This is so old, it's got mold. Here we were on the way to clean out the remains of a house trailer that had been stuck in the same location for over eighty years. It's buried like a grave site imbedded in the ground but there was still access to get inside to hopefully find the answers to the questions that have surfaced at family get-togethers over the years. It was an unforeseen moment in time when a hurricane lifted the house trailer only to neatly set it down about a hundred yards away. That was the craziest moment highlighted years ago in daily newspapers across the country. Where the family disappeared to was anyone's guess. They were never seen again. Long ago, the trailer was built in the Carolinas and moved to its permanent location by a team of horses and wagons. It was only a few weeks ago that we found out about their questionable lifestyle and livelihood. This family lived their lives as hucksters, where the selling of items through and around towns along the east coast by wagon became a huge money tree. A new area was needed to serve their purpose, so suitcases were packed up and they settled into a new house trailer. They picked a rural area that had many small towns near the Outer Banks region of North Carolina where they could peddle their wares; shoddy or otherwise to a new influx of the ones settling into this area towards the end of the Great Depression. Cash money was on the upswing. No one trusted the banks. You know what I mean?
And now, here we found ourselves in the middle of a family dilemma yet to be made clear. We only knew that the property had seen better days and now it was time to sell. As the story unfolded, we were not aware if anyone inhabited this place back in '35 when an epic seasonal windstorm began brewing up the Atlantic Coast. Its wrath started to unfurl along the southern part of Florida's coast. Then it came screaming up through various coastal regions and turned into the most horrific monster of a category 5 storm remembered to this day as the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. It was reported that more houses flew around, but there did not seem to be any bad witch that this particular house trailer landed on in the aftermath, oh well. It most certainly would have turned into a different version of the famous scene in the movie as it would be showing a hurricane instead of the tornado. It probably would not have turned into the epic film it still is to this day. You know what I mean?
Before we came here on this interesting adventure, the black and white picture we saw of this place looked disturbed and creepy. Certainly not for the average person to unknowingly agree to take on this task. How we got railroaded into making this whole mess go happily in another direction was another story. Generations change and this family was only known to us through a few grainy photographs and some of the old, saved newspapers. Who and how we were related was still unclear. The three of us were tasked to go on this road trip destination and to figure out how to proceed with the next part of the plan. The property had been vacant for decades and declared abandoned years ago. Our Uncle who was on top of this situation had asked if we could assume the role of managing what was left of the property. We needed to make changes since more development was affecting the town. The train depot and rail lines were along one side of the property boundary for miles so who knew what that meant in the long run. He had more information kept in his file of the family and arranged to meet to let us in on the story behind the story. It was agreed to open, what we charmingly called, Pandora's box, at the town coffee depot in an hour. Before that happened, the three of us opted to stop by the house trailer and maybe get a sense of the mystery of this place and the surrounding property. You know what I mean?
As sisters, we've had some pretty amazing road trips over the years. This one had to top the cake. We found the muddy, dirt road less travelled where the house trailer sat, and pulled over to scope out the surrounding area. With windows rolled down, we observed the sunken Albatross in the distance which was overgrown with vines and wildflowers. It had an interesting cluster, though, of metal still attached on the roof. So, freaking amazing! It was an object d'art piece made to be an actual weathervane. I called first 'dibs' on it since it was a family heirloom of sorts and did not care what the others found behind the doors at this place. They looked at me like I was crazy, but this was my winning prize when our job was over! Then the talk went on and on about the who, what, where of it all. Why us? Then we got out and snuck around looking in the windows. The place was filled, floor to ceiling, with boxes of stuff and random odd items like horses from a carousel. Was this a huckster hording nightmare gone through the roof? Time was up to get to our meeting, but the decision was made as we drove away, that the three of us would go back and get it done, whatever that meant. We would be smart, go in carefully with helmets, safety goggles, headlamp, coveralls, boots and a pickaxe, since there was no idea who or what remained behind the 'curtain'. You know what I mean?
We pulled over, parked next to the front door of the coffee depot and went inside to find our uncle sitting with the box. He greeted us as coffees were poured and each took a seat around the 'centerpiece of the hour'. Pandora's box had been found blown into a tree in '35 and kept in the town archives. The name on the box was finally connected to the family of the family who were notified of the property. He got right down to business informing us of the contents. "You are not going to like what you agreed to do." The look he gave us was not expected. He reached into the box to pull out only one piece of paper and a key. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree." The key was to the house trailer. The rest of the words on the paper stated, "Whomever holds these words are hereby obliged to partake in the windfall of artifacts duly acquired yet fully submerged on the property." We were shocked to learn that we had a distant cousin who had joined up with the hucksters. It was none other than the famous bank robber, John Dillinger! How could we even think about selling the property not knowing if a boatload of money was squirreled behind the walls in the house trailer, under a mattress sunken to the floor with hundreds of boxes on top or randomly buried in a treasure chest somewhere in a field on the property. You know what I mean?