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An Auto Garden Frozen In Time

Even as southern California's back country becomes more urbanized, there is one spot that retains that old-fashioned rural character, Correspondent Larry Himmel of CBS Affiliate KFMB-TV in San Diego reports.

Things haven't changed much at Simpson's Nursery since the company opened its doors in 1966.

There is no phone at the nursery, where modern convenience is not a priority.

"We're tyrannosaurus, no fax," owner Lee Smith says. "We're as old as dirt. We're going to keep it that way."

Take a 40-minute drive from the city and turn the clock back more than 50 years.


Lee Smith

"We want people to feel they have stepped back in time. We want to be back there in the '20s, '30s, '40s," Smith explains.

Simpson's gardens are garnished with antique autos - a tribute to the golden age of campers. Their collection includes a 1946 camper with a kitchen.

To be on display there, the antiques must meet one criteria: "Anything old, we'll put it out. We don't care," Smith says.

The garden's newest old possession is a calliope. The patriarch of Simpson's is Homer, the potbellied pig, who enjoys a steady flow of food - mostly apples.


The Simpson's calliope.

"He gets his toe nails trimmed every six weeks!" exclaims Smith's wife, Cathy. "I've never had a pedicure in my life. It's not fair."

Homer is not the only one who gets apples. Every customer gets one - just another of the old-time country comforts you'll find in a place that will always be old-fashioned.

Reported by Larry Himmel