the challenge: day 37 & 39 [God’s Own Junkyard]

Just to make things fun and chaotic, I’ll make this post from 2 non-sequential days.

I visited this awesome little used bookstore.  I would have photos to show, had I remembered to put the memory card in my camera.  Luckily I didn’t take too many photos before I discovered my critical error.  The bookstore caught my eye, as I couldn’t miss an old house and a porch filled with books.  We stopped since they sell used books and that’s allowed.  All of the books on the porch were $0.25 each, and if you’re one of those ‘after hours’ shoppers, you can just take your books and leave your money in the box.  I found 3 books outside, but the great treasure was waiting for me inside the store.

After browsing for a while, I found a section in the corner called ‘interesting stuff’.  There were 2 shelves of interesting stuff, so I knew I would have to stop and read all of the titles.  And there it was.  A copy of Peter Blake’s God’s Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America’s Landscape.  Now honestly, I’ve never heard of this book before, but I loved the title.  The book is missing the dust jacket, but is in good condition otherwise.  The price?  $1.00.  Yep, that fits in my budget AND it’s used.  I found some copies of this book on, 8 copies starting at $9.98 and one collector copy for $61.00.

This book was published in 1964, one of 17 books published by Peter Blake who was not only an author, but an architect as well.  He passed away in 2006 at the age of 86.  I haven’t read the book yet, but I’m starting it as soon as I finish this blog post.  It seems to me that he was born before his time, giving us an early warning of our American culture of carelessness and waste.

I bought this book with the intention of making an altered book, using modern day photos related to his old photos, showing the progression of progress.  I watched The Book of Eli the other night and I really can’t help but wonder how close we are to that world being a reality.  The one thing that stuck in my head was Eli saying, “…people carelessly wasted things that we kill for today.”  I have mixed feelings about making this book into an art project.  Maybe I need to make God’s Own Junkyard 2: The Continued Deterioration of America’s Landscape.

Off to read…


I was near the bookstore again, with my camera and a memory card this time… Here’s a photo of the bookstore.

About jody wissing

I'm a person just trying to matter in a crazy world.
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1 Response to the challenge: day 37 & 39 [God’s Own Junkyard]

  1. embracechaos says:

    Here’s my reply to a post from The Compact, a group that is doing the same challenge I am.

    I found this awesome book on vacation called “God’s Own Junkyard”. (I blogged about it The author is Peter Blake and the book was published in 1964. He talks about the same thing, but without the electronics. I didn’t really think about it until I read this, but the internet does provide the ‘digital community’, replacing the non-existant ‘physical community’.

    It’s sad, but I do it too. Internet access on my phone and my computer. I was on vacation is a remote area and had no cell phone reception, but the place had wifi. I used it… a lot.


    — In, ________ wrote:

    Why so many people are “plugged in” so to speak is because we crave purpose and meaning to our lives and that for most people means to be integrating and having an impact on a regular basis. THink of the well…..Women use to fetch water at the well and that is where they hung out and shared their knowledge with each other. Without the wisdom each woman passed on, the tribe would perish. SOme of us now are so depended on the internet because it is what we crave. KNowledge, news, debate, solutions, and a feeling of being connected to something of value. We have no more wells and we don’t need each other for our survival anymore yet we probably need the face to face interaction more than you would think. We don’t have it with our own next door nieghbors anymore, so the internet makes you feel “connected”…..Blame it on evolution and industrialization and the automobile which allows us to have our “american dream”…property and out own “space”.

    Problem is…we don’t need to depend on each other on a daily basis anymore. We don’t have to face people we judge as inferior to us, we don’t have to confront those we don’t agree with or who “just don’t get it yet.”

    Before it was all about sharing property, and families and villages were hubs of interaction and had to integrate….but of course there was also violence for centuries prior to the industrial revolution.

    my 2 cents….

    — In, _______wrote:

    Below – an article from Friday’s Salon. And I agree and really believe technology is stealing our lives away. For example, I was going to take a little nap and then work on a project but found myself in the bedroom and decided to check on my emails. Almost two hours later, I’m still here on the computer and am now ready for bed. I don’t have a blackberry or iphone but it’s only because I can barely read the small screen. If I had access, I would be surfing the net or checking my emails all day. And why? I don’t know. Why are so many of us so controlled by our computers, cellphones, etc? Anyway, read the article – pretty interesting.

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