This issue of Southern Exposure is devoted to real estate. When I learned this, it brought back so many memories of growing up in a real estate family.

My dad was a broker, and my mom worked with him. When my dad passed away, my older brother took over Chapman Realty, which continues today with the company primarily being an appraisal company.

My younger brother started his own realty company, Buckaneer Realty. An appropriate name since he is named Buck! His wife joined him in the company, and they continue today. Buck’s daughter did not go into the sales end but has her own appraisal company.

So, you might ask, how in the world did I wind up in the broadcasting business?

Truth is, I was collecting bills for my dad one day, and the owner of the local radio station asked me if I had ever thought about working in broadcasting. I had not, but the thought of working for someone else other than my dad was appealing! So, I was out of my dad’s business and into a world that would become my life and my career.

My dad grew up during the Great Depression and was a big believer in owning property. His advice to his children was own some property. His thinking was if you own land you can grow your own food and have a roof over your head. Somehow in this crazy year we’re in, that advice makes really good sense.

In addition to our house in town and his adjoining business, dad, through his real estate dealings, had a lake house and a small farm. The lake house was a true place of joy for our family through the years. We all became good water skiers, enjoyed moonlight cruises on the lake and fishing. We had so much fun at the lake house that I wish we still owned it. The house was sold after the death of my mother. Both brothers had their own properties on the lake, and my sister and I lived too far away to take advantage of the property and keep it updated.

Another property that was not as much fun was my daddy’s farm. His mid-life crisis was to buy a small farm and grow some cattle. I think he had forgotten how much work that was going to be and how time consuming, which took him away from the family. In addition to cattle and some gardening, dad wanted to grow his own hay, and we boys got the opportunity to put the bales away in a barn. If you have never hauled hay, I do not recommend it! It is hot work, and getting straw shafts under your clothing is miserable!

One evening after coming home from a date, mom was still up and worried about dad, who had not come home from his farm. Dad had a heart condition, and she was concerned something had happened to him. We got in my car and headed for the farm. As we approached the cutoff road from the main highway, mom said, “cut your lights off.” In the distance, we could see tractor headlights. Daddy was still on his tractor cutting hay late into the night.

The only good thing I can say about the farm is we ate really well. Steaks and burgers, plenty of beef. But I was really glad when dad sold that farm! Good for him, and certainly better for me and my younger brother.

Not long after that, my daddy died much too young, but the real estate business continued as I mentioned under my older brother’s leadership along with mom there with him. Mom loved the business, and until her death, she loved advising Angela and me on our home purchases. She would check out houses and tell us what to ask and what to look for in accessories she thought were important. In our current home, mom thought we needed a built-in ironing board. So, she bought one to have installed as our house was being built. Angela is still grateful.

When I retired from broadcasting, I thought about going into real estate. After all, I should have some understanding of the business, and maybe the name recognition could be an asset. But it was not to be. That was probably a good decision for me and for potential home buyers.

Real estate is hard work — don’t let anyone sell it short. You have to be willing to work long hours and be a good negotiator. On the flip side, you meet a lot of nice people and share in their joy of home ownership. So, here’s a “tip of the hat” to all the Realtors! You are appreciated.

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