225,000 square foot man cave

I have a lot going on in life right now. Between having three kids now in 3 different schools with different start and finish times, freshman football that seems to dominate life, new projects at work all over the state from Mansfield to West Portsmouth, the family reunion this weekend, etc, it seems just having to time stop for dinner has become something of a luxury recently. So when a friend suggested that Ralph and I feed our creative juices by visiting a warehouse in Columbus, I once again found myself trying to fit something else into my already hectic schedule. But, I figured a quick and easy 30 minutes would keep my brother and I pushing in the right direction, even amid the chaos of life.

At 5:30 last evening we arrived at this facility on the east side. Fenced in like Fort Knox, we rang the bell at the security gate and were let in by an employee leaving for the day. We went around to the front of this seemingly deserted complex and found the front door. We walked in and waited a few minutes until our friend TJ arrived with the our host for this tour, a man named Jeff. We exchanged pleasantries and began walking through the building. It wasn't long before I realized this was going to be way longer than I had originally planned. And that I would not mind a bit.

Our first pause was in a front hall where we looked at the map of this place. 225,000 square feet under roof that sits on more than 30 acres, Jeff has several different enterprises on the property. One business designs specialty vehicles from the ground up. Another offers car wraps and vinyl signs. And that was just the beginning. Through the tour we walked through recording studio with 6 production rooms, his jam venue complete with drums, guitars, psychedelic amplifiers, and lot of organs, his instrument of choice. It was becoming clearer to us that this guy was one of a kind.

The next steps we took were into yet another pat of his business. A dozen or more cars, some classic, some restored, some looking ready for the scrap heap, sat in this large section of the building. A 38 Buick. A bubble windowed mid 80's Monte Carlo. A 68 GTO. They are an auto restoration company. Like a kid in a candy store, I peered through the windows of each one, wishing they were in my own garage. When we got to a Jeep Wrangler, Jeff said he was tired of walking and told us to jump in.

The next hour was like something out of Jurassic Park. We road this Jeep through the buildings, stopping every so often to see various parts of this 225,000 square foot man cave. There were the 40 foot pits that he had to have cleaned out before he could occupy the place. There were 10 ton cranes overhead, a paint booth bigger than my house, and a future gun range in one wing. Outside, there was a large soybean field ready for harvest, a baseball diamond ready for a game, an outbuilding that has been used as a concert venue, and a rather large house that was used as a brothel under the previous ownership.

We concluded our tour sometime after 8 and planned another visit. It was a great adventure and much needed micro vacations as life continues to blow by. It was a good use of my time, and hopefully it will lead to much bigger adventures.

Still on day # 179, and it is still great to be me!


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