Michelle wants you to think that Barry is a dumpster diver which, in turn, makes him “down-to-earth”. Not so. Dumpster diving is an obsession, takes a keen eye and is a life long endeavor. I learned my dumpster diving from the poor and homeless in Germany–the early morning “ghosts”. They were both proud and in need and didn’t want to be seen scouring thru trash to survive. I don’t let pride get in the way of treasure hunting. I have enough metal broom handles to pass down. They are also good for paint roller poles and drywall sanding blocks. The wooden broomsticks have hundreds of usages. I have a fiberglass deck table that makes a perfect shooting bench on my property. Storm windows have fixed many panes of glass knocked out around the neighborhood from balls and snowballs. Just a couple weeks ago I came across a pancake compressor. It has a defective part that goes bad after just a couple hours of use. You have to buy the whole manifold with another defective part in it and the manifold costs over half what the compressor is worth. For a 5 cents washer and some epoxy, I have a $200 compressor that just won’t quit. I can do that with most any appliances–make them work and bulletproof. I use it, give to others who need it and evryone is happy. My new neighbor, I just found out, is also a dumpster diver and we trade things all the time (but only when our wives aren’t watching).
I have been dumpster diving for 42 years now. I collected over 300 notebook binders in one haul and gave them to a teacher friend who, in turn, gave them to students who needed them. In the beginning when I was poor, I needed to do this. I don’t have the need now but it is always good to save a buck or help others out. There exists a virtual gold mine in common trash if you know what to look for. Don’t worry about what people may say by seeing you. Instead boast about your latest lucky find and how it will make someone happy. Obama hasn’t “dumpster dived” since college, I’m sure. He’s a light weight and it would be beneath him now. For those like me, it is a need and a quest. I’ll probably find a way even when I need a walker to get around. Antique light stands, antique glass, new appliances needing care repair; there is just so much to be had. Our motto is: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.