Joe’s Junk Yard is my personal story of our family business, which went from the classic American Dream to a sputtering failure in just over fifty years. My grandfather, a first-generation American, was a boxer-turned-junkman. He built an empire of used cars and scrap metal during the 1950s boom times, only to be slowly, but consistently, foiled by a series of events, many outside of his control. Photos from the last decade of business, scrawled-on old pictures from scrapbooks, and other ephemera attempt to tell the story of a family and its struggles with a changing economy and business model, urban decline, family feuds, tragic and untimely deaths, and unpaid bills piling up. The family and the junkyard stand as a microcosm for larger themes that exist in our culture and economy. I hope to show that loss is not the last thing one should expect to find in a junkyard—the landscape in such a place is an apt metaphor for how things break down and haunt us with their uselessness, only to await salvage.