BOONE LIFE: A junk man's heaven

Sunday, September 9, 2007 | 11:25 p.m. CDT; updated 10:02 p.m. CST, Monday, February 9, 2009

When Don Jordan looks at a broken washing machine or a twisted ladder, he doesn’t see a piece of junk — he sees potential.

His compound in Murry, Mo., in unincorporated Boone County, is exploding with the relics Jordan has collected for nearly his entire life. There is the trailer that was built in 1955 that Jordan lived in while going to college at MU in the 1960s. There are appliances, cars and shopping carts overflowing with metal conduits, an inflatable dinosaur and the koi fish pond that he built by filling a hole with a tarp. Stuff is filled with stuff and stacked on top of more stuff.

“Some people are addicted to gambling or drugs,” Jordan said. “I can’t see a good thing on the side of the road go to waste.”

And so, if Jordan needs a piece of metal to repair an old truck, or wants to add a room to the house he built himself, he can cut, shape or manipulate some spare parts into new treasures.

Or he could just walk around his compound a little longer to find the right piece.

“I think it was Einstein that said, ‘A cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind,’” Jordan said. “Well what is an empty desk then?”

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