Our monthly series, “Employee Stories,” where we uncover the unique journeys of our exceptional team members. This time, we learn about the personal path one member took from model maker to handyman!
Curious about the ways individuals acquire skills and knowledge? Allow me to recount my personal journey and share my journey to a livelihood as a handyman.
As a kid, I loved building models. I think my favorite model was my B17 or possibly my B29. Although, I had many model ships and cars, including the a car from the Munsters TV show. Tinkering, and building things just seems like how I passed time. Tinker Toys, Legos, Erector-Sets, Lincoln Logs from as early as I can remember. About age ten, a buddy and I built a bicycle from parts we scavenged and named it McMudd because of all the mud and puddles we planned to ride it through. I lived near a forest, my back yard really, where me and my friends would build tree houses, and forts.
My dad was an engineer for Chrysler. I didn’t have any idea what that meant or what he did, but in the end, I suppose his analytical thinking and understanding of design was passed down to me. I was fascinated with isometric drawings and learning how to use a T-square. I took a drafting class in middle school. I took wood shop, metal shop, auto shop and an electronics class in high school.
At age twelve we moved to California for my dad’s new position as a maintenance manager at a property for our Faith. Living at the church camp, I was soon involved with laying water pipes, fixing minor issues in guest cabins. I helped install water tanks, build sheds, upgrade guest rooms. We built a new classroom. I was being exposed and included in a variety of building projects. In my 20’s I became full time carpenter building a new auditorium. I laid the hardwood on the stage, managed the final installation of the HVAC system, ran the cabling for the audio from the control room to the stage, tilled the bathrooms and help build several retaining walls, side walks and concrete stairways.
In college I received a BSEE and stepped into a career with telephone headsets. I worked in that industry over 20 years learning computer technologies, manufacturing, quality control, and technical support. Over those years I put all I had learned in construction into renovation my family home inside and out. I also built a custom computer desk for a friend.
Over the years, whether in my professional office career or in my circle of friends, I seemed to be the go to person for help, advice or direct repair.
Looking back it was clear how my Faith emphasized work in the spirit of service, and the 19 years that I lived and served at the church camp helped me learn the joy of serving others. I enjoyed the satisfaction that comes from helping others and witnessing their joy and happiness that I had helped solve a problem.
When I settled in Benicia, I wasn’t ready to retire, and I needed a way to earn a living without commuting back to the South Bay Area for an office career. With all the experience life had given me it seemed obvious, I decided to offer myself as a handyman. Being a handymen turns out to be a perfect combination of creativity, construction, problem solving, and service for others. Creating a company to allow those who love carpentry and making others happy seemed like a perfect next step. Now as part of Handymen, staying busy is fun, and helping others is more fulfilling than I could ever imagine.