Hey Guys ~ I’m back.  Man, has it been crazy over here.  We’ve  just moved into our new home and are  loving every minute of getting adjusted.  There are a lot of great stories here, but, I’m going  to hold onto to those for now.  You see, I’ve got another story that simply needs to be told.  This evening,  I was out for a run when I passed a forgotten development.  The entrance has been chained up for years.  It’s name has been taken down.  I knew what was up in there, but, I didn’t want to see it again.  Basically because things have been going really good lately and this was certainly a reminder of tougher days.  Days that we don’t necessarily want to re-live.  Then something told me that I needed to share “the other side of the story” so I ventured on up. 

Taking Those First Steps

Turning the Corner

It Begins To Set In

My Heart Just Sank

You see, this was a model home.  The sales center for a builder that I used to work for 8 years ago.  This was the  first unit to be built in a 400+ home community.  So Sad.  But, what I want to tell you about is the man who had to muscle through this.  He happens to be one of the strongest businessmen that I have ever had the pleasure of being around.  He has always been disciplined, frugal, steadfast, wise; and yet, Gutsy.  He did not live lavishly.  He poured money back into the company.  He was a Master at handling cash flow.  He stayed clear of debt at every possible corner.  And it paid off.  He has made it through this drought intact ~personally,  financially, from an organizational perspective and most importantly with his character whole.

People Have Ransacked the Place

Every Fireplace Was Stolen

Including the Flues

Windows Busted Out Apparently for Kicks

It just tore me up to see how this home had been abused.  Like all of his model homes, this one would have been funded  through the company’s reserve cash.  He would have never financed something that he didn’t need to.  And here, folks are just stealing and smashing as if it did not have the least little bit of impact on anyone else.  Maybe they felt that the house belonged to bank or something impersonal like that.  If these people only knew.

From my perspective, this is one of the most generous men I have ever met.  His care for his fellow man transcended business and he was committed to leaving this world in a better standing than where he found it.  I’ve seen this commitment played out time and time again.  I’ve witnessed him make tremendous contributions to local organizations over and over again.  Huge sums of money.  Wonderful gifts.  Always lifting up those who were going through a struggle.  And always with only one condition.  The condition being that the source of these gifts would have to remain anonymous.  He didn’t do it to advance his business, to make a better name for himself or to show off.  He did it to help.  He did it personally.  And he did it because he cared deeply.

In my opinion, the building profession is one of the noblest endeavors known to man.  And it is solely because of the character of  great men and women such as this man who paved the way.   They didn’t hide behind contracts.  They stood up on their word.  Knowing that at the end of the day, their word is the only thing that counts.  And if it costs them everything, then that’s what it costs.  They’ve lost vast fortunes, but, they still keep giving to society.  They still keep trying to make the world a better place.  They still keep trying to help others, one family at a time, one Home at a time.  One of my friends has been known to proclaim that builders are the last true entrepreneurs and I believe it.  When you consider the risk.  The amount of personal exposure.  The Cojones that you must possess to stomach the tremendous pressure.  You’d have to be crazy to continue down this road.  Or, you’d have to truly love your fellow man and you would want to give to them something that is absolutely special.  A Home.

Nothing But Silence

As I stand on the front porch and look out over the desolate landscape, I can only imagine how he has been able to cope with all of this.  This should have been a place of vibrancy.  Where hopes and dreams were coming to life.   Where you can see the exuberance in the eyes of the children.  Where you can see husbands and wives at their closest.  Where handshakes were made and everyone is smiling.  Instead, all that there is ~ is crickets.  A 400+ lot subdivision, in which he owns at least 1/3 of them; vacant…abandoned…totally quite. Relief is still years away.  People keep stealing from him; tearing out the copper pipes, the wiring, the condensers, the water heaters.  And yet, he will stay with it.  He will see it through.  You talk about intestinal fortitude – Guts, Resoluteness, Courage.  I could not imagine staring that down.  But, he made his commitment and he will honor it.  And, we as a community are truly fortunate to have him and guys like him in our midst.  Continuously pressing forward and  persistently trying to improve the lives of those around them all the while enduring the most unimaginable of circumstances.  I am personally very thankful to have known him and proud that he is still a part of our building community.

All My Bests,

Kyle

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5 Comments on “Worthy of the Admiration

  1. Welcome back. Scenes like this are almost all over town. They steal from the biggest and the smallest. Best wishes to the anonymous builder. (P.S. I cruise Valley about 3:30 tomorrow.)

    • Hey Terry, Thx for the comment and the RT. You know ~ Builders have been given a bad wrap for years and most people never see all of the good deeds that they do. There are so many great folks in this industry who are doing wonderful things in their communities. Hope to see you soon to catch up.
      Kyle

  2. Kyle, there’s a video of Andres Duany speaking in Atlanta. He makes a comment on employment. The gist: Home building employs a greater variety of people/skills than perhaps any other industry. That’s a great legacy for builders.

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