Do you Believe in Miracles?
Hey everyone, my name is Tim. I've been in the wrenching business for awhile - since I was old enough to pick one up. About 45 years now. This trade takes a certain type of insanity. Most shops out there focus on the $.
I watch places like Just Brakes rob people blind. I don't make the money they do but I can sleep with a clear heart. I do whatever it takes to get the job done right, stand behind it. I've built an established clientele on word of mouth advertisement that has grown solid over the last 17 years. I'm proud of that.
It hasn't always been that way. I've led a life most of the people I know think would make a hit movie. The first 40 years was spent as a rebel, sometimes outlaw, with a dozen or so trips down the right road. Everyone of those paths another action adventure. "I'm not proud of some things I've done, but I'm proud of the man I've become." Because I survived and I'm thankful. The places I've been too, situations I landed in, would blow you away. I was always a survivor, I was a hustler,
Now that I think about it, that's where I learned to live my life. Take a chance and run with it.
For instance, have you ever imagined just walking away from everything, I mean with just the clothes you're wearing, not looking back? Well, to me it was escape. When I went for something it was 100%. But somehow it would become a train racing outta control - I would crash and destroy it all. There's been a few times I'd just walk to the freeway ramp and stuck out my thumb.
What I'm trying to say in this story is just I never imagined having a life like I do now . I was out there in the world a long time . I ran everybody off destroyed everything I touch at times. Over the last 17 years without drinking my life has completely turned around, it's hard to explain .
I learned how to face things head on, became responsible . Just like turning a switch.
You can kinda say everything I put into drinking , I put in to doing the right thing . I would Take every opportunity that came my way and give it 100% . I followed through on every job. every commitment every promise.I learn to give back, and help others every time I could . I answer my phone every time it rings. In the last 17 years the accomplishments I've made, the things that I've done , the jobs I've done, the money I've made...
I mean when I was out there flying at sign on the street corner begging for change , I could never imagine being where I'm at now . I had believed that I was just gonna die out there . It amazes me that I have so many friends now. True friends that have been there for years . People I would give my life for. . And I work for myself building this business For 17 years and it's still going . I could never imagine exactly how many cars are fixed in the last 17 years . I'm trusted with peoples cars, peoples lives . I've lived in houses for years instead of days . My business is growing from Just doing the right thing . I have everything I want . I build custom cars for people that won shows , I won a trophy for 3rd place on my truck Thumper. In 2012 I was elected state delegate . I fixed and flipped 146 cars . I never advertise or go looking for work . it comes to me . I did build some really cool relationships with customers . I can place stories with every car I work on . The dreams I've help people reach.
For 10 years I have this domain name just for fun.
Then almost 6 years ago I lost it when a man I helped, treated like a son tried to steel my shop when I left town for a week. He went to the landlord when I left, told her I wasn't coming back, convinced her to sign the lease over to him. Locked me out. He stole $1,000 from customers and the money from company account. He also convinced my now ex-wife of a bunch of lies. He stole a truck that I have parked out back and forgotten about and hauled a bunch of stuff out to a storage until, found out later, I lived in my truck and motels for awhile. Then I had the sheriff meet me with a few friends with trucks. My Snap On tool man showed up with receipts. Josh Martin was the guys name, told the cop that we had made a verbal agreement for $50,000. I said no, the cop called his sergeant. That cop told him you can't make a verbal agreement for $50k. He gave us 15 minutes. Josh said "some of the tools are mine", and we started loading. We did pretty good, my 80 gallon compressor he had built a wall around, we had to tear in down, a customer who he'd ripped off showed up in a suit that was trashed when he jumped into help. He had taken a customers Jeep Scrambler brought in for a small repair and completely disassembled it on the shop floor - for no reason. The tools he grabbed were 2 disc brake caliber compressors with about $20. The cop ask him if that was all. When he said yes, he gave us more time to load because he knew Josh was trying to rip me off. Without my tools, he couldn't play at mechanic anymore. He never paid the original rent promised the landlord, or my now ex wife's rent on the house. Later that day I noticed my Snap On air hammer and 3/8 air ratchet were missing. I called Josh and told him I needed them back, promised me he'd get them. A customer hooked me up with this big empty shop. After repeated calls and promises, he showed up with them. Idiot forgot to pull the pawn ticket tags off!
The customers who came to help me was amazing. Dave Ross, Russ Steel, Jim Stern, Joe and Lynn Newman, Chuck....
But I overcame that. Got my tools back, and spent a few month living in a motor-less RV next to this old locomotive shop next to the biggest switching yard in Colorado. Dead of winter yet. More like a survival. camp. I hooked it up to water source in the building that wasn't heated. The wife and I made up because without Josh's promised rent money, she had no place to go. The landlord called me when Josh didn't pay, told me she'd started eviction process on him. Mail showed up and in it was a notice from a tow company that the pickup noted earlier was in the impound lot in Lakewood, Denver suburb. Abandondon, $500 to get it out. In it was Josh's DL, and storage unit receipts. Could be driven because when he busted the ignition, driving it had wrapped the wires around the column so tight it wouldn't turn. Tried to file police report but they did nothing. The storage unit receipts were traced to a place on Washington, just north of my shop. They showed us video of the truck loaded with stuff, to a unit that bill wasn't paid. 19941 Silverado 4x4 extended cab was worth money, which I needed. Found a keyed column at pull and pay for $65, installed and sold for $3k.
Then I found this house/garage.
I'm blessed. Life by the tracks was hell. I made life as easy as possible. Huge piece of property, was suppose to be staying in a mobile home south of the shop but too many obstacles. Had to capture a skunk and relocate it - learned it could be done without getting sprayed. My good friend Chuck, his boys Aaron and Josh were helping. The water hadn't been on in years, and when they turned the water on at the street, at the mobile home I had to turn it on. So into the crawl space I go. After awhile I chase the plumbing going into a culvert pipe set vertical into the ground. Using my hand I just followed the water line down until I found the water lever. I turned the water on and the next thing I know it starts raining water on me! Pipes were leaking water everywhere. This time I shined my light down towards the valve. There next to the valve was a skunk! I just shut off my light and reached for the valve. The water went off and I backtracked outta there. Didn't get sprayed. Chuck found a cage trap. ..
I just realized that I stopped the story here. The skunk we caught the next morning. We had placed it close to the deck. We draped a packing blanket over the top and gently loaded it onto his truck. He didn't spray and we drove up north Washington street to a place a little creek was. Opened the door after we sat it on the ground and it ran off. How lucky we were!
I fix a few dozen cars but winter was miserable. Frozen water, always refilling propane bottles. I had a cricket internet card, placed an ad on Craigslist explaining my situation. A few days later a lady by the name of Susan replied. She worked with John, the owner of this house. Another man, Steve, who claimed to be a mechanic had lived here but had been evicted and it was okay to work on cars here - unincorporated.
That been almost 6 years ago now. A couple thousand cars have came through here. John and I have become good friends. He help me during the Traci Trip And I've helped him a few times along the way.