Welcome to Rod & Jo's Insulator Site!
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Since the new counter was installed on 09-26-05
09-26-05 - I've finally completed the long-overdue update to this insulator website!
I've trimmed it down a bit, and cut some pages completely while combining others. For instance, the intro, welcome, and index pages are now combined into the page you see now. I've combined several other pages into the Photo Album section. Here you will find photos of some of our insulators, go-withs, hunts, and whatever else I decide to stick up there.
I've left the Grabber section alone - it's one of the favorite parts of this website, and I see no need to make any radical changes. I'll still be happy to add new designs that are submitted, though!
We haven't been real active with hunting insulators lately. For one thing, we have had a lot of family medical issues, and a relative diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, so much of our time has been taken up with that. For another, since September of 2001, it's been much more difficult to hunt in a lot of places without finding yourself answering a lot of questions. It's generally a bad idea to be wandering around active RR tracks these days. With all the concern over terrorism, the authorities aren't messing around. We were run out of an abandoned ROW in the middle of nowhere, Kansas a couple years ago by a suspicious local in a pickup truck. We'd already made a decent haul, and it wasn't worth arguing over a bunch of Hemi-42s, so we just wished him a good day, and left.
At any rate, enjoy the updated site, and I'll try to be a little more attentive! Happy (and SAFE) hunting!
Greetings! I'm Rod Shelley - your host in this little corner of cyberspace.
My interest in insulators began many years ago when I was a kid - probably around 8 - 10. My dad was in the Air Force, and we moved around quite a bit. When we traveled, whether to a new duty station, or vacation, (or just a Sunday drive, for that matter) I can remember looking up at the utility poles and seeing the sparkling glass insulators on the crossarm. The bright blue color fascinated me, and it wasn't long before I started driving my poor pop nuts yelling for him to stop the car every time I saw anything remotely resembling an insulator on the ground under a pole. Usually, it was either a shattered Coke bottle, or part of an insulator that some clown had shot off the pole. At one point, I had several partial insulators, but never a whole one.
Over the years, the pieces were lost, and as I got older, my interest faded - but that spark never quite went out. It just lapsed into dormancy, awaiting the day it would awaken once again. Many times I would be driving, and I'd see poles with these glistening gems still sparkling in the sun. More than once, I was tempted to pull over and shinny up a pole to liberate a couple of them. But I just figured I'd either end up getting arrested, or breaking my fool neck falling off a pole!
Fast forward to fall of 1999. After work one day, I stopped by my in law's to pick up my wife after her weekly visit. "Close your eyes," she said, and ran off to the utility room. When I opened my eyes, there she stood with two beautiful, pristine insulators - a CD-154 blue/green Hemingray 42, and a crystal clear CD-128 Pyrex. The insulator spark had awakend once again! Even though these are quite common, they are still beautiful pieces! It turned out that her folks had been given these pieces by a friend living near Houston, Missouri.
When we got home that evening, I fired up the computer, and typed "insulator" into a search engine. In a few moments, the belief that I was the only one nuts enough to want to collect these things was gone! I wasn't alone!
The first site I explored was www.insulators.com - and what an education it was! I had no idea there were so many different shapes, sizes, and colors! Nor did I realize there were so many kindred souls out there enjoying them as much as I do!
My wife Jolene and I also enjoy travelling (when we can), antique shopping, and collecting small bottles and other esoteric things.
My other interests include photography, art, and digital imaging. To explore some of my other interests, check out my main website, Rod's Lair.
I'll be adding photos and stories of our quest for additional insulators for our collection.
Thanks for visiting, and come back soon!
All content, including photographs and graphics © 2005 by Rod Shelley.