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 prospect for 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 hires 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 of the building, Gary entering a room,  a middle-aged carpenter at work.  The room sporting recently installed sheet-rock, unpainted and still lacking 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 ever changing crew engendering a repaired freshly painted and cleansing look to the rooms.  The work progressing the crew starting on the backside of the double tier rear structure, arriving one morning finding he was the only one 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 heard about the owner from Jim, that he was somewhat of an anomaly, an elderly man in his sixties and played the part of a true Texan, wearing a white Stetson, western boots and driving an unbelievable white Cadillac Convertible with hood mounted bull horns.  Gary returned to the project at hand then later in the afternoon noticed a bullhorn Cadillac parked near the entrance deciding to make himself known.  He was somewhat apprehensive but approached the unmistakable owner, introducing himself and 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 maintenance man was a person in his early fifties of American Indian descent,  apply named Chief.  Gary soon discovering 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.  It came as no surprise that Chief was well acquainted with a afternoon partaking of alcohol and a indulgence of cannabis which never seem to effect his work.  Gary sometimes enlighten from Chief’s years of experience,  an example was how to solder a leaking copper water pipe when the water flow wouldn’t completely shut off and continual to drip.  He demonstrated that by stuffing the pipe with bread, it would temporarily stop the dripping water enabling the soldering of the pipe, the bread finally dissolving letting the water return.

North rear section of the Broadway Motor Inn

Gary found the motel unlike any others, the completed south building rooms at the rear of the complex were rented by the week or month to the street members of a renowned profession.   Work on the north side was approaching completion when Gary was approached by the desk-clerk manager to come to the office, there was a change in ownership, the Bravado Texan had sold the motel.  Walking to the office Gary’s immediate concern was about his status and paycheck,  soon being  introduced to the new owners, three Iranian brothers recent arrivals from their homeland.  The nightly news making all aware of the demonstrations and problems confronting the Shah of Iran and the recent mass immigration of Iranian to the United States.

 Besides a change in ownership, Chief  seemed to have acquired a departure, his room remaining with all his belongings, but he was nowhere to be found.  Gary beginning to have a concerned,  conjecturing that he might have had confrontation during one of his weekend binges or possibly one with the law.  With Chief failure to return the newly acquired owners requesting  Gary remove Chief personal effects, relegating them to a storage area and make his room ready for rental.  During the process discovering among Chiefs  possession were two quart jars filled with cannabis seeds, apparently saved when cleaning his resolve before lighting up.  Gary in a jester of levity,  instead of depositing the contents in the trash,  he took the proceeds of the jars outside to the banks of a water filled drainage creek behind the motel, dispersing the probable flowering seeds for a possible future generation of growth.  With the disappearance of Chief, Gary was approached by the new owners to fill the now vacant maintenance position.

A resolving by-product

The three brothers presented a difficulty to work for, first their broken English was a communication adversity,  second each of the three assuming an individual commanding authority.  Gary  finding it onerous to even 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 prevailed with the arrival of a person whom he had met only on one occasion, the motels contracted pest-control exterminator, the Busy Bee Exterminating Company’s owner.  Bill Guice was a slight soft-spoken man in stature and meaning,  Gary visiting with the pest control man about 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 enclosing a porch for an office addition to a house he had just purchased across the street from his rented office on SW 29th. 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,  pay him weekly by check like a regular employee until the job was completed.  Gary was awestruck, from out of the blue comes Bill Guice with an offer he couldn’t refuse.

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