“Les’s Hvac Problem” August 24, 2012 Story 9

It’s my Summer of 2011 and I’m sitting on the beach staring down at my iphone wishing I had some free time from the St. Louis  bureaucracy I’m waiting to hear back from, curious if they’ll ever call me back about my financial bond the City of St. Louis is requiring me to obtain in order to do business in their city.

Although my project is less than $25,000 and contracted with a private citizen, the city official explained to me, this so-called financial bond is to ensure I don’t take the citizens of St. Louis for a ride. Your guess is as good as mine how a $100 bond with State Farm, the city employee recommended state farm because they don’t run a credit check, along with a $350 government fee,  is

going to protect the citizens of St. Louis from my company taking a St. Louis citizen’s money and running,  but welcome to my business world.

I’ve just wrapped up a conversation with Mommy Gah about how frustrated I am with my Home Elevator business and how much I would love to sell it and how I’d like to exclusively design and restore historic houses for the rest of my life. I explained to her how I feel such a sense of accomplishment when the visions in my head actually become reality and how much I think I can revolutionize the way an older house is restored and preserved, yet make it live very modern.

I spent a lot of time talking to Mommy Gah about the one size fits all mentality of my ever increasing, highly concentrated “United States of Consumption” and how it just seems like I could make money by thinking outside the Home Depot and Lowes design box .

I told Mommy Gah how frustrating it is to be an observational learner verses an institutional learner.  I explained how most businesses have become more and more concentrated and conjoined like twin monsters eating everything in sight and the more original a person’s thought or the smaller the business plan,  the less and less the original thought is financially rewarded in today’s current marketplace.

I told Mommy Gah how it seems like my everyday pledge of allegiance to the “Show me the Money States of America” is becoming exhausting.  I told

Mommy Gah it feels like my business world is just all about the dollar and when I sell someone a home elevator it’s not refilling my tank of ambition like it use to and I explained how much I love remodeling and restoring older homes but with the collapse of the real estate market in 2008 that business prospect has become less and less likely for me.

As Im sipping my third Corona, staring at my nephew and my brother playing in the Atlantic Ocean’s tremors, my iPhone rings and it’s my friend and real estate client, Les Hegwood. I decide to watch Les’s call fly by me because Im expecting my elevator client from St. Louis to call any minute.

Sure enough, two minutes after Les’s voicemail signal pops up on my iPhone, my St. Louis client calls.

A few hours later I listen to Les’s message as my family and I are going to downtown St. Augustine for dinner.  

I learn Les is calling me to say hey and to talk about the historic St Elmo, 1912 bungalow I remodeled in 2009 that he and his wife Corrine bought from me in May of 2010.  Les tells me how the brand new HVAC system we had repaired when they bought my bungalow  is still giving him troubles and he tells me what a piece of shit Jeff my HVAC guy is and how he just wants to ask me a few questions.  

Les and Corrine moved up to Chattanooga from Mississippi in May of 2008 and rented my restored 1923 bungalow in Highland Park.  I remember that day in May  

like it was yesterday;

Corrine’s your typical Ole Miss blond  natural beauty; with an 04′ Auburn Tiger sense of humor; with a Jessica Lange sense of self and soul; and with a hint of prospecting to become a great southern mama, who smocks little small outfits with her own hands, who reads and sings bedtime stories and who will always ferociously protect her offspring.

Les is your typical Irish/Italian Mississippi southern boy; turned Asheville old soul hippy; always blazing the trail outdoorsman; turned wanna be southern writer; becoming a head Baseball Coach/English teacher at Signal Mtn High School;  just all around great guy; who never met a stranger; and yet, Les has a twinge of Tennessee William’s conflict.

I hit it off with them immediately.