HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN:

HELLO FROM EAU CLAIRE, WISCONSIN - city of big bottoms and small minds.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Helmet Projects Wiling Away Cold winter Days

It all strted this past autumn with the Packers great season n progress. That coupled with the fact that I was sucking up knowlege of NFL players like a sponge through biographies of Jim Brown and Ray Nitschke. Then there was this old Riddell helmet that had been kicking around my store room since the mid 1960's - got me interested in beginning a collection of NFL helmets.

My first inclination was to go to the internet and see if I could find the "RK" series of helmets that were produced in the 1960's. I did find them, but in most cases, the companies were no longer carrying them as Riddell had stopped producing them. Not only that, the ones I could find came only in one size and I wanted size authenticity as well.

Another big draw back was that the going price was $170 per helmet!!
So I went, logically to eBay and sure enough, there was a plethora of helmets to be had if one is willing to do the work of refurbishing.

I worked on the original helmet for a while, then chickened out and took it to my auto body man and asked if he had a young painter on staff who would take on the project in his off time. We reached an agreement and that one will be returned to me as a Green Bay packer "Bart Starr" helmet.

In the meantime, the first helmets I got through eBay were the ones you see pictured. The Riddell was pretty beat up but I sanded it a lot, and put multiply coats of white paint on it, repainted the linebacker style face mask, (which was originally blue) found the Badger logos on line, and finally assembled it yesterday.

It is okay for a first try but there is much need for improvement. The other helmet is a Schutt and I got it for an incredibly low price and decided to make it into an Arizona Cardinals helmet in honor of Pat Tillman.

I am finding it difficult to find any of the really old style "RK" Riddells from the '60's. I was able to locate one in Canada (which I have not received yet), but intend to make in to a Cleveland Browns Jim Brown helmet when it does get here.

Finding the logos for the sides of the helmets are the most difficult task. I finally tracked down a New York Giants logo as well as a Kansas City Chiefs.

Looks like I will have plenty to do next winter!

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This coming Wednesday, February 27, I will be wending my way north to Haugen, Wisconsin, to work for Mr. Roger Lundeen, who owns and operates a liquid manure delivery company for farmers.

We have had a long and enjoyable work relationship over the past seven years or so. The first time Roger called me, we had some difficulty negotiating my performance fee. After hassling for a while I told him I would come up and do the gathering at a reduced price just so I could put "worked Roger Lundeen's Shit Party" on my resume.

Roger is a very funny man in his own right -- I wouldn't tell him that, of course, but I doesn't really need me --he gets plenty of laughs when he presents the "Cow Pie Awards" each year.

The Cow Pie Awards are dried cow manure flop which he then sprays gold with gold spray paint and presents to the five farmers for whom he spread the highest poundage of liquid manure.

I told him a couple of years ago that I was hurt that I never get a Cow Pie Award -- after all, I put out more bullshit than all his clients combined.

You'd think I would get one, right? BUT NO!!!

I may have to give my pal Jimmy Sims a call to see if he would like to ride along and observe the festivities. He thinks I make this shit up!

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