Ted's Tool Shed on outer Powell Boulevard is like a clown car for tools, or the home of a hoarder—a tiny shack so stuffed with shovels, rakes, wrenches and odd ends that the inventory spills out into the parking lot, where racks contain hundreds of tool handles splayed out like porcupine quills. The titular Ted Hill is still there, 80 years old—he ran a vintage shop there starting 50 years ago, and was set to retire 29 years back, when a couple "kids" wanted to start a tool shop. He ended up taking over the building again—filling his stock of tools when other hardware stores closed. There's also new tools to maintain stock, but the real draw is the dirt-cheap used tools—hammers, rakes and shovels for a dollar each. It's amazing. But you have to be lucky. "I get 2,000 to 4,000 used garden tools for the spring," Hill says. "They all go away fast."
About Matthew Korfhage
Matthew Korfhage has lived in St. Louis, Chicago, Munich and Bordeaux, but comes from Portland, where he makes guides to the city and writes about food, booze and books. He likes the Oxford comma but can't use it in the newspaper.