A Picture History of Junkyard Blues Part 2 - Summer, 2010
By Kiff Clutterbuck
Welcome to the second installment of the “Picture History of Junkyard Blues." This picks up from when we moved to our island from our original home in Tagona on the mainland. I will continue to discover pictures and think of things to mention, so if you see that I have placed something out of order or that I need to make a correction of any kind please let me know. Also feel free to send along any pictures you may have taken at the Junkyard or anywhere on the estate. Even if I don't use them on this page, I will archive them for future nostalgic use. Please include a brief description. Thanks! - Kiff
Our new Island Arrives
Dina and I talked our families out of $800 USD each in order to arrive at the $1,600 USD needed at that time to buy a full size, class 5 sim from Linden Lab. We paid and then waited until one day an email arrives announcing that our region has been “delivered.” We had never owned an entire region, so at first we mostly just stood around kicking dirt and goggling at the size of it compared to where we had spent our first year. I put the club trailer and dance floor down and floated an old derelict boat in the water to help set the tone. We didn't have a clue how to manage a region, and we were $1,600 USD in the hole and owed $295 USD a month in tier, but we were home!
By nightfall we had brought over the stage, floodlights, our beer shed, our famous telephone booth, a Mannie Madonna houseboat, some assorted junk and a bunch of neon and some Linden palm trees. I terraformed that little canal that bends around the club so we could put some foliage on the other side instead of just having a sim border there.
Time to celebrate
That same night we sent out a group notice that we had moved at last and included landmarks to our new location. Come join us in our new home! And they dropped in all through the evening. It was very exciting but still a little scary because our tier had just increased by about 700%.
We Have a beach now!
What a luxury! The practical reasons for moving were all about having more control of our fate such as not being so limited with how many people could be in the club or even on the entire sim at the same time (40). Now we have an entire Class 5 region with a 100-avatar capacity. Now we can restart the sim when it gets all buggy and slow, and now we have complete control of our environment. What a wonderful feeling!
We open a trailer park
Club donations improved when people saw that we were taking the Junkyard to the next level and many wanted to help support the move for which we were very grateful. Nevertheless we needed to put some of the land to use if were going to stay solvent. Dina’s solution was to install a trailer park which is still with us to this day. It immediately added another dimension to our community. People could now LIVE at the Junkyard.
Dina becomes a landlady
This is one of my favorite pictures from way back at the beginning of our island living. Having a rental business takes a lot of fussing with things like placing furniture, picking furniture up again because the tenent wishes to use his or her own, messing with the radio, giving group tags, explaining resident guidelines, etc., etc., etc. To this day, when Dina leaves the club unexpectedly it is almost always on behalf of a resident. Sometimes she wears her hair in curlers.
People make homes here
We loved how people got into the spirit of living in our trailer park. This trailer is rented by Amberjack Kidd, a longtime trailer park resident at the Junkyard.
We add a houseboat marina
We have always been surrounded by water, so it made sense to open a houseboat marina which is kind of a floating trailer park. The houseboats in the middle row are Mannie Madonna's, the first we ever used. Mannie has passed on, and he is missed. His boats and nautical items can be found all over Second Life. I was inspired by him to build my own houseboats which I put into the mix, but we will never be without Mannie's boats at Junkyard Blues.
Some residents are more colorful than expected
I think this guy was in trouble a lot which would explain why he always greeted company like that. I'm not sure what happened to him. Sinister people kept showing up asking for him after he left.
The outer islands begin arriving
In due course we came up with the idea of adding “open space” regions around the Junkyard leaving a space for one more full sim that we would call Junkyard Blues South. This would give us the north and south sims, surrounded on all sides by 10 ocean sims which would be sold under our estate covenant to Junkyard Dawgs who were already expressing interest. The idea was that we would maintain them as part of the Junkyard Blues estate on a nonprofit basis because they provide us with ocean around our two main regions. You can see the darker blue area at the bottom where Junkyard Blues South will go, the final element of our estate..
Junkyard blues south arrives
Now we are complete. Junkyard Blues north and south are full, 15,000-prim regions and would be devoted to the club, live music, homes, shops, and scenery. The ten outer "ocean" regions completely surround the two core regions providing us with ocean for boating and scenery. The south sim would come to host our live music venue, the Canal Shops, the Cove Cave, the Pavilion, and the motel as well as a fancier houseboat marina. We would also install a garage and laundromat just because they seemed to fit so well.
We add a fancier marina
While many residents love the weathered look, others prefer fresh paint and better maintenance. I built double decker houseboats for our new "upscale" marina on the the south sim for the non-rust people. We find that most people don't like to live within gray, grungy walls, so the interiors of all our boats are are in pretty good shape, even if the exterior looks ready to sink.
The Canal Shops
We didn't want the south sim to be only live music and residential, so made the Canal Shops. They are small retail stores in weathered buildings that add color and interest to the center of the sim. Merchandise is original, and many of the stores are operated by our friends from the Junkyard. We put the shops on a curve because so much else in Second life exists at right angles.
The Cove Cafe
The Cove Cafe was once a music and chat venue and continues to be a drop-in place for anybody in the mood for coffee and conversation. In addition to chess and other games there is a large screen TV available for anyone who wishes to use it. Remember to wear your JYB tag. We have flirted with various creative ideas for the Cafe, but it will probably remain just as you see it now.
Here is what you would see in 2009 if you brought up your big map while on our estate. You can see our blue tile dance floor in the lower right corner of the Junkyard Blues sim. Much of Junkyard Blues and Junkyard Blues south is devoted to residents in the form of houseboats, trailers, beach shacks, and bungalows. Palmetto, also known as Junkyard Blues East has some small island bungalows. If you compare, you'll see the topography has changed somewhat since those days. Sea currents are always building shoals and changing the shapes of islands.
This Man Took Down the Junkyard
It was Friday the 13th, 2007, the day of our first great disaster. Being such newbies about land we never thought to set all our buildings and trees and junk and dance floor etc etc to group. And we left permissions so that anybody could return anything (or everything) not set to group, and one day this guy did just that, thinking it will get him back his boat that he lost. It wiped us off the map. The Lindens did a "rollback" for us, and it turned out okay. We then spent the next several days setting hundreds upon hundreds of items to group. There was also the day that Dina accidentally returned all scripted objects to their owners which amounted to thousands of prims. Every door, dance ball, window blind, light, bed, chair, sofa, hot tub, boat, animal (and a hundred other things I can't think of at the moment) went rushing back to those who owned them. Rollback! Finally there was the Great Flood of 2009 which I caused with a terraforming accident. Rollback! We were so grateful to have those rollbacks.
The Drive-in Movie is Popular with Couples
I'm not sure why it's so much fun to watch cheesy movies with friends in Second Life. Maybe it's just being at the drive-in surrounded by the smell of popcorn and stale beer and the whine of mosquitos.
Our Pink Flamingo
We started with an empty peanut butter jar for club donations and then graduated to pink flamingos. They are more visible and have a lot more character. Our friends and patrons feed the flamingos with lindens, and we are very grateful to them for helping to support the club and community. They make it possible to pay tier and the many other costs associated with running the Junkyard and the environment that surrounds it.
She's out there somewhere
When the work doesn’t get done Dina accuses me of spending time searching for the lady in this movie poster. That's just silly, but I do keep an eye out for her. You don’t often meet anyone who is half animal and all woman with "blazing guns and a luscious smile." I worry that the bugs make her uncomfortable in that skimpy shirt, so I keep a blanket in the boat.
Dina's Diner & The Blue Moon Motel
We sometimes see a couple dancing in Dina's Diner, and no wonder! The food is cheap, the coffee is pretty good, and the music is from the fifties. The Diner is located between the motel and the garage. You get a discount if you're a guest at the motel.
The Junkyard Blues Dreamgirls had a sleep-over one night in the motel parking lot. There were jammies, hair curlers, refreshments, and lots of stories to share. You can see the old No-Tell Motel in the background. It has since been replaced by Blue Moon Motel.
Love in the Junkyard
Love blossoms ever anew in Junkyard Blues. Maybe it's partly about the blues (which are not always blue), and maybe it's partly about the comfortable, easygoing crowd. Love does seem to be a secondary theme of our music venue. People will always find each other's hearts regardless of the medium.
Just as it took us a while to realize that we should have DJs, it also took us a while to do anything with live music. Lefty Mandelbrot was our first regular performer, and the relationship grew out of Lefty being a part of the community and picking up his guitar once in a while and performing over voice to a few friends who gathered to dance and listen. Lefty has his own home studio where he can make backing tracks for himself. He switches between acoustic and electric guitars during performances.
We knew Arora at the club and liked her as a friend long before we heard her sing and before many of us even knew she had performed professionally. Though she had all but retired from giving giving first life concerts she finally agreed to give a Second life concert at Junkyard Blues, and the image below was the sign announcing her debut. When the night of the concert arrived nobody knew what to expect except perhaps Lefty who had been instrumental in talking her into a Second Life performance. Then she sang and instantly made fans of us all. Arora sang for Junkyard Blues almost weekly for a very long time and credits her Junkyard performances with awakening the desire in her to return to her First Life singing career. We are so glad for her continuing successes, even though being on the road again means we see less of her at the Junkyard. You can learn more about Arora on our Live Music page.
We create a split-sim, 2-parcel music venue.
We Bring in More Live Music
We began inviting various artists to perform at the Junkyard on our new "Live Music Stage." We decided that since the stage is not in the blues club we would not limit ourselves to blues artists, so there are always different genres and themes being presented. The blues radio stream at the club is still available for those who want nothing but the blues during a non-blues concert. The rest of us cross the field to the stage and enjoy the concert.
We Get a Nestea Live Music Sponsorship
One day an advertising representative for Nestea made a proposal to us that in exchange for some brand visibility over a period of three months Nestea would pay $1000 USD to sponsor live music at Junkyard Blues. We asked around in the group for opinions, and everybody seemed to support the concept, so we did it. We were told that Nestea was happy with their end of the bargain, and we were happy with ours. We did discover one thing though. We were happier with just a couple live music concerts a week at the junkyard, and beyond that we can all visit other venues to see and support our favorite performers.
Willie Pinetop Perkins
This was quite an amazing event at Junkyard Blues. Here were these two famous old bluesmen, Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin, performing at a concert in the Washington DC area while the music was being streamed live into the Junkyard here in Second Life, AND, on the stage behind the performers, there was this big LCD screen connected to Second Life and showing our dance floor to the musicians and audience. They could see us and we could hear them! DJ Fiery Otaared arranged the concert and made it happen. DJ Thundergas Menges did the technical stuff that enabled us to stream it into the Junkyard. For more pictures and text about the concert please see the Live Music page.
Our New Logo - a Wonderful Gift
Corbett Howard, a very talented graphics guy, was doing some work for Nestea which included making their banner for the live music stage. He often spoke of how much he liked Junkyard Blues, and then one day he told me that he had taken the liberty of making a logo for us. He hoped we'd accept it as a gift. I stared and stared. It was gorgeous! We were awestruck. To this day, every time I see it I am so thankful for this gift.
We get our own radio station
When there is no DJ show at the Junkyard we turn on Junkyard Blues Radio. It is our own blues stream managed and sustained by DJ Fiery Otaared and available round the clock. We had depended entirely on finding internet blues stations that could be depended upon to not go dead periodically and were not loaded with advertising. What a luxury to have our own stream. Next we want to include amusing promos by various Junkyard personalities, but it keeps getting lost on our list of things to do. Maybe this summer.
We are Prim Perfect's "Region of the Month"
Prim Perfect magazine featured us as "Region of the Month" for their 3rd anniversary issue in May. They published 6 articles about Junkyard Blues and devoted more print and pictures than we'd ever before seen about the Junkyard in one place. Our thanks to the writers and photographers and to all of our folks who said so many nice things to them about Junkyard Blues.
I like both these pictures from the magazine. You get a sense of our theme from them, and also they show both the seaside and the interior aspects of the estate. We get many compliments about attention to detail on the estate. It's part of the fun.
Music, Dance, and Community
Somebody said "Life is what happens while you're making other plans." Round-the-clock life at Junkyard Blues is music, dancing, and community mixed with a lot of humor and liberal amounts of flirting and romance. The dance floor is the hub of the estate, the place where we get to know each other and form bonds that may last for years and, in some cases, migrate into "first life." It makes us smile that some people who met at the Junkyard are now together in both worlds.
Our new bar
There was nothing wrong with the old rusty trailer we had been using as a bar except nobody ever went inside and looked at anything. The new one gets nightly visitors, often one or two couples dancing or sitting on the sofas or barstools while enjoying the music and chatting. It's a nice spot for a bit of seclusion while still feeling connected to the dance floor. There is also a piano in case anyone gets in the mood for playing along with the music. We still have the old bar and plan to put it someplace on the sim with lots of pictures from back in the day.
We love the journey!
I have to say it's WAY more work than we had ever dreamt of doing, especially if one is going to try to do a decent job of it. On the other hand it brings us a lot of satisfaction and a lot of friends. Thanks to all who share their journey with us. :)