A Ragged Prehistoric Look

It was another very early morning to office again, and only because I had an exceptional amount of desk work to get completed on three closings which are coming up within these next seven days. More and more I’m finding it not such a task to be up and out all the sooner, and most likely because I’m growing used to it.

Since most of us Realtors normally answer unknown calls, I received one this morning from a gentleman who had me on the line much longer than expected, and how rude it is sometimes to cut a caller off, which I had to do with him because there was an early morning appointment who was going to be walking thru my door at any moment. I’m not sure he understood how important it was for me to not be on the phone when a scheduled caller arrived. Oh well, we all gotta do what we must to keep the machines running smoothly.

I did manage to get 1620 S. Federal under contract which is the building which was originally built as Community National Bank’s drive-in, and since then it’s changed hands and had various tenants in it, but the people who’ll be its new owners, are the local franchisees of “Pretzelmaker” which is currently located in Southbridge Mall.

The more I thought about that location for them, the more it seemed to be the perfect fit because they’ll be selling drive-thru only, which since the pandemic arrived, has become more the rule than the exception. What makes it even more of an opportunity, is the fact that Dollar General is going in that building to the south of them, and O’Reilly Auto Parts Store to the north.

You can bet there’ll be a great number of drive-up business generated by Hwy. 65 and those two stores. Quick Trip will also help their business because when their parking lot is full, those hungry stomachs will be grabbing one of the many varieties of freshly made pretzels. There’s no question I’ll be stopping there on occasion to grab a Pretzel Dog. I couldn’t think of a more perfect lunch because they also supply a little tub of doctored mustard to dip it in. Yummy.

I’ve known the buyers for a very long time, and I can honestly say they’re darned good people and deserve the success. They do sell soft drinks, but it would be nice if they’d partner with a franchise and sell coffee because there are some early mornings I’d like to stop and get a small cup of fresh java on my way to work, and not having to get out of my car would be more of an incentive for me to stop. I know McDonald’s sells coffee, but I’ve never liked the taste of theirs. Being a little of a “cheapie”, I like Starbuck’s, but they’re highly over-rated for what they charge. You can bet I’ll be wishing them continued success in their new location. Good for them! Truth be told, I’ve always thought that little spot they have in the Mall was not conducive to attracting customers, but at least they managed to survive until the opportunity came along for them to purchase 1620 S. Federal.

I have a fast-track closing tomorrow on my mother’s old house which managed to get sold in less than two days. We weren’t scheduled to close it until late next week, but since all the title work was done and the owner had everything out, the buyers decided to close earlier. While at closing, I’ll have to tell the new buyers the story of that native Red Cedar which is now turning int to a full-fledged tree. It was about six inches tall when I planted it well over 15 years ago. They’re slow growing even from the beginning, and even slower as they mature. There are some in our City and around North Iowa which have to be well over 100 years old. If you’ve even noticed those evergreen trees near the sidewalk of the home with that Prussian tower which is located at the corner of Virginia and East State Street, they happen to be some very old Red Cedars. When they get that old, they take on a ragged prehistoric look which I like.

A surprise phone call from the gentleman I was to meet yesterday, asking about getting together over at First Baptist Church to see if there was a piece of music he’d want to sing. I didn’t say anything about the mis-communication yesterday, and only moved forward with their 150th Anniversary needs by agreeing to meet him at 11:00 today.

I had the organ up and running when he got there, and just happened to be playing the one I considered the best of the three hymns I picked. Well, after running thru them, it was a hands-down for him when picking my first choice. I warned him about my being a bit rusty with accompanying a soloist because it’s been a good seven years or more since I last accompanied one.

The more we practiced, the better it sounded until it ended up being about as good as it gets. I complimented him on his nice voice, and while playing, I would jump in and sing along, just to help him feel more comfortable. Shortly before we finished, I mentioned that our voices blended well enough to where we could sing duets. His comment was, “Your voice has more strength than mine.” After a little giggle I said, “Several times the ladies from our church would ask my mother how I managed to come by such a strong and beautiful voice, and her delightfully wicked response would be, “From calling hogs.” I’ll never forget the look on the face of one of those ladies after she said that. Truth be told, I was a pretty good hog caller if I dare say so myself. After all these years I can still see in my mind those little devils running/hopping all the closer to the barn after each call where they’d run a spell, stop and listen with their ears pointed to the heavens, and waiting for me to draw them closer with another vocal encouragement. Yes, those were memorable times. I still remember my song-like call which went, “Here piggy-pig-pig-piggy-piggy-pig-piggy-piggy-pig-pig-pig!” Yes, it was quite the line that always got them to come a-running.

Tonight’s One-liner is: Life is what you make it: If you snooze, you lose; and if you snore, you lose more.

Joe Chodur

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