Friday, June 29, 2012

Darnell’s Construction

I became a builder sort of off handed. I found a small lot with a shack on it, bought it and built a small house for fun. I borrowed the money to build it on a handshake. It was tough, and I learned a lot. That was one of several houses I sold that included a producing garden in the back yard. Sherry liked the little house and was convinced I could build.


On one of our evening walks she said the magic words. “Could we sell our house and  you build us a house and get us out of debt?”

“Sure.” Thinking, that will be simple.  We owed about $13,000 on our house in Paw Creek. The next day we started looking for a lot. And put our house up for sale.

We found a lot and using the profit from the small house, paid cash for the land. That house was built entirely by Sherry and I, except the heating and Air. We about gave up when we ran out of money and couldn’t borrow the small amount we needed to finish and our house did not sell..  But my brother in law Dick came to our rescue and borrowed the money for us.

scan1990-91 080

My next to last office (All were in our home)


Again, this post comes about because yesterday I found a few hundred small 6” wood rulers, a couple hundred red pencils, key rings and a hundred balloons.  All labeled Darnell’s Const. Those things are over 20 years old and the balloons still hold air. We used them and house plans at a builders fair.

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(That is Jim (Shirl’s husband) he came over to represent Darnell’s Const.)

I have made at least 10 major occupational changes in about 60 years of working. I have been fairly happy in all my endeavors, but building was the charm. It was a job I never got tired of. It was something that made  me forget to stop for breaks and lunch. I loved the smell of wood and the feeling of accomplishment, being able to see a finished product.

The man Luke Tucker was my mentor. A sweet man, a man of even temperament, one who could correct you, without making you feel ‘stupid’. He was also my best friends dad (or he probably would not have hired me!)

After his retirement and after I had earned my General contractors license, He hired me to do an addition for him, the only stipulation was, I had to hire Wendy, his grand daughter, as my lead carpenter. I was proud to do it. Wendy was a hard worker and a great lady, she did not follow construction, but she did a ‘man’s’ work on that job. Love that girl.

Life has a lot of twists and turns, I admire anyone who knows at 15 years old, what they want to do and follow thru. Today at Lowes I was in line behind Dr. M. Murphy(ret). He was in Sherry’s class and knew he wanted to be a dentist in High school, and he did.

I joked with him a minute.  It must be nice to know what occupation you want, and enjoy it.

Nite Shipslog


If a statue in the park of a person on a horse
has both front legs in the air, the person died in battle.
If the horse has one front leg in the air,
the person died because of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died of natural causes.

(Thanks Shirl)


1908 benz

1908 B & B Benz and Buick


(The white tires were before mud was invented, LOL)



What treasured momentos of your construction career. Those rulers are sweet. I need me a one or two bedroom cottage on one level. Tired of this old house I have. too hard to care for. My hubby re-sided the whole thing himself, years ago, though. Funny thing is he never knew what he wanted to do either. Sometimes you just fall into things and they work out. take care.

Paula said...

I think its always nice to work in something you enjoy. I know Mel loved his job. Guess John loves his too as long as he makes money. lol

Chatty Crone said...

I think when you work doing something you love to do - you have the world in your hand. Sandie

betty said...

How cool to read, Jack, how your career in construction came to be! I bet it was fun to build that house alongside Sherry! And I'm amazed that the balloons still work after all those years! What memories these must have brought to both of you when you came upon these mementos!


I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Sounds to me like you really did love building homes. Nice to have fond memories of the work you have done. I worked for many years and most of the time what I did was simply because I needed the income.The only job I truly loved was being a wife and a mom. I still do the mom thing but at a whole different level.

Y said...

What a great story your life and love with Sherry makes. Thanks for sharing before you forget too much.

DD said...

Great memories! Very interesting entry and pictures. Stay cool. DD

shirl72 said...

Thank to you and Sherry I am living
in a beautiful place. One problem The older I get the bigger the yard gets. I guess the yard man
and I can handle the work. Glad you
went into construction. We all
have a good place to live.

Ken Riches said...

I can do small construction, but would never venture to do a house.