Tuesday, November 18, 2014

That one decision, #2

(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.

houses jack built scan0017

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.

Nite Shipslog

PS:  Something that I read once:

Seat belts are not as confining ...

as wheelchairs .


Trucks (6)MA29079921-0008

This one I really like, I never did see it on the road, but Sherry and I saw it in the “Henry Ford”(museum).


Elizabeth said...

Y'all are living a charmed life ! Thanks for sharing about it !

Paula said...

You and Sherry were just made for each other. Nothing like working side by side with the one you love. Thanks for posting the trees too.


You two had a dream and realized it. Alot of people do not get that opportunity. You guys are meant to be together.

shirl72 said...

When we have different jobs it just gives us experience in everything. I was Secretary for 2 Dr's. Underwriter for Ins. Co. Worked PT at Christmas on information Booth at Belk. Worked PT approving credit at First
Union Bank. Retired one girl office with 7 representative and 5 800# and 2 local lines. I liked that job but retirement better.
Now I am a Volunteer for Belmont Historic Society.

Mevely317 said...

Like that sweet old song lyric goes, "Somewhere in my youth, or childhood, I must have done something good."

Thanks for reinforcing the fact that real-life, happily-ever-after's DO come true.

Chatty Crone said...

That is a big decision that changed your life. You still own and rent all those homes? And I loved all the different and unique trees.

betty said...

Again, interesting trees!! What an adventure you guys had with the building of the houses! Must be neat to drive by them and to say "I built that."


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

You have done so many things and could have chosen lots of different ways of life, but deciding to be a builder and having the support of your loving Sherry seems to have been a very good decision. You do lead the good life. It is in the single digits here this morning, but thankfully I'm in where it is warm. Hope you all are keeping warm too. 50's is chilly for Florida.