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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Why I'm a Roofer, a short History

When I was a young man my chassis was a lot sturdier than it is now. My parts have begun to wear out with 53 trips around the sun but in those days of immortality I loved the sweat, the sun, the tan, and the money. Eleven cents every time I nailed down a shingle. At sixteen I was less than my current mass but I was still heavier than a bundle of GAF Sunseal or Masonite Sun whatever.
When I went to college I could nail down about $150.00 per full day of roofing and in 1976, 77, 78, and 79, that was great money.
Plus up on that roof the weather was beautiful. We had our own world. I started selling my own jobs after I got my liberal arts degree form the University of Dallas and I put them on too. I could contemplate Aristotle when I achieved a type of runners bliss from the automatonic motions we carried out like well rehearsed karate kata. I only awoke when I had to slow down to flash something.
Next thing you know I had asphalt in my veins and many years under my belt. I was older and didn't want to go out and learn a new way of life like Ponzi schemes or derivative dealing even though many of my competitors semm to be doing just that. Not all though. There are many fine people in this business and bad ones in all, but, as you are well aware, we roofers have a stigma. It comes from working in all that bright north Texas sun.
I roofed a new house everyday I worked in Grapevine. Remember that old PDQ on Northwest Highway and Dove. Well it's still there. Sold cold beer then as it does now but it hasn't got my money in 25 years.
My old boss, also a Jon, shot his partner in the back in Pioneer Valley in south Irving and I quit. We called it the "Shoot Out at Double Oak." Guess the name of the street it happened on.
There's that preposition again. I'll endeavor to persevere, as that old Indian said in "The Outlaw Josey Wales."
Wives have come and gone but I've roofed many people's homes two or three times or several homes for the same people in different locations. Recently the sucking sound in Irving has been the people fleeing to Coppell, Southlake, Colleyville, and yonder.
Anyway it has been a good life and I've made a lot of friends. I drive around meeting people and look at their homes for windows replacement, iding, and solar energy systems too. We help a lot of Realtors too by putting into good condition what needs to be so the homes can sell, get a new mortgage, and be insurable.
I train one technician at a time from scratch. He has to carry my ladder and listen to me incessantly talk about roofs to customers or look at and listen as I point and gesticulate at the roofs we pass by at 30 miles per hour. I'll let them keep a commission on some of the sales but they have to help.
we have a hard time with experience help because they only know how to close. Designing roof systems in order taking. We are technical yet funny.
My existing bevy of roofing professionals, Don, Jody, Ryan, Nathan, Jerry, and the trainee James, know more about this than guys that have been doing this for a lifetime.
Those that don't read are no better off than those who can't. for Don we make an exception. He gets film. He can read but he likes film.
Juan, my foreman has been with me since he was 17 and is now 36. He is the third brother to run the crew.
Jose, who runs the repairs, has been with us since about 1989.
Alejandra, the even keeled office assistant, has been with us for over three years. This is her first real job and since her uncles have worked for me for decades I probably watch her raise a family.
Mike, Chris, and Jose help out with the windows and siding.
There are others that come and go with the work load but these people are always here. They're glad I decided to stay on the roofs and in the roofing business.
So in 1979 the roofing began. Siding was added in 1987. Windows became a staple in 1995. solar was began and run by Ryan in 2009.
Skylights, gutters, framing, carpentry, and unfortunately, n occasion, a little landscaping gets done.
Hey. Try pulling tens of thousands of nails out of a two story steep roof, removing thousands of pounds of torn up debris, loading new stuff on, and having ten men run around all day for days with their equipment, dump trucks, and supplies with semis and forklifts, and see if a pansy doesn't get crushed on occasion. We don't complain. We just fix it better.
I love my flowers and I know you love yours.
My first roofs were in Dallas and Irving but soon we were in every town banging away. Well, just I was, but soon I had a helper and the rest is history. Thirty one years of it with hundreds of seminars.


Unknown said...


The apple cider vinegar concocktion you drink every day has again made you immortal....

Unknown said...


Here are a few of my favoite blogs you have written:

Keep up the great work

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