Eli was standing at the work bench in his garage involved in his favorite occupation; fix up. He could not remember exactly when this all started, but it was probably when he worked for his Uncle Charlie in his Store and Auction house. He must have been about 12 years old when he started going on calls with him to check out garages and basements of people who wanted to sell things.
In the beginning, it seemed odd that so many people would have piles of stuff, and Charlie would pour though it for hours just to find “the perfect” whatever……stranger yet, that he would often just step back with just a glance and make an offer for the “whole thing”, and he would fill the entire truck for a few bucks.
Eli reflected; He would later say; ” Sometimes it only takes a second for something in a junk pile to speak to you” and he would follow with; ” If you have to wait too long, you might as well make a really low offer, and take your chances”. Further, he said; “The world is really more about making things better than you find them…… than it is about getting lucky”.
He remembered the day when he asked his Uncle ; ” How can you say that something speaks to you and not me?”. Charlie turned with a smile and shared; “That, my boy, is why I make the big bucks!”
Eli left it at that, knowing he was just getting his leg pulled. But…..
One day he and Charlie were on a call, and Charlie had followed the customer into the house when Eli heard a kind of squeak coming from the corner over near the furnace.
Well, it was not unusual to find mice running around in basements, and hiding in boxes.
Then it happened again, but sounded more like “heeer”. He moved toward the boxes, and carefully sorted through two of them……when his eyes caught the glitter of a jewel covered vase. He pulled it out and admired the markings.
That’s it ! He whispered; “Charlie was right, things can speak!”
What he did not know, having placed the vase back where it was, that it was a “Tiffany.”
We were talking big bucks, as it was part of the purchase of the whole lot for $200.00. The vase brought $400.00; the remainder brought about $1000.00 at the auction. This was the event of “his first commission”. He became a really good listener hoping to score big, but his ears failed him most of the time in the future.
He found the other part of Charlie’s advise to be more true, more predictable; that we cannot go through life depending on luck. “It takes spit and polish”.
Except now, as an 18 year old…. he found that it can work both ways.
An old 1959 Chevy pickup, screamed like bloody murder at him from a vacant lot…… Now beautiful, thanks to a lot of hard work … it’s purring like a kitten. And, It’s a keeper.
And Eli thought, “So was his Uncle Charlie a keeper”. He loved him just the way he came…..Dents …..and all…… feeling that God will do the work of any further restoration……….. if really needed.
He had already rebuilt his amazing Engine!