage show popping the locks on any of these places and allowing auctions to occur on abandoned junk just yet, but I have been contacting them and trying to get them out here for a show.

Why?

Because I bet you would find the most interesting abandoned junk inside of a Lubbock storage shed.

In my series of articles, I am going to tell what I found inside of four such storage sheds and how those items led me to fear about the lives behind the secret stuff hiding behind public closets.  Come on this narrative journey with me as I share my shock and awe…!!!


My Own Personal Storage Wars:  Part Two

Welcome back storage voyeurs!  Here we go again.  Lubbock, Texas.  Affordable Self Storage.  People jamming their extra junk or vital treasures inside of secure spaces beyond their housing so they do not have to throw away, give away or sell their excess.  A brilliant business.

What does it have to do with me?

 

I am an abnormal man in his mid-thirties who has been married to a fantastic woman for 16-years – a wonderful female who hates storing anything.  She has taught me the art of throwing stuff away even to the point of me tossing away my emotional and mental stability two years ago (if only there were storage sites for fear, anger and selfishness, I would have paid whatever the cost to put my internal junk there so I did not have to snap into three pieces.)

 

Anyway, as a simple introduction, I am a weird, well-trained, highly educated, published, still loved man who is overly fascinated by what lies inside the external closets of those around me; those smilers who say they are fine and act regular in public, but who certainly are far from it.   Those hide and seekers who put their double and triple lives into nearby locked sheds so no one else gets the chance to see the truth of their own madness.

I did not used to be so fascinated.

I could have cared less about storage sheds and their contents.  But, a few years ago I was offered an opportunity to supplement my income by cleaning out the closets and the sheds of the dead.  Families who did not want to face the reality of death in every hidden detail – in every piece of clothing – in every symbol of their loved one who had passed.  So, these families hired me to come in and rummage around to find the valuable parts (if any) being stored away.  I was told to throw away anything useless, organize the meaningful and sell the moneymakers.

I took the job half-heartedly but once I lifted the door on my first storage shed, I was hooked on the effort.

First Shed:  Let me first state that the first shed was not of the quality of the affordable Lubbock storage sheds described in an earlier post.  This first shed was one of the old-school, non-secure spots that did not have security or climate control.  It had no defense from the West Texas dust.  It was a deadly environment where people from Mars might feel comfortable.  And it belonged to a local pastor with a stellar reputation.  A local pastor who had plenty to hide…

 

My Own Personal Storage Wars:  Part Three

Welcome back storage voyeurs!  Here we go again.

Lubbock, Texas.

More Affordable Self Storage stories.

Me working for the family of a respected local pastor who had plenty to keep secret in a storage shed, which I had been hired to tear apart confidentially.

Shed-Villains Anonymous.

Villain number one.

Or was he a villain at all?

I will let you decide.

But again, before I do that, I want to issue my disclaimer:  This shed has nothing to do with the classy Lubbock self storage currently spreading out across West Texas.  The shed I worked with here is made up of the opposite qualities of the amazing affordable storage in Lubbock available nowadays.  I don’t want you to get the wrong ideas about our excellent storage facilities in this area.  No need for lawsuits.

With that said, let’s dig into this other orange dust covered shed and try to tell an accurate story of a male skeleton residing within his own underground storage shed.  A good man with an excellent reputation.  A man who had on public display theological books and pictures of grandchildren.  A truly loving man who fought for justice and the light but stumbled into darkness more regularly than he probably confessed to any congregation.

And I was being paid twenty bucks an hour to uncover his stumbling and any possible religious relics that might be worth something to the Vatican.  Maybe he had a Pope-shaped piece of toast or the shroud of Turin stuffed away in some Ziplock bag.  The family thought it was worth a look.  It had to be cleaned anyway.  And I had come recommended to them as one of the few trustworthy persons.  Someone who would not steal a bag of stolen tithe or EBAY his robes for personal profit.

I was highly regarded.  I was the only employ.

Better me – a stranger who well understood darkness – than someone close to him who might not have been able to deal with what I found.

 

My Own Personal Storage Wars:  Part Four

Welcome back storage voyeurs!  Here we go again.

Lubbock, Texas.

More Affordable Self Storage war stories.

Me working for the family of a respected local pastor who had plenty to keep secret in a storage shed, which I had been hired to tear apart confidentially.

But again, before I do that, I want to issue my regular disclaimer:  This shed has nothing to do with the classy Lubbock self storage currently spreading out across West Texas.  The shed I worked with here is made up of the opposite qualities of the amazing affordable storage in Lubbock available nowadays.  I don’t want you to get the wrong ideas about our excellent storage facilities in this area.  No need for lawsuits.

Okay.  Now what did I find inside the shed of the holy?

His holy of holies.

A place where only he could enter until now.

Initial observation as I raised this rusted door and sucked in esophageal orange death dust, which had settled like owners on plots:  This sucker was jammed full.

It was not the well-organized and clean storage shed typical of a Texas Tech freshmen moving their fairly new possessions inside a beautiful add-a-closet for the summer.  It was instead the tossed-in floor to ceiling insanity of a poorly run facility being filled by a poorly run human being – a space for a scared, sacred man who had so many physical symbols of unheard confession.

Do you want to know his secrets?

Would you want others to know yours?

I wanted to know his secrets and I have learned to not care if someone else knows mine.  There is no freedom like exposure of one’s disgusting and hidden.  After my stint as a “cleaner” I do not need some political campaign to reveal my weaknesses to a hungry public.  I am happier when I can tell everyone, while I still breathe, that I am the sum of everything I found inside of this bad-good man’s shed.

Item One:  Bag of marijuana.

Hmmm.

Let me stop for a bit and take a break.

I will be right back...