Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Meet My Crew

Who are F&L Builders you ask? Well they are three colleagues of mine who all teach in the Iowa City Community Schools, and do construction on the side. Here's a little bit about each of them:

I've known Pete the longest, he and I go back to 1985. He teaches 7th grade language arts, and is an incredible teacher and writer. I helped Pete put a screened porch on the back of his house in 1989 or so, it was a brutally hot summer, and we learned a lot in doing it. Pete is the communications director of F&L, handles contacts with the trades, and is very much the organized one. He spends a lot of time thinking about improvements to the plans, and is fond of saying "If low e windows were available to the craftsman era builders, I'm sure they would have used them."

Nice uniforms!

Taryl is Pete's teaching partner, at the junior high language arts and social studies classes are blocked together back to back. He is a midwestern farm kid who started working construction as a teenager. Besides building he was also a firefighter before deciding to get into a little less physically strenuous line of work (boy was he wrong in his choices). Taryl is the voice of experience, goes at everything with a gusto, and has great tools.

John is also a latecomer to teaching, he is a Chicago Art Institute grad, who worked as a finish carpenter before getting teaching certification. He has gone between assignments in art and industrial technology (read SHOP). John is my fellow old house lover having completely re-habbed one great old place before buying the one next to it and starting over. He is a great generalist, competent in wiring, building, and finish work. John has spent a fair amount of time at Foxcroft commenting that "There certainly are a lot of different ways you can wire a double switch." We were looking at a ceiling box that had five other wires running out of it at the time.

So why the name F&L? Pete's idea of course, as a committed Hunter Thompson fan, it stand for "Fear and Loathing."


Anonymous said...

The actual history of the name F&L Builders is that it started out standing for Fast and Loose back when I/we did smaller, less complicated jobs for people for basically "tool money." I had an early client that wanted a bill on letterhead for tax purposes so I came up with the name and a logo. Then I went through a period where I used F&L for fear and loathing in homage to Hunter S. Thompson. I often think that there is simply too much normalcy in the world and maybe in my life so I was trying to remind myself to keep it a little weird. But it can become a little ackward when a potential client asks what the F and L in F&L Builders stands for and you tell them. Then one day when someone asked what the F and L stood for, Taryl just said, "Faith and Love." I like to think of it this way; Have Faith in our work and in the end, you will Love it! That being said, Taryl and I do have matching jackets from Rigid Tool Company (gotta love that name, right?!) that are custom-embrodiered with the names Duke (me) and Gonzo (Taryl). HST fans will understand.


muirsmail said...

this is a site that we're going to watch intently as the project progresses. It brings back an old story told by a city guy from New York who bought an old house in connecticut and hired a couple of "locals" to renovate it. "Mr. Blandings builds his dream house" Ww hope this turns out better. Waiting for future posts with bated breaths.

Mike said...

"Mr. Blanding's Dream House" was also the name of a local rock band. I don't think they're together any more, but I really liked the name!

Anonymous said...

Are the rumors true that the Magic Bus will be in your yard this fall?

Mike said...

Now there's a thought! I've cleared enough area in the front that I could put it below the steps in front.

The first home game is Laurel's 4th birthday (Sept. 3) She is telling everyone her birthday is Iowa Game Day without realizing what it means. The neighbor has promised that he will arrange it so that Laurel will hear the marching band playing on her birthday.