At a recent visit with friends of ours — Joe and Lisa — for a bonfire I had the opportunity to get the grand tour.
When I say grand tour, it wasn’t a chance to browse through their home, but instead Joe showed me around his most sacred of places in the residence. I was taken to see the pole barn and, best of all, the man-cave.
For men, its not the house with the beautiful furnishings, the new carpeting and the fancy linens. That’s women stuff. We are far more simple creatures who thrive in one of two places — the garage or polebarn and the proverbial man-cave.
Heck, I had an uncle who listened to every Tigers game on his radio in his garage and he was content just being there, left alone, to enjoy his favorite past time.
Polebarns and garages are generally for guys who like to tinker, though. That’s not really me, since I don’t have a mechanically inclined bone in my body. But garages are neat places to see guy stuff — like sports cars and assorted tools to fix things with.
I’m very good at giving a knowing nod to make it look like I know what gear-heads are talking about, when they’ve already lost me at “this baby’s got a lot of torque!” And while I know little about cars, I know a sharp sports car when I see one, one with lots of horsepower built in the last century usually is enough for me to drool over.
Joe’s polebarn had all of the guybling and more. It was an endless warehouse of nifty things he’s acquired over the years and I was sure at any time he was going to open a crate containing the Lost Ark sought by Indiana Jones in that movie all those years ago.
From the polebarn we ventured next into Joe’s man-cave. To me a mancave is the place where the big TV goes with the gaming console connected. It is disguised as a family living room, but when it’s just me it transforms into a mini-theater/ultimate gaming room.
Joe’s basement, however, was no ordinary man-cave. It had not been tampered with by the hands of a woman (well, not too much any way). It was filled with a plethora of sports memorabilia, mostly Red
Wings, with some family gems hidden amongst the treasures.
Every piece of memorabilia had a story. It wasn’t just stuff bought off a store shelf and thrown in a finished basement for looks. Joe was able to tell me where each piece came from, what its significance was and who he’d gotten it from. It became very obvious as he told the story of the items in his mancave just how important the treasures contained there were to him.
There were also knickknacks from Joe’s grandfather’s market, like the liquor bottle his grandfather and friends poured from to toast his birth, souvenir bottles and displays his grandfather had kept around the store when Joe was growing up and old photos of where the store had stood.
This was indeed a man-cave unlike any other, simply due to the time, effort and love he’d put into creating his space filled with what is obviously very important to him — his family.