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Friday, August 5, 2011

For My Friend, John

I hope my readers will understand this small effort to help my closest friend, John, who lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  I first met John in the spring of 1976, when I was in transition from the teaching profession to sales.  He and I we both working a Smith Brothers Construction in Little Rock.  He was in direct sales and I was in sales-support. He quickly took me under his wing and it wasn't too long before I was in the field and making far more money than I ever had teaching.  John was about 5 years younger than I and at that time we both were single.  Needless to say, we enjoyed the singles scene of Little Rock and usually took several trips a year to the Mexican Rivera--Acapulco.  I could go on and on about the vacation days and all the fishing trips, those memories are precious as the years slowly creep up on me.

Recently my friend had to go in the VA Hospital in North Little Rock for knee surgery---a minor thing to most.  But for John, not so minor in that he makes his living knocking on doors to generate business for his company, Allen Construction . He has gotten his leads this way for the many years I've know him.  John could retire, but he worries about his crews and he knows if he doesn't sell the jobs his men will have nothing to do and lets face the hard truth, the construction business is very slow at this time with many not being able to find work.

I had known this surgery was coming for some time and offered to drive to Little Rock and help him out, but he would have none of that.  So after thinking for a while about what I could do I decided to build a web site for his business, with the hope, that in time it would generate enough leads so he wouldn't have to be on those hot streets knocking doors.  Building the site and promoting it is a major job, but it is a labor of love for my friend who has done so very much for me over the years.

Shamelessly, I will now do a little promoting.  Allen Construction was founded in the early 1980's in Rogers, Arkansas not far from the Corporate Headquarter of Wal Mart, of course it never reached that level of success.  Allen Construction specializes in the sale and installation ofVinyl Siding and quality double-hung energy efficient Replacement Windows . John always tries to use some of the best windows available. In all the years I've known John I've never know him not to take a customer complaint seriously and try, if possible, to make things right. He is just that kind of man.

 One other thing about John, like many his age he spent a tour in Vietnam as a sgt in a combat squad with the 82 Airborne. His stories about those day, on those rare occasions when he will talk about them, are hair-raising.  Like many soldiers of that day when he returned from Nam via Frisco he was spat on by the anti-war crowds of those days.  I think this more than anything else made him the strong conservative he is today. I'm proud to call this man my friend, my closest friend, now that my wife is gone.

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