09 June 2012 Jim Class

“Jim Class” is a feature that airs within The HomeFix Show. Writen by original charter show listener Jim Forrer from Caldwell Idaho, Jim shares his observations, life experiances, and lessons learned in life. Joe Prin reads these at various times in most of the HomeFix Shows. Here is the original written text.

A Different Sort:

“I want  a fence, and how much is it going to cost me”? That was the first words spoken over the phone.

Larry Robertson had recommended me as the one to build the fence for Mr. and Mrs. S. They had moved into their newly built home and were busy with all the little details that always seem to pop up to be completed at the last moment. Their new house was well built by a proficient contractor. It was large and spacious home on a corner lot with beautiful landscaping. All in all, attractive, but not pretentious, that was in the purview of the Mrs..

I asked, “what kind of fence do you have in mind”?  She told me, a cedar fence. She offered no details. My questioning for details became a staccato of one liners. With each single inquiry, I received a single response. This whole process took a very long time. It seemed that the only thing on her mind was,”how much is this going to cost me”?  I gave her the price per foot for a standard 6 ft. cedar fence. Yes, but how much is this going to cost me”?  I measured the proposed line and gave her the grand total. Mrs. S. then seemed satisfied at that point. “ but what does it look like, can I see some pictures “?  I pulled out my portfolio from the front seat of my truck and showed her photos of jobs that I had done. She then started complaining that they all were just too plain and mundane. “ I want something with style and much more fancy ”!  I told her that I had some drawings at home and that I would show them to her the next day. I really did not want to go back the next day, but I did.

The next morning she picked one of my designs and said to go ahead and start immediately. I refigured my former bid and presented it for her approval, to which, she blew her top.  “ This is more than double what you said “.  She called me a few names, then ran to get her husband.  Mr. S. looked over my submitted proposal and said, “This is quite reasonable, you can start any time”.

The next morning Lloyd Lumber  delivered  the material, the posts to my house and the rest to the job site. I had made three jigs, the first was for sculpting the cedar posts and to form a fancy finial on top. The jig afforded me the means and ability to make all cuts to all posts with one pass. The second jig was to Place all 18 pickets of an 8 ft. section and cut with one pass to the prescribed length. Each pair of pickets were of a different measure. The third jig was to align the top between the  sculptured posts.

When I had finished with the installation of this [fancy] fence I stepped back to take an overall look-see and was pleased with the outcome. Mrs. S. called all her friends and neighbors over so they could admire her brand new [fancy] fence.  Her smile stretched from one side, [pride and joy], to the other side, which was [bragging rights]. She made the point that, it was her design and hers alone. When I was gathering up my stuff, she told me that I had to leave the construction jigs behind and to place them in her garage. Because they were hers, she didn’t want anyone else to have the same design. I said “I think not”, and loaded them on my truck. Besides, I had already promised two of her best friends that I would do the same fence for them.