27th Anniversary Notable Events and People in 1994
Johnny Carson, O.J. Simpson, Kurt Cobane, Exxon Valdez, MLB canceled because of the strike, John Candy, Harry Nilsson, Jackie O., Richard Nixon, Kurt Cobain, Henry Mancini, Burt Lancaster
A Look Back at 27 Years
The painted image of an old historic library in Hillsboro, Texas can be seen in the mural in our office foyer. It was the first construction project for Reeder General Contractors, Inc. This year marks our 27th anniversary since that first project in early 1994. I put the proposal together with a yellow legal pad and a calculator. We did not own a computer, and the only sub-contractor bid I received was for the electrical work. Our bonding limit was $170,000…so I bid the job at $169,000. The man who painted the mural, John Stout, reproduced the historic balusters and handrails by making rubber molds. We experimented with different mix designs which included adding dye to match the existing 90-year-old color. I mixed the mortar, removed and replaced about 13 of the balusters and handrail because I didn’t trust the local mason. They are still there.
We installed an elevator. Twelve laborers spent 10 days demolishing about an 8-foot by 8-foot, 2-foot-thick, 90-year-old concrete floor for the opening. The jack hole was drilled below grade in the basement with a portable hydraulic auger. We hit ground water and after we set the casing, I pumped water out into the street for four months before we could install the elevator – 24 hours a day for four months at 5 GPM amounts to about 864,000 gallons. No permits, citations or citizen complaints.
The project was an historic remodel, so we had to match and duplicate everything. I built the 4-inch thick wood doors in my barn. I had a carpenter helper help me frame, sheetrock and install doors, door hardware, cabinets and the like. I drove from Weatherford to Hillsboro for the 6 months it took me to do the job. Deb and I were the only employees, so we did everything. I don’t recall ever having an OAC (Owner, Architect, Contractor) meeting, but the architects would visit the project occasionally. I did all of the punch and make-ready work myself. The close of our documents consisted of a roofing and elevator warranty, and the AIA consent of surety. When the job was complete, I towed the office trailer back myself…I was on my way.
That year our gross income was about $200 thousand. I officed out of our home. Last year our gross income was about $82 million; and most of you have seen where I now office. In these 27 years we have been the beneficiaries of great working partnerships, loyal employees and generous friendships. My career begins and ends at Reeder General Contractors, Inc. Deb and I would not have it any other way. Neither of us take it for granted and can only express our gratitude to everyone who is a part, and thankfulness of being Americans. Our freedoms and liberties allowed us to build this company. It is true that life is not fair, however it is more fair in America than it is anywhere else. One thing I have learned also, is that the work goes on. We will always face challenges and setbacks…disappointments and loss; but that is what makes success and winning so much more valuable.
I believe the future is what we make it. Our collective goal should be to build that future with our continued passion, creativity, generosity, dedication and faith in one another. If we can do that…we can do anything.