I’ve seen it parked at the car wash near Richland College and driving down Walnut Street and Audelia Road — the blue-grey van, lowrider by sheer force of its rooftop junkyard. When I jog past it, I fabricate narratives in my mind about its owner, and I know someday I will write the novel, its twisted storyline rooted in this vehicle’s existence, to rival any of Stephen King’s.
Seems I’m not the only one — not even close — to have noticed the van and the stuffed trash bags, plastic furniture and hoses strapped to its ceiling. Yesterday a person by the screen name AudibleNod posted a picture of this mobil landfill — this trainwreck of a machine from which we cannot, once our eyes lock on it, look away — on Reddit and Imgur, with the caption “Does anybody know what’s up with the hoarder van? I’ve seen it around 635 and Forest Lane?”
Already the comments are pouring in.
There have been many sightings.
“I’ve seen the guy driving around Spring Valley and Coit. Being next to that van as it turns is terrifying,” notes one commenter.
The gas station and Asian bazaar at Walnut and Audelia is where it parks with most frequency. In fact, as one contributor pointed out, the van shows up on Google Maps.
“I’ve also found this van parked late at night at the self car wash off of Walnut near Audelia,” remarks another. “I didn’t realize this guy was such a celebrity.”
“Yes,” another chimes in, “I’m surprised at how many replies about sightings this got. Soon it will become a Dallas urban legend.”
Some say he’s been touring the area for many years.
“Grew up seeing this guy driving around Richardson. I’ve seen him by the car wash near Buckingham and Audelia.”
Others have weighed in on the vehicle itself, “I’ve seen him numerous times in the tunnel on spring valley under 75. I’ve always been amazed he doesn’t get stuck in it and surprised he can drive up that incline.”
Or how someone might live in the car, or if in fact the owner does. “There’s no room in the car except for the driver seat. The entire inside is full of stuff. Unless it’s weirdly hollowed out, there’s no more space. He’d have to sleep in the driver seat. I’m not saying it’s impossible, just odd,” surmises the original poster.
Others joke. “The southern Hoarder Van can support up to 300 times it’s own body weight on it’s back, allowing it to collect large amounts of debris to haul back to it’s nest. Pictured here is a ‘Worker Drone’ Hoarder Van, as evidenced by it’s larger payload and lack of sturdy armor. ‘Warrior Drones’ develop a thick carapace, along with stingers and pincers.”
(The poster replies he “lured this one using the standard Hoarder Van bait of discarded plastic lawn chair. She was still just long enough for me to snap the pic. But the shutter sound scared her and she scurried off to a Dollar Store.”)
Still others express concern. “Not sure who the individual is or what they’re doing, but it looks like a very disheveled older gentleman who seems to be driving around town picking up discarded items in neighborhoods or something, at least that’s my guess as to how he’s accumulated all that stuff. The suspension on that thing is being taxed to it’s full capacity, and that thing takes days to get up to speed from a red light. I really hope whoever the person is gets some help, they seem like they need it.”
For my part, next time I encounter the hoarder van, I will see what more I can find out. Because I have seen this vehicle myself many times over the past five years, I know the driver is not in immediate danger nor does he seem to pose a threat to anyone. Neither I nor the many neighbors I’ve spoken to about this believes the driver/owner is a danger to himself or others.
Source: Reddit.com (We also thank Holt Mitchell of the Whispering Hills neighborhood in Lake Highlands for directing us to this.)