"My family immigrated to America in the 1880s and settled in Nebraska. We were farmers for the first 80 years or so, but back in the 1960s my Great Grandma decided she was going sell the entire farm before she died and simply give her sons 1/3 of money for inheritance when she passed (she had 3 sons)
In 1969 my Great Grandma passed, and her 3 sons inherited the money she had earned from selling the farm. My grandpa decided he would basically let that money sit until after he retired from the Military."
"In 1971 he deployed to Vietnam for his 2nd and final deployment. At the end of his deployment he returned to Nebraska and retired after 22 years in the service. Now he had an old chevy truck at the time and was in the process of building a concrete business with the money he had gotten from his inheritance."
"Well during this time, his truck engine blew up. My grandpa was busy at the time and he didn’t want to fool with the truck cause he was busy. So he bought himself the engine he wanted to replace it with, which was an upgrade and he went down to the only garage in town and asked them if they’d be willing to put the engine in the truck. They agreed on a price, and told him to come back in a week or so.
A week later my Grandpa comes back and picks up the truck, he admits he felt like a fool for not double-checking the work but assumed since this was the son of his friend that the son would do right by him. This was a small town."
"Well my Grandpa opens up the concrete business, and he’s busy, and it comes time for his first oil change. This is about 4 months after he got the truck back. He’s doing the oil change and he notices that the engine he bought, isn’t the engine in his truck. Its a smaller engine. This obviously pisses him off to high heaven as my Grandma liked to say."
"So he storms on down to the garage and talks to shop, Earl was the owner. Earl comes out, and denies any wrong doing. Says he did as he was told, and it shouldn’t have taken him 4 months to bring the issue up. My Grandpa tells Earl he needs to do whats right. Earl refuses.
It’s important to note, this is a small town. Written contracts, and so forth really isn’t a thing. Your worth is your word.
My Grandpa tells Earl he’s going get him for this. Earl laughs and tells him to leave his shop."
"My Grandpa goes down to the county and requests the record for who owns that gas station. Turns out its a old family friend named Harold.
My Grandpa stops by Harold’s house and starts inquiring about the business deal Harold has with Earl. Harold says well Earl rents the gas station/garage from him. My Grandpa asks Harold how is everything going, and Harold confides that Earl hasn’t paid his rent in 2 months. My Grandpa asks “Do you have a written lease with Earl?” to which Harold goes “nah, I sure don’t” my Grandpa then asks “What if I bought the gas station/garage from you?”"
"Harold isn’t completely on board with the idea, but my Grandpa makes a strong point. Earl isn’t paying his rent, Harold doesn’t seem like he has much interest in being a landlord anymore, and my Grandpa has the cash to buy the place outright.
Harold sensing something is up, asks my Grandpa “Did Earl do something to you? You seem awfully interested in this garage, ain’t you busy with that concrete business of yours?” and my Grandpa fills Harold in on the story."
"My Grandpa also mentions that he has a son (my father) who needs something to do, and he’d be happy to buy the whole building from Harold for a fair price, and what happens after that is his business.
Also its important to note, when Harold decided to rent this business to Earl, in that deal went all the equipment, and tools that Harold had acquired over the years so those belonged to the building. Harold and my Grandpa came to a number that they both agreed on."
"A few days later my Grandpa paid Harold in cash, in full for the business. The paperwork is done and my Grandpa is now the proud owner of a gas station and mechanics shop.
Now my Grandpa senses that Earl ain’t going be to pleased when my Grandpa fires Earl so for extra good measure my Grandpa calls up the local sheriff who is a high school friend and asks the Sheriff to come with him to break the news to Earl."
"So my Grandpa and the Sheriff go down to Earls now former business and they walk in and before my Grandpa can even say hello Earl says “Now I told you, I didn’t cheat you” my grandpa smiles and says “I’m not here about my truck, I’m here to fire you”
Earl with a look of confusion on his face asks “You can’t fire me! I own this business” My Grandpa shows him the title and says “I’m now the owner of this building” to which Earl fires back “But I got a deal with Harold!” and the Sheriff speaks up “You do? Do you have a lease?”"
"“Well no Earl says” to which the Sheriff smiles and says “In that case, your going need to take your stuff and leave” Earl is fuming pissed, grabs his tool box and storms out.
My Grandpa ended up hiring the mechanic that would occasionally work on his trucks at his concrete business , he had my aunt and Grandma run the gas station full time and my dad would work there after school.
We owned that Garage for 25 years before my Grandpa sold it to someone else."