Monday, September 15, 2014
Posted by Bulletholes at 8:30 AM
Friday, September 12, 2014
You know the Lord is with someone when they seem to be dying of the same heart attack for 30 years.
I lost track of how many bypasses she had.
Lera had a bad ticker, but a good heart.
When I was a kid and we would go to Lera's, there was always that laugh. A throw your head back raucous laugh. I guess all 4 sisters had that laugh, but Lera's was the prettiest.
And there was her Texas Sheath Cake, and Buttermilk pie.
Funny, I was a chef for 25 years, but I'm not sure Lera would have believed that I could cook my way out of a wet paper bag.
That might have something to do with my storied past with Lera.
A few months before she died I had talked to her on the phone. I told her I had finally quit doing drugs, that I had 2 years of being clean and sober.
"We tried to tell you!" Lera said.
Lera. She was a kind woman, in a Joyce Meyer kind of way.
She suffereed no fools; pulled no punches.
I can remember when I was 14 I had had a key made for her car after my parents had started watching the mileage on theirs rather closely, and on Saturday nights during the summer of 1971 I would slide noiselessly out the back door and walk to Lera's car, then meet up with my other 14 year old pals in the middle of the night, and we would joy ride and smoke Swisher Sweets and I knew of a certain window that if you knocked on it at 2 a.m. a couple 14 year old chicks would come crawling out, and its off to Devils Backbone to make out. When finally I was caught (by the Southlake Police) and had to give the key back to Lera and try to explain what the heck I was doing with a key for her car, I don't remember anything except her bright and burning blue eyes and pursed lips, as she said without much amusement:
"What in the world were you thinking?"
It was the eyes that got me, eyes that blazed and sparkled with kindness, and could have melted steel.
Posted by Bulletholes at 9:11 AM
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Dear Handyman Bulletholes;
I had to take my car to the shop with transmission problems. They said they would replace my transmission for $1500.
I told them that I had heard my transmission was hard to find and expensive to rebuild.
“We got lucky and found one” the man said. So I said yes, please fix my transmission for 1500 dollars.
Well, they ran into some trouble and it cost them a lot more than 1500 to fix my transmission.
It took them 10 days to fix it. During that time they even loaned me a car to use. So when I went to pick my car up I was worried about how much they were going to charge me.
When I got there, they handed me two bills.
One was for 1500 dollars.
Another was for 1700 dollars.
The man told me that 2500 was what he should have charged me for the transmission, but he did not expect me to pay that at all.
The one for 1700 dollars would let him almost break even on the deal, but he would still be losing money.
And the one for 1500 dollars was all I owed him, because he intended to stand good on the quote he gave me.
I feel just terrible. What should I do?
Stranded in Euless
This reminds me of back when I was working 5 jobs.
I was selling insurance over the phone.
I was selling and installing landscaping.
I was cooking on Wednesday nights for First Methodist Church of Hurst, and other special occasions that came up.
And I had a paper route, throwing the Dallas Morning News at the crack of dawn.
But I also sold roofs. I would go door to door, doing estimates on damaged roofs and hopefully they would use my company and I would get a commission.
There was man I tried to sell to. I went by several times, took him presents, sent a Christmas card, everything I knew to do.
Finally! Persistence paid off, and I agreed to paint the top of his chimney for 40 dollars.
How hard could it be?
Well, let me tell you. I got up there on a 60 foot extension ladder, in a 30 mile an hour wind, with a paint can in one hand and a brush in the other and spent 6 terrifying hours swinging back and forth up there with no parachute, life and limb at risk, and did I mention I am TERRIFIED of heights? Somehow I did it.
I went and knocked on the door, and he came out and said “Looks good” and grabbed his checkbook. Just before he started to fill the check out, I said:
“You know sir, I told you 40 dollars and I intend to stick to it, but that job was worth a helluva lot more than 40 bucks”
He said “Yes Bullets, I know it was and I sure do appreciate it.”
He tore the check out of the book, handed it to me and smiled very kindly.
I waited until I got to the car to take a look.
There it was.
It sounds like you have a very honest mechanic. I'd keep him.
Here is Part One
Posted by Bulletholes at 12:19 PM