From Out Of The Blue…..#151 (the 70’s)

A true texans with a horned adorned cadillac

A true Texan with a horned adorned Cadillac

Jim was a Dobie Gray vocal talent able to perform a perfect Drift Away,  the guitar playing singer having sit-in with Gary on several occasions.   It wasn’t his music talent that elicited the pianist attention but word of his recent endeavor,  having leased a lesser known private club adjacent to the Broadway Motor Inn on the Northwest Highway’s junction with the Broadway Extension.  The pianist having notice the rundown motels location during his commute to Edmond during his Derrick Club days, especially with its extra-large billboards on the highway exclaiming rooms for $16.95 per night,  registering an apprehension for a servile clientele, better known as ladies of the night.  Visiting with Jim, finding that his recent acquired club’s prospective entertainment was dependent on the completion of the ongoing motel renovation.  During their conversation Gary found out that the remodeling was not being done by a contractor but the owner and a journeyman carpenter who in turn hired transient workers  from off the road, and  was having trouble keeping a full-time crew.  An alarm bell going off realizing opportunity was knocking, Gary deciding to check out the motel situation curious about the possibility of employment.  The front desk directing him to a section at the  rear of the complex, told that the person in charge should be there.  The sound of a hammering leading to a room on the second floor on the far backside of the building, Gary entering a room,  a middle-aged carpenter at work.  The room sporting recently installed sheetrock, unpainted and without any ceiling, floor or door molding, Gary apologizing for interrupting, then briefly stating his purpose relating his experience and that he had heard that they might be interested in someone to work on a steady basis, then asking the all important question about a job.  Gary could tell from the man’s expression he was being scrutinized, finally receiving a tentative approval, told to show up at eight in the morning and they would go from there.  Gary had hoped his potential employer would have mentioned salary, but he didn’t,  so the inevitable question had to be asked, discovering starting  pay was non negotiable, minimum wage, but could change depending on the person.

Gary found his new employment acceptable, joining a makeshift crew of three painting, mitering, completing the front side and starting the backside  of the double tier rear structure, when one morning arriving  at work he found he was the only member of the crew to show up.  Not sure of what to make of it he checked with the front desk clerk who was of no help, but mentioned they were expecting the motel owner who was driving up from Texas. Gary having been told about the owner from Jim, he was somewhat of an anomaly, an elderly man in his late sixties and played the part of a true Texan, wearing a white Stetson, western boots and driving an unbelievable white Cadillac Convertible with mounted bull horns.  Continuing his work and later in the afternoon noticed a bullhorn Cadillac parked near the entrance deciding to make himself known.   Gary was somewhat apprehensive but approached the unmistakable owner about the situation, the Texan disclosing it wasn’t  unusual for his “makeshift collection of nomads” as he referred to them, having moved on and for Gary to continue his work, utilizing the maintenance man if necessary until some other hires could be found.

  The motel maintenance man was a person in his late forties or early fifties of Native American descent,  apply named Chief.  Once getting to know Chief Gary found that he had lived and worked there for a number of years and like the furniture he was more or less a fixture and came with the  motel.  Gary soon discovered Chief had help, finding that he also was well acquainted with a daily experience of alcohol and cannabis and not always a proven accessory when a problem developed.  He acquire tricks of the trade from his years of experience,  an example of how to solder a leaking copper water pipe when the water flow wouldn’t completely shut off and continual to drip.  He demonstration that by stuffing the pipe with bread so it would temporarily stopping the dripping water enabling the soldering of the pipe, the bread finally dissolving the clogged pipe.

North rear section of the Broadway Motor Inn

North rear section of the Broadway Motor Inn

Gary found the motel unlike the one’s he was acquainted with,  the management renting the recently completed south section of the rear complex on a weekly or monthly schedule to members of a renown profession.   Work on the north side was approaching completion when Gary was told there would be a change in ownership,  the Bravado Texan had sold the motel but he was to continue his work. He soon was introduced to the new owners,  three Iranian brothers recent arrivals from their homeland.   The world was well aware of the demonstrations and problems confronting the Shah of Iran and the recent mass immigration of Iranian to the United States.  Besides the Texan’s departure, Chief also had acquired a departure, his room remaining as if he would return,  all his belongings still in place.  Gary somewhat concerned having a question of circumstance, conjecturing that he might have had confrontation during his weekend binges or with the law, deciding not to get involved not knowing where it might lead.   Chief still not returning the newly acquired ownership brothers requesting  Gary  to remove Chief personal effects, relegating them for disposal and make his room ready for rental.  Among Chiefs  possession finds were two quart mason jars of cannabis seeds,  apparently saved by the participant when cleaning his smoking  resolve.   Gary in a jester of levity, instead of trashing the contents he removed the inhibited proceeds outside to the banks of a water filled drainage creek behind the motel,  dispersing the flowering seeds  for a possible future generation of growth.

The three brothers presented a difficulty to work for,  their broken English,  a communication adversity,  each of the three assuming an individual authority.  Gary  finding it onerous to complete a task  because  one brothers project determination was interrupted by another brothers project, the maintenance  position arduous and frustrating,  too many supervisors,  a sense of embarkation  beginning to prevail.  Then an omen of presentation was availed by the arrival of a person whom he had met only on one occasion,  the motels contracted pest-control exterminator.   Busy Bee Exterminating Company owner Bill Guice was a slight soft-spoken man in stature and meaning.  Gary visited with the pest control man after being approached about special pest problems that the motel might  have incurred.  During their conversation Gary related the difficulty of working with the Iranians and that in all probability he would be leaving as soon as he could find another job.  Bill listened sympathetically  to his dilemma and then the quiet spoken man approached him with a recourse.   Questioning if he would be interested in adding an office addition to a house across the street from his rented office on SW 29th that he had just purchased.  The project would embrace enclosing the porch which encompassed the street side front of the house for an office,  giving the  house a facelift  business appearance.  He added it would involve installing  windows, new entrance door, a segregated office side from the  resident with an additional accessible door.  Besides the front addition, the residential part of the house also needed some interior and exterior remodeling.  Bill saying that he wasn’t interested in a formal contractual bid, but if Gary was interested he would be hired by the hour,  paid weekly by check like a regular employee until the job was completed.  Gary was awestruck having finally come to the conclusion he could no longer put up with the Iranians and then from out of the blue comes Bill Guice with an offer he couldn’t refuse.


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