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Saturday, August 27, 2016

My First Loan and What I Learned About Buying on Credit

The Key West MLS is transferring to a new service provider this weekend. I have a new listing to add but can't because the system is not accepting new listings until Monday. So instead of writing about something I can't share, I thought I would share a memory of my first loan and the lesson I learned.

I have written about growing up in the little suburban town of Mountain View, Colorado - a suburb just west of Denver. I lived in this quite little burb through my formative years until 1960 when we moved a couple of miles to the south and west. The town was two blocks wide and six blocks long. There were a couple of mom and pop stores and my barbershop on Sheridan Boulevard and several small stores on West 44th Avenue including a Army surplus store, a Lotta Burger, a gas station, and an auction house and candy store located at 5410 W. 44th. Through the miracle of Google Maps you can CLICK HERE to view that building that still exists today.

I remember going to the auctions a few times with my parents. I must have been six to eight years old at the time. After the auction company failed a tax preparation company occupied the same space. I went there as well and was as bored as any kid could be while his parents were getting their taxes prepared.

The candy store and toy store were located next door. I would go there by myself to buy penny candy. Yes, in the 1950s you could buy a lot of things for a few cents or a couple of dollars. Every time I think about that store I can smell the sweet aroma that filled the air. One day I found a box that intrigued me. It contained what looked like a metal gun which actually was a movie projector, or so I thought. I was transfixed by it. The price was just $1.25 which is equivalent to $11.49 today. While I had a piggy bank that held my life savings, I didn't want to rob myself of my future by buying the projector. Yet I really felt I needed it.
I went back to the candy store many times to visit my object of desire. I remember the following fairly correctly.  One day I approached the owner and proposed to buy the projector on credit.  I offered a quarter down payment and said I would pay off the balance with my allowance. The owner agreed and saved the projector for me. The weeks passed. I paid off my loan.  I took the projector home and set out to make it work. It did, but it didn't.  It wasn't what I thought it would be.  I lost interest in it very quickly and blamed myself for not being more careful.

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Gary Thomas in a Nutshell

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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.