(and More wild trees)
(Yeah, I guess this is a bragging post. We done well two teen agers one a HS grad the other a drop out)
At 16 years old I took a part time job with Luke Tucker, father of my best friend. Luke was a quiet man but very talented in building. He was a general contractor, I guess you might say he was my mentor. He taught me the love of wood. I developed a love for the smell of wood.
My life took a big turn for a few years. I have always been akin to a wild goose. A hitch in the USMC, worked at a newspaper (for 2 weeks) spent hitches as an Airman, Preacher, Student and Sailor. I was a Roach coach Driver for awhile then a maintenance man in the Radisson Hotel in Charlotte.. All the time I worked as a carpenter on the side.
Once on an evening walk when I was about 42 yrs old, my wife asked, “Can you build us a house and get us out of debt?” We owed $13,000 on a house, our first REAL debt and it was messing with her mind. We had no problem making the payments, but she hated paying all that interest.
Those were the words I wanted to do, BUILD. I said SURE I can honey but we need a building lot. At that time I had built one small house completely by myself, and sold it, we had a nest egg. She had liked that little house but it was one bedroom.
WE found a beautiful sloping lot, ideal for a split-level house. We bought it using part of the nest egg. She and I cleared the land; dug and loaded stumps on our pickup. We didn’t have a tractor the work was done with pick/shovel and levers and pulleys. My girl hates to be seen dirty, I have never seen her at a time she did not care about her appearance, except that time. I saw the girl tired and hot, lay down in our small branch, clothes and all to cool off.
We built that house, She was working part time and in our off time she even helped roof the house.
That decision, with her blessings, was the start of Darnell’s Construction Co. Without her encouragement I would have spent my time as a carpenter or a roach coach driver, instead of doing what I had dreamed of, building houses. I jumped thru all the hoops, took the tests and earned my ‘General Contactor’s’ license.
The next 18-20 years as a small company locally (35-45 houses) now allows us to live like rich folks, but on a budget. Our homes are rented, and we live on the road.
(Is this real, looks sorta fake, but very interesting.)
One day we will get too old to travel, but until then, I will still think of that evening walk and a decision that changed our lives.
PS: Something that I read once:
Seat belts are not as confining ...
as wheelchairs .
This one I really like, I never did see it on the road, but Sherry and I saw it in the “Henry Ford”(museum).