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Interesting article on this politician, wish he represented my district

lots of really cool stuff, http://www.pickettgarage.com/


http://www.mystatesman.com/news/state--regional-govt--politics/herman-how-and-why-state-rep-parked-model-his-capitol-office/V5EwCPwJLoDQMczAXPQZ4O/





Back in July, I took you on a words-and-video tour of the office of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller, everybody’s pick as the Most Interesting Man in the World of State Government.

In doing so, I invited invitations from anybody else who thought they have an interesting office that folks might want to see. Crickets. That’s OK. As a longtime, press-card-carrying member of the dreaded Mainstream Media, I’m used to rejection.

I still don’t handle it well, but I’m used to it. (And please tell me there’s a Bangor-based fishing publication called Maine Stream Media.)

So, absent invitations, I figured I’d see about inviting myself into some folks’ offices. “Self,” I said, “who might have an interesting office?”

Six words: El Paso state Rep. Joe Pickett.
Pickett is a Texas House peculiarity, both by stats and by nature. First, he’s one of only three white, non-Hispanic Democratic males in the 150-member House. Next, his mind works in different ways. Good different, but different. In 2013, intrigued by the challenge, Pickett got himself into the official House photo twice by running through the back hall quickly enough to be on both sides of the photo thanks to the long exposure.

So, how does a guy who can concoct and execute that kind of caper decorate his Capitol office? Let’s head to 1W.5 on the main floor of the big building where magic happens and see what we see.

Prior to knocking on his door, let’s recall that Pickett in past sessions has decorated his office in movie theater and ice cream store motifs. His family had an ice cream store. He likes movies, especially those with El Paso linkage.

This year, Pickett, a legislative leader on transportation issues, has done his office in vintage transportation motif in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Texas Department of Transportation, an agency now entering its second century of failing to end traffic jams.

So let’s see what’s in Pickett’s office. Hmm, there’s a vintage gas pump. And over here there’s an old telephone booth. And over there is a colorful collection of Texas license plates from through the years.

And there, right there in the middle, complete with a current and valid Capitol parking pass, is a 1927 Ford Model T.

How, one might ask, does somebody get a full-size vehicle into a Capitol office where the sole point of entry is a 36-inch wide door?

Surreptitiously. And part by part.

First you need to know that Pickett collects vehicles.

“I’m down to about 25. I’m trying to cure myself of the addiction,” said the lawmaker, whose collection includes cars, firetrucks, a double-decker bus, a bunch of Volkswagens and others.

He found the Model T in Wimberley. It was in pretty good shape after 30 years in storage. If you put all the fluids back in, it would run today. (And if you put all the fluids back in some House members, they too would run today.) Working with his son Conrad, 26, Pickett rented a shop in Buda where they took the car apart, cleaned up the parts and trucked them to the Capitol on a November weekend.

Pickett had done research to see what kind of car could be broken down into parts that would fit through a standard doorway. Turns out the biggest part of a disassembled 1927 Model T Touring Car is 34 and a half inches wide. Bet you didn’t know that.

At this point you also need to know that the State Preservation Board, which zealously protects and preserves the Capitol, requires a permit to cough in the building. So I asked Pickett when he informed the board about this escapade.

“I’m filling out the application today,” he joked. “In other words, I did not really visit with them.”

But no damage was done and no animals were harmed in Pickett’s interior decorating effort, which is something you can’t say about all Capitol offices.

“We have members who have full stuffed lions in their offices. There are longhorn steer on walls, which is to me probably more of a degradation of the building than having a vehicle sit here.,” he said. “It’s not leaking any oil. It’s not putting stress on the building.”

It took the better parts of two days — one to bring the parts into the office and another to re-assemble the car — to get the Model T in place where it’s now a bona fide curiosity in a building filled with curiosities, some of them elected.

If Pickett himself gives you the tour of his office (his aides also have become adept at it), expect to hear more about his license plate collection than the car. Pickett is a walking Wikipedia of Texas license plate history and trivia. Here’s the 1956 plate that was the first to be a standard size. Here’s a 1965 plate that was among the first personalized ones. Here’s one from 1917, the first year Texas issued license plates. There’s no year on it because, according to Pickett, the state bought four railroad cars of them and they lasted through 1922 when more, also without years, were made.

“So the actual first year that Texas put on a license plate wasn’t until 1925,” he said.

And he can tell you that Texas now offers 437 different license plates. Yes, 437, including plates celebrating such great Texas institutions as the the University of Oklahoma, Notre Dame and Michigan State. And so far this year, there are bills to create seven additional plates, including one for submarine veterans and one, in support of law enforcement officers, that would say, “Blessed are the Peacemakers.”

Pickett, aware of his reputation for the whimsical, wants it known that “everything I do has a message.” His legislative message for this year includes this: getting rid of annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspections.

Safety inspections just aren’t worth the time and money motorists spend on then, he said, noting that 33 states don’t have safety inspections. And, because cars have become much less polluting, the emissions tests required in the Austin, Houston, Dallas-Fort Worth and El Paso metropolitan areas also no longer are needed, he said.

Pickett cited stats showing a failure rate of only 2 percent. He’s now seeking stats to see if that 2 percent is heavily skewed to older vehicles. If so, he might seek legislation freeing newer vehicles from emissions testing. Pickett isn’t sure if changes to emissions testing can be done without U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approval but he wants that explored. And who knows how long the EPA will be around in its current form?

More importantly, should the people of El Paso see fit to return him to the Capitol for another term, what can we expect to see in his office in 2019?
“I don’t know,” he told me. “It will be a surprise.”

A plea to the people of House District 79: Vote for Joe Pickett.
 

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can you vote for him if your from outa state ? Or does that only happen in Chicago ?
I like the EPA part and will forward to my rep in Springfield.:smile:
 

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1963 Cadillac hearse. Both side doors and the rear door open to a complete 90 degree angle for easy loading of a caskit. It is just an inch over 21 feet long. The original color was a little darker maroon then we are repainting it. We also took out the original engine and built a blown chevy 350, high rise, racing cam, headers and Holly carb.

My kind of guy.
 

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Thanks for sharing!
 
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