At the time we became 'residentialy challenged' my wife had recently lost a job cooking at an airport
restaurant and I had been running our website and a few different web based projects along with a bit of custom crafting as
We had been living in an old,old house that belonged to a fellow that had a wrecker service and junkyard.It
was a family house in a hi visibility location on one (US1) of the oldest roads on the entire eastern seaboard that runs from
the bottom of Florida to some northern state like Maine,I think.The house was on the same property as the junkyard since it
was a business that was started by the family that still owned it.The man running it was a small oddly ratlike looking man
with a slight 'hip limp'.
Before moving in there,,I had had occasional interactions with him in the past as a wrecker driver.(At
this time the job as wrecker driver was many years past.Yet the location was a half block away on the same platt block as
the truss & etc company I spoke about previously.
Anyway the man was of an immigrant family and had actually been born out of country himself.He was very
young and his siblings were born here.His father started the biz and built it into a lucrative endeavor which was left behind
him when he passed away.The man and his brother ran the biz for years.As a tow truck driver,in the biz,so to speak,I was aware
of him as a rather shrewd and short on scruples type of man.In other words,,pretty much par for the course as far as that
type of business goes.
We found wound up renting it through being offered to rent a room in it by a guy that drove a wrecker
for the company.After a while,,he moved out and when then the deal was made for us to rent the place we had agreed to make
improvements to it.My labor in lieu of rent.He provided materials.
~While typing this I am watching an ABC news story about immigrants in Wisconsin dairy farms and I have to say,,I simply
got angry since I see a different story on the dairy farms in Florida,,the type of work doesn't keep Americans from doing
the jobs,,the PAY keeps them from working the jobs.Or the way the 'boss' treats them does.If the PAY was more than 'slave
wages',,then more 'spoiled' Americans would do the jobs.If 'spoiled' Americans put up with overbearing,pompously arrogant
employers the way 'immigrants' do,,their would be more 'spoiled Americans' working those jobs.Not to mention if the culture
hadn't allowed for the idea of being a 'ranch hand' to become contemptuous when compared to other occupations in the minds
of 'spoiled Americans'.
The farmers are only paying attention to the wages they pay,,yet the show just said the workers get paid 35,000 a yr and
also get benifits.NOT here in Foridas dairy country.I personally believe the dairy farmer featured is lying about the amount
he puts out.IF he really was paying that much then he would have plenty of 'spoiled Americans' working for him.Put it this
way,,it may be what's on his books but it wasn't what was on his face.And he even plainly states that he and others like him
not only advocate and encourage more to show they also don't even want to find out if any of these immigrants are illegals.The
local cops even say they don't care to find out.Now,,am I wrong or doesn't that sound like the set up for b grade movie about
a 'company owned town' running a slave market?? Fair is Fair,,or is it?~
This house was in really bad shape.I had drove by the house for decades seeing the mans family there
occasionally and others after he moved his children out and after we moved out,,mainly hispanic families,,it just seemed sad
and lonely with out a family full of kids in it.The rats were a poor substitute,,but they tried.Man,oh man,,they tried hard,,really
I was to put in tile throughout the kitchen,dining and back utilty room.He allready had the tile.Plenty
enough to do all tha needed to be done.He just never provided the 'mud'.I did do a lot of other stuff to the place and the
I couldn't do anything about the results of years of a toilet in an added downstairs bathroom having
NEVER been hooked up to the sewage system, though.It had been pouring out into the space under the entire bottom floor.Being
an old,old house,,it was built up on blocks leaving a crawl space.
I suppose things wouldn't have gotten so bad inside if the floors were solid instead of old fashioned
unsealed wood plank construction.
I did try to clean out the mold that had established itself throughout the bottom floor.And the carpet
being tossed out side likely caused my dog to sicken and die.My bad,,but who would have thought it would be that deadly?I
knew the stuff could make someone deathly sick but I had only seen the effects of someone being cooped up in a-c with the
mold all through the ductwork and window units.Never did I consider my dog possibly simply laying on it might kill her.I loved
her and do miss her,even though she used to irritate me terribly.She did leave a small adorable,equally irritating,dearly
loved daughter behind.
Later,,I put it all together.At the time it wasn't so clear.Hindsight,,yeah,, well,, anyways,,,I have
a whole other story about mold that I won't go into here.But it allmost killed me too.Seriously,,the stuff will kill you.And
as far as I could tell,, health care pros don't seem to know a thing about it.Another story,,another time.
We lived there for about three years and things were never bad untill we decided we wished to put the
lights in our name rather than paying for it through what the landlord said.Why would we want to do that?Because we didn't
run any of the air conditioners in the place,(big old window units) nor a dryer yet we had light bills ranging from 300 to
550 dollars a month.
There was a fire place,,which we did use in the winter,,it worked well warming the old house.Yet we
still did use a couple of space heaters in the bedroom and upstairs bathroom.And occasionally I did use a small 'buzz box'
style welder.But it didn't matter if we used next to none or used more than normal,,,the 'cost' never seemed to correlate
with useage.I could turn off all the breakers in the place and the meter wouldn't even slow down.I got to looking around at
the electric service hookup and noticed a few strange things.Something needed to be changed.
When we went to the utility company we found out that the lights couldn't be put in one of our names
because no one lived there.We asked,,'What?We live there.' we were informed,,'No you don't,you can't,,it's a storage building
for a 'Junkyard'.
Needless to say,,but I will anyway,,we said no more and left.And to be honest,,this story is a rather
long convoluted one that can not be easily condensed.So,,in order to get to the particular store owner incident I started
to,,let me say this about this 'incident'.It was unpleasant.And we ended up living in a storage unit.
A really sad addition is that even though the building was condemned and designated as a storage unit,,the
owner had been renting it to all those hispanic families through the years with all the nastyness never being fixed.Even after
we moved out he continued renting it to hispanic families.Right now,as I write this,there is an hispanic family living there
and as far as I know from speaking to people I know that work for him,,the problems have never been fixed.Fair is Fair,,or
My wife got the job at the convenience store by going in and being willing and able to run the little
deli area the guy had set up.At a tad above the then current minimum wage he got someone with basically 4 decades of experience
with kitchens and public food service to run the little project.She would open up,set up,,run the breakfast crowds and the
register for the first,,busiest,,3 hours.The place was in an old 7-11 store,,so location was ideal for the local working folks
to stop and get actual good freash made breakfast,lunch or after work food.The place started jammin' like a rock stars garage
in no time.
My wife is like that.No matter what job she works,but especially any to do with food,people respond
and the business increases,,she's literally an employers version of a walking gold mine.
I tried to run a few projects by the guy since he not only owned the convenience store but also a 'shoe
store'.Well,,officially it was his wifes.I figured since I had juice but no internet in the storage unit,,I could use my computer
to produce graphics and copy for adverts,flyers and the like as well as do the promo apparel and items concepts,layouts,design
and artwork ,,if he chose to go with the projects.
As it turned out,,he liked my ideas and my work but he seemed to act like he shouldn't pay anything
for anything.I even quoted him prices for sign work that local companies wouldn't beat nor match to reproduce such as my designs.There
was even a company no more than a few addresses away that he got comparative quotes from that produced fits of laughter from
them regarding doing it for as little as I would charge for it.They wound up asking me to work for them but they wouldn't
pay even close to what I was worth,,even by their own admission.Yet the guy never chose to meet my prices.
After time went by and we found out the way he did business.He would set up a biz and run it under gov
grants and programs for 'immigrants' for seven years then he would fold them and leave the country to simply come back after
a period of time and do it again.
Yeah,,how sweet is this?Run a start up biz,,at a loss,for seven years,,fold with outstandings,leave
the country with your earnings while your family stays behind,,then come back and start all over after a while?Since his wife
owned the shoe store and she stayed while he left,,he officially had nothing to do with it.
We didn't know about this untill after a while of watching him hire people,,use them up for cheap,,allmost
allways contended wages and eventually fire them for stealing from the register,,then hire them back.The really funny thing
about that was,,he invariably said he seen them on the cameras he had mounted in quite a few places,,except for a place where
the clerks hands could be observed while in the drawer itself.He even mounted one in the cooler at my suggestion,,but not
above and behind the register.
Then he 'found out' he was in trouble financially,,the store was showing too much loss.He actually
asked my wife if she would work for no wages,,just tips. Which,,by the way,,were averaging way more than he paid her,,but
that isn't reasonable considering he had her running the register and doing other store biz while running the deli.
That job ended for my wife,,but afterward she wound up working at a restaurant on the beach owned by
a famous female person whose career was punctuated by a car accident that now writes kids books starring her pooch.Until the
hurricanes knocked it into the surf,that is.It made a good reef.
Later we heard he had went back to the war torn north mid east contry he hailed from amid suspision
of biz fraud and possible money laundering for terroist affiliated groups.And that he had left behind a bunch of 'wage and
tax' questions when he went.
Now,,I don't know if the events involving my wife working for that celebrity should be included in this.She
tried to do some good after the hurricanes by wanting to totally underwrite a completely free benefit concert/show/event for
this county that was blocked by one particular city counsel member for unknown to me sufficient reasons.So since she is from
a family that came from a certain tropical island natin right to the soouth of Florida,,perhaps the question can be asked
from the celebs viewpoint,,Fair Is Fair,,Or Is It?But she would have to answer that,,I can't.
Next,I will tell a story about a small trailer park whose residents had a dispute leading to falling
outs over the freinds who were of a different skin color from the residents.
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