EARLY CAREER

Somewhere we have a picture of me at 2. Tied with a rope to a chimney while my dad did roofing work.  Around the same time I received my first nail pouch, with plastic hammer, etc.  I immediately started following my dad around chanting “Work ,work, work”.  Yeah, I’m sure that didn’t get old… fast.  Things picked up pace from there.  I was quickly learning the trades.

Around the age of 9 my dad taught me to use his 12inch Sears Craftsman Radial Arm Saw.  The first 8 years of my life he routinely hauled my butt up to Sutersville Lumber.  There he made sure I had plenty of face time with “Lefty”. “Lefty” had removed most of the fingers from his right hand with a radial arm saw of similar vintage.  To this day I can still see his hand, or what was left of it…  Excellent lesson Dad.  I have immense awe and gratitude for my father allowing his young son to learn to use that beast of a machine.  It was a couple of years before I finally was allowed to use the shaping bits you could put on the spindle end.  Think wood chipper with no guard, shroud or safety bar.  It was crazy loud and scary.

CAREER

Most summers and evenings through high school were spent working construction (with a little hunting, fishing and dirt bike riding in between).  Think re-roofing 3 story homes without fall protection, removing asbestos siding without a respirator, changing electrical services.  Live electrical services.  I cringe to think of my time cleaning chimneys on 3 story slate roofs, on the side of hills in November, in the freezing rain as it got darker and darker.  “Chim, chimney, Chim, chim, cher-ee” was not for me!

Whilst a senior in high school I started my own remodeling business.  People hired me.  Crazy I know.  Today we can’t even hire kids to cut our lawn without breaking a child labor law.  Let’s not get started on that topic…  After getting married, very young (I still think my wife broke a law or two there somewhere) I moved to the “big city” of Erie, PA and started working in commercial construction.  Framing third shift in Erie, in the winter, as a newlywed.  Let the good times roll.

After years of development work, production homes and then custom homes along Lake Erie, we decided it was time for a change.  Fast forward to North Carolina.  We felt like we were finally home as we eventually settled in the South Brunswick Island area of beautiful North Carolina.  We are now well into our second decade here which allows me to build some of the nicest homes for even nicer clients.  As a residential/commercial builder I handle new projects, large and small, as well as major renovations, additions and upfits.

VOLUNTEER WORK

We also dedicate untold hours to volunteer work.  This includes a variety of activities.  Near and dear to our heart is the work we do building houses of worship, here and abroad.  We also have been blessed to aid in several missions of disaster relief work.  Most recently we were able to dedicate our free time training other volunteers on the safe use and practice in a number of construction disciplines.  That included helping coordinate the training efforts for hundreds in 5 specific disciplines.  These include electrical safety, respirator use, scissor lift operation as well as powder and gas actuated tool use. Lock out, tag out operations are second nature now.  We routinely get to use several Hilti and Ramset tools as well the 3M 7500 series respirator.  Hertz Equipment has supplied us a steady stream of JLG, SkyJack and Genie scissor lifts.

Are we having fun? – Absolutely!

Are we helping to keep our fellow man safe – We hope and pray so.