Wednesday, April 10, 2019


  I have lied a lot in my almost 71 years on this planet. It started when I was 8 years old. The lady next door was a widow. Her husband died, I don't remember him. He died of TB. Laura Schopf was a fantastic painter. Her husband painted all the ads for Armstrong Flooring advertisements. They would take a picture of the new flooring, he would paint a portrait that went into a magazine. When Dick my older brother started full-time work,  and got a girlfriend, I got Mrs. Schopf 's yard mowing and snow shoveling duties. Every time I mowed the yard or shoveled snow she paid me. Mom watched out for Mrs. Schopf. She told her to pay me 50 cents for cutting grass or shoveling snow. I would help her for free, but she insisted she pay me something. Later on she had money problems. One time she came out while I was shoveling the steps and small porch at the back door. She handed me one dime. It was the first AH HA moment for me, at age 12. More would come. Mrs. Schopf said I have little money this month, I am Sorry. I told her, she gave Mom many pictures, do not worry! I did not really lie, I needed the money too. I realized all people have problems. 

 Finally she got the ok from the bank to not pay in, they would give her money every month while she still owned the property. She could pull out the money she had invested in the house since her Husband died, and live like everyone else. My younger brother Mike took over the grass & snow work, when I started working full time. When I had my own Electrical Business I was down at Mom's fixing something electric. She asked me to go over to Mrs. Schopf's, she wanted a grab handle on her tub, she got some prices, but they were too high for her to pay. I went over and looked at it. I had my service truck there, I went to my truck, I had 2 flanges left from a job. I had 1/2 inch water pipe from a job, just the right length. I put it together, and fastened it for her. She was grateful, she asked how much do I owe you. I told her nothing, she felt hurt I would not take $10.00. I told her the family rate was $1.00 per job. I wrote a bill for $1.00. I told her if someone pays at least a dollar, my insurance will cover me if anything happens. That lie will he used a lot, Later!!

   Mrs. Schopf fell about 10 years after I installed the railing. Mom called her every day. Sometimes afternoon or right before bedtime. Several times she did not answer, I guess her hearing was not too good. In her late 80's. When Mon could not reach her the next morning, she called the Manheim Township Police. They broke in, found her in the bathroom, naked on the floor. She died 2 days later in the hospital, laying naked in a house, even heated is terrible. At least I knew I gave her 10 years before she died. I did a lot of dumb things in my life. Every once in a while I do a good deed? The older I get, the more good deeds I do. We just spent $10,000 for a new shower stall ledge that is only 1/2 inches high. Mary is preparing for me to be in a wheel chair. Of course I will have a Harley Davidson three wheel power chair with 100 horsepower. HEY, I can DREAM!!

  In the 15 years I was in business I got a lot of calls from widow's in Manheim. The lie was I had brand new light bulbs left over from a job, I already got paid for the bulbs.  My install bill was $ 5.00 per hour. Regular jobs were $25.00 hour. Every widow job was no more than 1 hour, it doesn't matter how long it was.

They are right, tough guys with a big heart do settle down when needed. Dan Blocker was Hoss on the tv show Bonanza. His birth name on the show was Eric. Hoss was mountain man slang for a Big Man with a BIG HEART. Mary knows if she does not put HOSS in my obituary, 9/10 of the Susquehanna Valley will not know Randy Caldwell is Hoss.

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