I’m a pool guy by trade. I started cleaning pools with my father, a jolly old guy named Jim when I was 11 years old.
In the freezing winter of 1972 in Detroit, just before Christmas, my Dad lost is job. Then he lost his other job. I was only 6 so I didn’t really know what was going on. What I did know was that something was about to change.
My six year old premonition was correct. Within a week we were driving across the country West through pretty nasty snow. It took us 5 days, 3 of which we slept in the car with the engine idling and the heater running full blast in my dad’s Pontiac Tempest. We arrived at my aunt’s house in Escondido, California. I’ve been a San Diego local ever since.
In 1975 my dad had saved up enough money to start a pool cleaning business. Not the most original idea in San Diego. But he loved to converse with people and somehow his personality won him referral after referral. Rather than paying me a wage when I started, he gave me something much more valuable. He made me a partner and let me help make decisions in the business. He shared the stress of self employment and the rewards and by the time I was 14, I knew how to run a service business, something they didn’t teach in school.
About the time my dad passed away in 1988, I took over the business and started exploring expanding it to include design. I later partnered with a long time friend who’s contractor’s license we used to start a joint venture where we designed and built custom pools. We did very well for 10 years until I suffered a personal loss that made it hard for me to continue. I was able to retire and living a healthy life meant more to me than the business so I took my leave.
These days I help consult casually here and there on pool designs but never for money. I actually also work on lawn projects with TruGreen in Plano these days. I love the peaceful low commitment lifestyle it gives me outside the world of pools.