Pictorial Memorial for my Dad...

Thread starter #82

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Dad bought a semi-tanker and a tractor to pull it, and hired a class A CDL driver to come on board. He also picked up a vac truck that would suck the sludge out of tanks and retaining pits and drainage boxes, etc. We diversified into tank cleaning and other industrial services.
Dad, being in Covington and almost a 2 hour drive from Carrollton, purchased a couple of properties in Newton County so he could base his heavy equipment closer to home. My wife was getting tired of him having his thumb on me and convinced me to stop working for him and enter West Georgia College (age 32). I worked for him part-time through school and on Saturday's mowing his giant yard.
I guess about this time the Superfund was created by the government to clean up contaminated sites. He diversified more into pulling unused petroleum tanks from defunct service stations and Industrial sites. I believe the Superfund paid for 90% of the cost.
These sites often had a lot of contaminated soil around the leaking tanks and piping. Engineering companies would come and bore and drill holes in a grid pattern at every 5 ft deep to determine where the plume of contamination had drifted into the soil. Dad was making more money digging out the contaminated soil and hauling it to landfills. Soon instead of hiring contractors, he had his own equipment such as backhoes, excavators, bobcats, and dump trucks. And he was rolling in even bigger contracts and making bigger money!
One year he produced more contaminated soil into Georgia's landfills (legal at the time) than all other entities put together. He was charging $40 a ton to dig it up and haul it, but had to pay $20 a ton to get rid of it at the landfill.
These were years of great income and great personal expenditures on his part. He gutted most of that giant house and modernized it. He begin to take nearly hundred-thousand-dollar vacations nearly every year. The first of which was to Italy where he purchased 3000 square feet of Italian marble tile to ship back home for the redo of his kitchen. He spent a month in South Africa. He stayed for two weeks at 'Skeebo' (a Scottish Castle that Madonna had one of her weddings in) while playing golf in Scotland and Ireland. Gambling in Monaco, Sapporo Olympics, Super Bowls, he was on the move!
But he never took his eye off the search for a deal. And he could turn a deal into a better deal the way a criminal can turn a stolen car into a bigger crime.
He was about to come across another deal that would once again exponentially grow his business and his income.!
 
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Thread starter #88

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
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Thread starter #90

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Thanks, Cary...
 
Thread starter #92

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
So as I said earlier, dad was a gambler and a risk taker.
I do remember twice in my life when he came home from Vegas with over a hundred grand in winnings. I don't doubt that it happened more; I only know about these because Sally let the cat out of the bag a couple of times. He came home ahead 10 grand or so numerous times. I remember once a helicopter picked him up at Peachtree DeKalb airport and flew him to the Mississippi Bellagio. I'm guessing he had a couple of his high roller buddies with him also.
He was smack in the middle of his Golden Touch era, but all of a sudden the big house was up for sale.
He had worked up trading equity in his original $80,000 house in Fort Lauderdale to this mansion. He spent $100,000 in the kitchen. $100,000 in the mahogany study. I'm sure that he had spent over a hundred thousand on the rest.
At one point, dad and Sally had visited Graceland in Memphis. They saw a piece of furniture they like they're so they commissioned High Point Furniture in North Carolina to make them a replica of a china cabinet. It was 11 feet high (to go along with dad's 12 foot ceilings) and over 20 feet in length. I'm remembering that the cost including shipping and installation was between 70 and 100 grand.
When the house sold, it was for $1.65 million. He got an extra $200k for the furniture and the Waterford Crystal chandeliers inside.
He's rich right?
Nope. He immediately turned around and wrote a check to the IRS for over $900k.
Now he needs a house. We had done quite a bit of contract work with Gold Kist chicken plants in Alabama. He purchased house in Duluth from the CEO who was retiring.
The house overlooked one of the tees and the golf course at Atlanta Athletic Club.
He also purchased 60 acres in an industrial zone off of Marietta Road across from the CSX rail yard in Atlanta.
It had a 100,000 square foot Warehouse. With a thick reinforced concrete floor that heavy equipment could work on and a ceiling high enough for tandem dump trucks to dump inside. I think it was formerly a building materials warehouse set up for loading trucks under the roof. This place was HUGE.
Now he has a place to stick all the dirt that he is digging up for $40 a ton from all over the southeast. All of it contaminated with gasoline, diesel, fuel oil and other petroleum contaminants.
Instead of paying $20 a ton for it, he had to figure out something better.
He picked up on a process that had only been used a little bit along the Gulf Coast around Texas. the technology had been used mostly to treat oil spills while floating on the ocean surface. It involved introducing microorganisms that actually eat petroleum to the contamination. A second requirement was the addition of nutrients (fertilizer) to the contamination and then several weeks of turning, agitation, and aeration.
Dad pretty much pioneered this technology on dry land in the southeast. He no longer had to pay $20 a ton to get rid of the contaminated soil; he was treating it, within 6 weeks to 3 months time, for about $7 per ton.
He purchased screen machines to screen the soil and shakers to shake out the rocks and the largest reticulated front end loaders made to move the product around the property. The contaminated and treated soil was moved inside the warehouse and stacked in long rows about 6 or 8 feet high by about 20 ft wide. The warehouse was large enough for about a dozen 100 + yard long rows and another 4 or so 50-yard rows. Also purchased was a Caterpillar 'Skat' machine that was basically a moving conveyor belt that moved up and down the rows picking them up on the treadmill and throwing them back out the back in the same row but now mixed up, upside down, and aerated. The soil had been inoculated with the 'bugs and fertilizer on its way out of the screen machines. After 6 to 15 weeks, the soil was testing free of petroleum contaminants. It could then be sold out is screened Phil, which is desirable because of its compaction qualities.
Since the contaminated soil had a chain of custody attached to it when it left a contamination site, the state always kept tabs on what was happening to it. It couldn't just disappear.
When the state EPD found out what was happening to the soil, they were elated. Very soon, the state disallowed contaminated soil going into their landfills. The only other option for other contractors was to haul the soil out of state, or bring it to dad. He had every other contractor in the state shipping him soil. He was charging $20 a ton! As his business built, he went from taking in a couple of dozen tandem loads a day 2 up to 150 tandem loads in a day.
About this time he was featured in the Atlanta business Chronicle. I can't find the archives, but if I remember correctly his picture was on the cover. The caption read, "THE DIRT MERCHANT."
Dad always had his feelers out still to make more money. When the Fulton County Stadium was destroyed, something needed done with the concrete. My uncle, who had had a small logging business for a while came down to cut and cleared a large part of the property. After that we had space to take in all the waste concrete from the stadium and we also started a large green waste recycling project on the property. The concrete was crushed and separated from the steel rebar reinforcement and sold out as an aggregate. Several municipalities and large commercial operations we're bringing in green waste and a tub grinding company was grinding the waste and selling out the product as mulch and fuel. Dad was making money coming and going on three different operations on the property. But he would not settle. The one thing we tried that did not work out was a remediation project on sewage sludge from the nearby waste treatment plant. That was one stinky fail, and I believe everybody involved was glad it was a fail.
Then came the last and probably the greatest windfall for Dad. He had set himself up perfectly to be in the right place at the right time.
Colonial pipeline (which runs from Louisiana through Georgia and on up to the northeastern states) ruptured underneath a local landfill at Morgan Falls.
Dad took in all the contaminated soil and trash (mostly C&D debris), screaned out the trash, sprayed it with the microorganisms and fertilizer and sent it right back to the landfill. The soil was treated over a 9 month period. This 9 months work brought in about $6 million.
Now dad would finally allow himself to look for an exit plan.
 
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Thread starter #94

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Like I mentioned, it was long and complicated. I hope it was fairly cohesive. I tried to skeletonize and condense things as best I could. There is so much I left out...
I do all this through speech to text function on my phone, but it doesn't translate Southern very well.
Now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
 
In some pictures your Dad looks like Kenny Rodgers, in others he favors Ernest Hemingway a lot.
 
Thread starter #97

1eyefishing

...just joking, seriously.
Dad sold his million dollar property for 4 million dollars. He settled in at home for a few years with Sally and she got sicker and sicker. He had had a knee replacement and t i a stroke, so he's golfing and gambling days were over. He had a bad case of CRS (can't remember snot). After Sally passed, he was too proud and stubborn to accept regular help and company around the house. He lasted on his own about 2 years until he had a substantial stroke. The doctor had given him a couple of sample bottles of Eliquis to change over his blood thinner from Warfarin. He took them home and started taking the Eliquis but did not quit taking the warfarin. The stroke did not affect his physical movement too much but gave him a real case of word salad. He could say lots of words, but could not string together anything cohesively. Immediately moved in on him to take care of what the doctor call ' four M's'. Money, Meals, Medication, and Mobility. I added a fifth M, Mutts! Dad had two Shih Tzus that it been with him a long time. Their care was probably the toughest part of my 2-year stay. (I looked it up; their Chinese breed name means 'eat ****s for dessert'!) Dad remained extremely pleasant and jovial. He was never angry or sad or cross in any way. He thanked my wife and I for what we were doing regularly. He also told me that he was tired of the waiting and just wished he could go on. His stroke effects of gradually subsided and left him with virtually zero effect after a few months. But he still couldn't remember who he just talked to on the phone or who was playing the ball game he just finished watching.
In February, he took a bad fall in the early morning while trying to manipulate the TV buttons because he couldn't find the remote. He broke his shoulder and fractured his pelvis. Then spent a week in the hospital and three weeks in rehab. In the hospital, he was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer on his liver and his lungs. Cholangiocarcinoma had originated in his bile duct. He decided that he did not want to treat, but let things take their natural course. He had a well-thought-out will and living will. I was his medical power of attorney.
Although he had bought that the idea for 4 years, we were finally able to convince him to enter an assisted living facility. This was necessary it's Dad and I have had a verbal contract that stated that when he could no longer do the paperwork in the restroom, it would be time for more professional help than I could give. (Ha.) Even though he was virtually bed-bound, he did enjoy his new place. He could barely transfer from his bed to his easy chair once every day or so. I was there daily, breakfast, lunch, and dinner/bedtime to make sure he was well taken care of. Fortunately for me he was able to easily afford this expensive care (and afford for me to pay outside help to come in and relieve me on weekends during the entire 2 years). In May, he had a second stroke very similar to the first that he never recovered from. During therapy, I'm nurse therapist asked him if he could remember his name. He had a confused look on his face as he shook his head 'no'. When the nurse asked if he remembered who I was, he croaked out the words, "My son,"and gave a little smile. Other than "thank you for what you are doing," these were the last cohesive words I ever heard him say.
But his easy going and jovial personality never faded. ALL of his doctors, nurses, and caregivers always adamantly remarked about his attitude and that he was their favorite patient. After returning to his bed in Assisted Living from the hospital stay with the recent stroke, my wife and I were bedside taking off the plastic hospital bracelets and a half dozen or so bandages did he had stuck on his hairy arms. My wife was carefully and slowly peeling the bandages out of his hair and I told her to "just snatch those things off! That's the way Dad would do it!" As she scoffed at me and continued her slow process, dad let out of painful gasp. She jumped back raising her hands and saying, "I'm so sorry! I'll try to be more careful!" Dad immediately starting in with a belly laugh that was so ferocious I thought he was going to hurt himself!
He passed on May 30th with my wife and his other daughter in law and myself outside of his room. I had arrived on the scene upon the hospice nurses notice to find those two tearing and whining around the room as dad was obviously down to his last minutes. I am out sadly that we had to give Dad some privacy and not stand around there watching him draw his last breath. The three of us retired to the waiting room. Within 5 minutes the hospice nurse came out and said that he had passed. She said that as soon as we left the room dad came out of his three-day state of non-responsiveness and asked if everybody was outside. She said that when she told him yes, he seemed comforted and relaxed, and took his last few breaths.

Never ones to be mourned, both dad and Sally had asked for a celebration in their memory instead of any types of formal services at funeral homes and grave sites, etc. Sally had an 'A-wake' party at the country club before she passed. It was a real shindig. Tonight we are having another celebration at the club (tears now) for Dad.
The theme of it will be...

ezgif.com-resize (52).jpg

Sally and Ken, together again!
 
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TurkeyH90

Senior Member
Dad sold his million dollar property for 4 million dollars. He settled in at home for a few years with Sally and she got sicker and sicker. He had had a knee replacement and t i a stroke, so he's golfing and gambling days were over he had a bad case of CRS (can't remember snot). After Sally passed, he was too proud and stubborn to accept regular help and company around the house. You lasted on his own about 2 years until he had a substantial stroke. The doctor had given him a couple of sample bottles of Eliquis to change over his blood thinner from Warfarin. He took them home and started taking the Eliquis but did not quit taking the warfarin. The stroke did not affect his physical movement too much but gave him a real case of word salad. He could say lots of words, but could not string together anything cohesively. Immediately moved in on him to take care of what the doctor call ' four M's'. Money, Meals, Medication, and Mobility. I added a fifth M. Mutts! Dad had two Shih Tzus that it been with him a long time. Their care was probably the toughest part of my 2-year stay. (I looked it up; their Chinese breed name means 'eat ****s for dessert'!) Dad remained extremely pleasant and jovial. He was never angry or sad or cross in any way. He thanked my wife and I for what we were doing regularly. He also told me that he was tired of the waiting and just wished he could go on. His stroke effects of gradually subsided and left him with virtually zero effect after a few months. But he still couldn't remember who he just talked to on the phone or who was playing the ball game he just finished watching.
In February, he took a bad fall in the early morning while trying to manipulate the TV buttons because he couldn't find the remote. He broke his shoulder and fractured his pelvis. Then spent a week in the hospital and three weeks in rehab. In the hospital, he was diagnosed with stage-4 cancer on his liver and his lungs. Cholangiocarcinoma had originated in his bile duct. He decided that he did not want to treat, but let things take their natural course. He had a well-thought-out will and living will. I was his medical power of attorney.
Although he had bought that the idea for 4 years, we were finally able to convince him to enter an assisted living facility. This was necessary it's Dad and I have had a verbal contract that stated that when he could no longer do the paperwork in the restroom, it would be time for more professional help than I could give. (Ha.) Even though he was virtually bed-bound, he did enjoy his new place. He could barely transfer from his bed to his easy chair once every day or so. I was there daily, breakfast, lunch, and dinner/bedtime to make sure he was well taken care of. Fortunately for me he was able to easily afford this expensive care (and afford for me to pay outside help to come in and relieve me on weekends during the entire 2 years). In May, he had a second stroke very similar to the first that he never recovered from. During therapy, I'm nurse therapist asked him if he could remember his name. He had a confused look on his face as he shook his head 'no'. When the nurse asked if he remembered who I was, he croaked out the words, "My son,"and gave a little smile. Other than "thank you for what you are doing," these were the last cohesive words I ever heard him say.
But his easy going and jovial personality never faded. ALL of his doctors, nurses, and caregivers always adamantly remarked about his attitude and that he was their favorite patient. After returning to his bed in Assisted Living from the hospital stay with the recent stroke, my wife and I were bedside taking off the plastic hospital bracelets and a half dozen or so bandages did he had stuck on his hairy arms. My wife was carefully and slowly peeling the bandages out of his hair and I told her to "just snatch those things off! That's the way Dad would do it!" As she scoffed at me and continued her slow process, dad let out of painful gasp. She jumped back raising her hands and saying, "I'm so sorry! I'll try to be more careful!" Dad immediately starting in with a belly laugh that was so ferocious I thought he was going to hurt himself!
He passed on May 30th with my wife and his other daughter in law and myself outside of his room. I had arrived on the scene upon the hospice nurses notice to find those two tearing and whining around the room as dad was obviously down to his last minutes. I am out sadly that we had to give Dad some privacy and not stand around there watching him draw his last breath. The three of us retired to the waiting room. Within 5 minutes the hospice nurse came out and said that he had passed. She said that as soon as we left the room dad came out of his three-day state of non-responsiveness and asked if everybody was outside. She said that when she told him yes, he seemed comforted and relaxed, and took his last few breaths.

Never ones to be mourned, both dad and Sally had asked for a celebration in their memory instead of any types of formal services at funeral homes and grave sites, etc. Sally had an 'A-wake' party at the country club before she passed. It was a real shindig. Tonight we are having another celebration at the club (tears now) for Dad.
The theme of it will be...

View attachment 936651

Sally and Ken, together again!
Wow! Well told story. Enjoyed it immensely.
 
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