Garage Cleaning & Coffee Cup History

As is the tradition in the Hann household, Monday holidays are reserved for big projects at home. Not that it’s a requirement, but it just seems to work out that way. So, I didn’t mention it, but sometime last year (we think it was Memorial Day) Terry and I painted the inside of the garage before it got too hot to be in there.

We knew the garage needed a thorough cleaning and organizing, but I wanted the walls to be painted and in better shape before we got everything organized and put away. Besides, I KNEW that it would probably be decades before we ever did anything with it again.

So, nearly 9 months ago we pulled all the stacks of boxes, decorations, yard tools, camping gear, old paint cans and junk away from the walls and painted everything. We used a couple of cans of “Oops” paint so it doesn’t all match exactly, but it’s close enough for a garage and looks MUCH better than the old dirty white paint that was probably done when the house was built. The photo at the top is pretty much what it has looked like since then. We had just enough of a path from the front to the back to get thru if we needed to, but really no space or order to accomplish anything in there.

Since last May, we somehow just couldn’t find a full day to work on the next step, which was the organizing. Finally we were motivated to get some things together for our nephew, Daniel’s fund raising yard sale (which is this weekend) so on President’s Day we were able to get to it.

The 2nd pic is what it looks like now. We add more shelves and got rid of some stuff, and were able to get about 99% finished with just a few more racks to hang, but it looks and functions so much better. We’re actually thinking that we may be able to park a car in there soon! Wow!

So this brings us to the coffee cups. Some of you know that I used to collect coffee mugs back in the 70’s and 80’s before many of them were broken in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. I never counted exactly how many I had, but it was probably somewhere in the range of 200. I used to have many of them hanging on pegs around the top of our kitchen and dining room and many fell during the earthquake. It was quite a mess!

So after that, since we still lived in earthquake country, I decided to collect something a little less breakable (like birdhouses). Now I don’t really collect anything specifically (except pictures).

Anyway, when we were cleaning the garage, I decided to go thru several crates of coffee mugs to see if I could whittle down the collection that I kept. I decided to just keep mugs that had personal significance, like belonging to someone who had passed on, or had historical significance, with dates or memorable info on the mug (like the ones I’ll blog about). I have several others that I’ll post later, but since I’ve been so long winded today, I’ll start with just one.

This is from a restaurant named Sambo’s. Do you remember it? It was a coffee shop, like a Denny’s or Bob’s Big Boy-type place. The tops of their walls were covered with murals from the story “Little Black Sambo“. (Did you have that book growing up?) I don’t remember the specifics of the story, but I seem to recall that it wasn’t very politically correct, which apparently led to the end of the restaurant chain.

I was amazed to discover that the original Sambo’s wasn’t really even named after the book and that the founding restaurant is still open in Santa Barbara. We’ll have to visit sometime.

The Sambo’s I spent the most time in, was the one that was on Indian School and around 28th Street in Phoenix. That’s the one that was closest to our church, “Open Door Fellowship” (now in a different location) and the outreach ministry “Hand in Hand“. Large groups of high school and college age kids would migrate to Sambo’s. We would drink gallons and gallons of coffee mostly and sometimes scrape together a few bucks to get a salad or fries. If we were really rich, we’d actually get a burger! I’m sure the servers dreaded having to wait on us, because we were all poor and no matter how much we wanted to, never tipped very well. We had some deep and meaningful conversations there and I got to know many who are still my friends today, including my husband (before he was even my boyfriend).

I have wonderful memories of those times when we could just sit and chat for hours on end till well into the night or the wee hours of the morning. What a precious season that was…

3 thoughts on “

  1. Love the Sambo's mug! I remember that place.Congrats on the upcoming grand entrance of car-in-garage event!We finally got our van in our garage the week before my Mom and sisters arrived for Shawn & Nicole's wedding! I was determined that they would get in a van that wasn't 200 degrees inside!


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