CHAPTER 30 You'd Be Surprised

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Copyright 2015 Chris Smith  All rights reserved.

"Hey Chuck. I wanted to check in and reconfirm that you had all your belongings out of the house?" Larry, the real estate agent for Parcel A, asked.

"Yes, we do. We still have all the plants that my wife goes over to water."

"Okay. That's fine," said Larry.

"Listen, the Bank has come up with a figure that they want the property listed at. It's five hundred and ninety five thousand dollars [U.S.]," Larry said.

It wasn't a huge reduction, which meant the Bank still wanted and expected to get all their money back. But it wasn't money we had.

"I'm in the process of moving myself," Larry told Dad on the phone.

"Really?" Dad said.

"Yes, and I feel very anxious about it. I can't imagine having to move under your circumstances, without losing my mind."

"Well, I've almost lost it a couple times," Dad told him.

"I don't think I would have been able to hold it together," Larry said to him.

People say "Oh, I could never do that."

I'd say, most people have no idea what they can really do. It's amazing what you'll do when you think something, whatever that is for you, is worth the fighting for. You'll go through Hell for it, right to the bitter and bloody end, if that's what it takes.

Dad had a trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA, that afternoon for two critical business meetings, relating to one of our projects on U.S. Special Operation Forces History. We hoped the meetings would bring us closer to funding and help dig us out of the dark financial hole we were in.

Dad's been collecting veterans' history for over twenty years. One of his Dreams was to pass that history along to future generations, so that the personal stories aren't lost forever when those veterans pass away. He believes the key, is to interest the youth.

At first, he started thinking of making documentaries. We came to realize, after dealing with a few documentaries, no matter how great they are it's not where the big exposure or money is.

It's been a daunting project. People think it's a great idea. But believing something is a good idea and putting money behind it are worlds apart. Big companies talk a good game but where they put actual dollars and resources is a whole different scene.

Dad's been doing the project over the span of years without getting paid for his time or equipment because the project itself wasn't able to secure funding. It was one reason why we were in foreclosure. Another reason was September 11, 2001.

My Parents were entrepreneurs. Most of the funding for their projects came from my Mom and the Farm. They kept projects moving, despite not making money because that's what you do when you believe in something. You put it all on the line for your Dreams.

The first mortgage Mom put on the property helped fun, in part, a documentary film Dad convinced her to invest in. The project turned into a soap opera drama with the producers taking the film hostage. They felt my Parents were lying about the money they'd invested in the film. So Mom did her research, from Quicken, matching the bank statements to money transfers and checks they wrote for the film. I'd seen the financial reports. My Parents weren't lying about the money they'd invested. I don't know if other investors in the film ever got a return or even their money back. But my Parents never saw a dime. So while the film had been made, thanks to some of Mom's money along with other investors, Mom's Parcel on the Family Farm was still on the line for the money she took from the Bank, to invest in the film, and hadn't been able to pay back.

It was interesting that the U.S. Government was taking an interest in history. Over the last few years the U.S. Library of Congress started collecting veterans' histories to preserve them in their archive, which is noteworthy. However, their idea of collection and ours were different. Plus they lacked the ability or interest to do anything with all those stories. Preservation is great. It's important.

If all you do is preserve, and do nothing to pass along, then who exactly are you preserving it for?

Just for the sake of preserving?

Seems like a waste to me if it's not shared.

Who is the most important market?

The youth market. They're still deciding, understanding, and figuring out who they are and what they want. They need role models and the veterans are an untapped source of inspiring stories. Not that going to war is inspiring. But our veterans have some of the most jaw dropping tales of overcoming insurmountable odds and surviving.

So Dad was off to Vegas. He'd just bought his roundtrip plane ticket and made the room reservation the day before. It ended up overdrawing his bank account to do it. But his Bank allowed the purchase, which we all thought was amazing. Whoo hoo!

Now Mom and I were left with no money, until Dad got back. We'd just have to figure out a way to make do with what little we had. He was going to be reimbursed for his travel expenses, not paid for his time. It wasn't much, but at least we wouldn't be further in the financial hole.


"I wake up every morning and thank God I don't have a job. I don't want anyone else telling me when to get up, what to do, where to go."

Bob Proctor

Author, Motivational Speaker, Coach

(1935- )


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