Friday, July 30, 2010

The Creative Lawyer

For those of you that think lawyers aren’t very creative, think again. They can be extremely resourceful and are great problem solvers. They think in terms of grey which means things can be defined by interpretation. They don’t believe in barriers or walls so they are willing to try things that others might not. Such was the case for Wally Byam, a law graduate of Stanford University and owner of an advertising agency in the late 1920s.

Besides owning an ad agency, he also published a magazine that featured “how to” articles. A featured article on how to build a travel trailer would bring in a great deal of complaints as the plans apparently didn’t work. And like every good lawyer, Wally would set out to argue his case by attempting to build a travel trailer in his own back yard using masonite and the published plans.

Much to Wally’s dismay, he discovered that the plans were flawed. But something else happened in Wally’s back yard that day. A man discovered he had a real passion and talent for design. History would turn the page to the very humble beginnings of Airstream Travel Trailers.

The quality that Wally strived so hard to achieve would be the reason Airstream was the only travel trailer to survive the great depression. Over 400 other travel trailer businesses would go under leaving Airstream to take off after World War II when the economy boomed and people turned their lives to travel and leisure.

Airstream Travel Trailers of today are a mere whisper of the level in passion and design that riveted all that shiny aluminum together. As with anything else these days, companies are saddled with the burden of generating profits in great volume which means there are always budgets at play. And designers don’t operate very well within budgets. Imagination and money have always been a challenging mix.

But one man has held tough with his principles when it comes to beautiful design and that designer would be David Winick. A talented photographer turned metalworker, David has won a great deal of praise for his attention to detail when it comes to refurbishing old Airstream Trailers converting them into luxurious traveling art. 

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, David owns his own design company, Vintage Trailering, which specializes in refurbishing Airstream Travel Trailers. He began his design career within the movie industry designing and building movie sets. Becoming quite skilled in metal, he set out to refurbish an Airstream Trailer which has turned into a full time occupation. And it stands to reason as his work is really something special. The kind of trailer you would never let your kids in unless they were wrapped in Saran Wrap and weren’t allowed to touch anything.

His specialty is finding older Airstreams and bringing them into the 20th century while keeping the integrity of the design. By the looks of one, you would never know it housed modern technology as they all look as though they drove right out of the 1950s complete with whitewalls if you want them. But make no mistake about it, these things are to be lived in. And what a life if you can swing the price tag. As I mentioned before, designers don’t like budgets very much so if you decide to order one of these things, be prepared to sleep in it for life as your wife will throw you out of the house after she sees the bill.

And would that be a bad thing?

Peace Out! And Happy Camping

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