Personal History

Teenage Years

  • Home Building
  • I am the youngest of four brothers. We all worked for our father in the residential construction industry building custom and speculation homes. We did everything except electrical, plumbing and heating and cooling. My job at the age of about ten was to keep my father and older brothers' aprons full of nails, mix cement and mortar, carry 40 lb. blocks for the foundation, keep them supplied with wall studs, carry roof shingles to the roof, etc. I was the gopher.
  • For several years we prefabed walls in our barn on an 8 foot by 40 foot table. In one day we could put the walls up on a house and have most of the roof sheathing in place before nightfall.
  • Kitchen and Bath
  • Several years later our father also started a business selling and installing kitchen cabinets. I was thirteen years old when I began installing kitchen and bath cabinets in new and existing homes. That included any trim work, installing tile and laminate countertops, installing sinks, hardware and back splashes of various types.
  • We continued building homes and installing the cabinets. From age fifteen to eighteen my brother Mike and I did all the trim work in the houses. From laying the 5/8" particle board sub-floor, to hanging doors, to base and casing. I could remember up to seven different measurements including fractions in my head to cut flooring around doorways. I loved to bug Mike who had a hard time remembering four - by rambling out random numbers - man he could get mad!

 

Early Twenties

  • A year in Africa
  • I was almost twenty when half of our family went to Uganda Africa to help the refugees of Karamoja come back to their homeland. Idi Amin (the late president) had recently been overthrown and the country was in chaos. My job was to organize and maintain the vehicles and excavating equipment. Mike's job was to survey the land and divide it up and give it back to the people. Jim's job was to oversee the new building complex for the staff and get a runway excavated. My fathers job was to educate the people and bring them the word of God. Linda (one of my three sisters) started and organized the orphanage.
  • I could go on for a long time with stories from sleeping with rats running around the room at night to being shot at by the Martinico tribe with machine guns.
  • A change in Industry
  • At twenty one I was on my own. The family now was in all parts of the world; I was looking for employment and got a job at Drawform (a metal stamping company) where I quickly excelled to Production Toolmaker status. I worked there for eleven years and was involved in every aspect of tool making. From designing tooling, to machining, heat treating, grinding to tenths of a thousandths of an inch, assembly and finally work the tools into a machine to run parts for the military, automotive and other industries.
  • My brother Jim went back into building after returning from Africa and had me design his house plans which I did on the side after work and weekends. I had no prior training but being artistic and having a love for drawing, I quickly caught on. Through the years I continued to pick up more work from other builders and customers.
  • I was about twenty three when I built my first house. Barrel, vaulted and tall ceilings were just a beginning to what I put into that home. I designed and built a mitering jig that rounded the outside corners of all my window and door casing. With my mechanical background I also designed and built motorized sliding doors to cover a skylight - it worked like something you would see in a James Bond movie.
  • I was twenty six when I married my wife Mary. We have three children, two boys and a girl. I purchased my first computer for home design in 1989 and quickly learned several programming languages. We built our next home in Borculo a few years later where we lived for about seven years. 

 

Early Thirties

  • Time to move on
  • I quit Drawform after eleven years and went to work as a designer for my brother Mike, where I drew over 100 plans a year. We were building about 40 custom and speculation homes each year. After about four years Mike decided to slow his company down. It was time to move on and start my own business designing and drawing house and condominium plans.
  • We sold our home in Borculo and moved into a speculation home my brother Mike built in Holland. I drew several house plans for our next home while we had the house for sale. After seven months the house sold and we began the process of building the home we live in today. We also built a two story hobby barn where myself and three full time employees work everyday serving our community.

 

Middle Forties

  • Just being a family man
  • My son Jordan is now 17 years old and over 6'-8" tall. I now look and feel small at 6'-6". I'm feeling older too. Time just doesn't wait for anyone. Jordan enjoys. no loves all kinds of cars, and they need to go fast! Hmmm, wonder where he got that from.
  • My son Travis is now 13 years old, growing tall and thin like his mother. He loves fishing with the fellow I painted the car for and his Grandpa B. Travis also enjoys a number of different computer games. Probably where he is now.
  • Alicyn has grown up so fast, we all can't believe it. You know she was in the air on 9/11/2001 traveling from Korea to Chicago. That's a story in itself. Aliy gets everyone's attention with her amazing charm and beauty, what a blessing. The picture to the right was taken when she was 5 years old, dressed up for Halloween. By the way, I did the photo work.
  • My wife Mary is the most beautiful woman inside and out you will ever meet. She loves jewelry and is the reason I work so hard. No, not to support her habit of clothes and jewelry, just because I love her.

 

 

Click Here to read my Business History

 

 

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Comments

  • Excellent to get this update from when we last met nearly 27 years ago. I remember you very fondly and for whatever reason just put your name on Facebook and there you were. I am so pleased you have been so blessed Steve.

    Posted by Shaun Walsh, 09/04/2011 6:23pm (8 years ago)

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