Wednesday, February 10, 2016
I was a Sputdnut Man
The good side of growing older is the wisdom that comes with it. My life experiences help me gauge the present by things I remember from the past. I grew up in Denver in the 1950s. My mom and dad got married in 1929. My sister was born in 1930 and my brother in 1935. My parents raised two kids in the Great Depression. My mom never got over the Depression. I was raised as a child of the Depression even though I was born in 1947 at the very start of the Baby Boom.
Sometime either before or soon after my Spudnut days I learned a valuable lesson about the value of my time and my work. We had a horrible snow storm. On a cold and snowy Sunday I went outside with my snow shovel and set out to shovel sidewalks. I think I charged 25 cents. The lesson came when I shoveled a particularly large sidewalk. It must have been a corner property. I remember being exhausted. When I was done I went to the house to collect my money. The man asked "How much?" I said something like "However much you think it is worth." The bastard only gave me 50 cents. I had shoveled my little tail off for this guy. And all I got was 50 cents. I wasn't so mad at him as I was mad at myself.
I put myself through college and law school. I paid for everything with money I earned plus a couple scholarships. I had to pinch pennies to get by. My college dorm did not serve a Sunday evening meal. I often made soup in my popcorn popper at a cost of ten cents. I went to the University of Denver College of Law where the tuition was very expensive. I worked at the courthouse in Golden, Colorado during the daytime and attended law school at night. I got a part time job as an assistant to Professor Jamison which helped pay part of my tuition. I managed to have all my college loans repaid within a year or so after graduating.
I had to buy a new car just as I started law school. I chose a 1970 VW which cost me $2000. A 2016 Beetle starts at $19,588. My first studio apartment cost $125 per month. A comparable studio apartment in Key West would cost over $1500.
The summer before I started college I had a job at the Jefferson County Airport where I refueled small airplanes. I was paid minimum wage - $1 per hour. A fellow employee who just got out of the Air Force made $1.10. He was a man, and I was still a boy. The minimum wage in Florida today is $8.05. (That's pre-tax earnings.)
Can you imagine getting out of the military and earning minimum wage and having to pay $4.29 for a loaf of bread or $4.50 for a gallon of milk? Or paying some ridiculous amount for rent? If you lived in Key West your motivation factor would be pretty low. Mine would. In fact I would be pretty angry - like when I felt the man short-changed me on the hard work I put in to shovel his sidewalks while he stayed inside his warm home.
None of this has a thing to do with buying or selling a home in Key West or elsewhere. I do think that my life experiences have given me a genuine appreciation for the value of money and how much time and often times how much hard work it takes to earn money. This in turn helps me be a better Realtor.
If you want to buy a house in Key West please call me, Gary Thomas, 305-766-2642 or e-mail me at email@example.com.
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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell
- Gary Thomas
- Key West, Florida, United States
- I first read about Key West in a magazine called "After Dark" sometime in the mid 1970's. But it wasn't until March 1984 that I made my first visit to the island that would become my home. I had two weeks for a vacation and reserved a room at Colours Guesthouse (now Marrero's Guest House) for one week. I thought that if I didn't like Key West, I could always go back to Miami or Ft. Lauderdale for the rest of my trip. But after a couple of days in Key West, that was no longer a consideration. But when I wanted to extend my stay for the extra week I found there was no room at the inn. The guesthouse owner did find me a room at LaTeDa, the infamous guesthouse/restaurant. That's a story I'll write another day. But those two weeks in Key West gave me the realization that I had found Paradise. Key West has been my home since 1993 and my only regret is that it took me so long to get here. I am a full time Realtor at Preferred Properties CRI. Let me help you find your new home or business in Paradise. Living in Paradise is not a slogan, it's a way of life.