Terry Love Bio: things I do, have done, want to do

Discussion in 'Terry's Corner' started by Terry, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    I'm thinking I should put a Bio on here of the things I've done, many of which started me on my journey of providing advice on construction topics. I could say it started with fetching loose nails off construction sites and making tree houses out of what I scavenged. Or making carts with wheels that I could ride down hills on. Maybe it was building cities with blocks, or assembling cabins out of Lincoln logs. Chopping fire wood for my parents which they let me do when I turned six. There was always a handy axe I could use next to the wood pile.

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    Terry Love in 1975

    This is me when I started plumbing. I was 6'-1" and weighed 155 pounds. I entered high school at 115 and exited at 155. I was 155 until I was 28 years old. As much as I tried, I couldn't put on any weight. I thought I was going to be a rock star, writing songs and playing my guitar. But I wasn't really sure I could pull that off, so I kept my day jobs. Before I started in plumbing, I worked eight years in bicycle shops as a mechanic. I was getting pretty good using both hands to turn wrenches and use tools. I could also bat left and right. It didn't really matter. That would come in handy for plumbing as I watched the other plumbers looking handicapped and having to do everything with only their right hand. What a waste I thought. With plumbing, they put a lot of things on the left, so why not use the left hand for those? I also passed the real estate exam to be a realtor. I passed it and then only lasted a little while longer before moving on.

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    With my dad, Judge Melvin V Love

    My first job had been mowing lawns for the neighbors, and baby sitting. I was ten years old and getting 25 cents an hour. Sure, who wouldn't trust a 10 year old to watch your kids while you went out? I started doing a paper route at ten too. That lasted until I started in the bicycle shop at 15. My brother in-law got me that first job. He had noticed that I had pulled my 10 speed apart, painted the frame and then reassembled it making it look brand new. I was always making things, whether it was car models, or making toy boats out of what I could make from the wood pile. I had combinations of wood to use, and I found the cedar to be nice and soft and easy to carve. As a first and second grader, there were always some nice sharp knives I could find for that.

    Lucky for me during first and second grade, I noticed that my family had art books that explained composition, and books on skiing and how that's done. The art books were very helpful later on for my photography, movie making and water color lessons. I had access to a dark room in fourth grade and I was able to print photos whenever I wanted to. In junior high I bought a movie camera and equipment to splice and edit film. Violin also started in fourth grade.

    In 5th grade, during the time that Seattle was having it's World's Fair that I started off the school year by playing tackle football after school with the neighborhood kids. September 14th, while running the ball my older brother, James Packard Love, tackled me snapping my right femur in two. Lucky for me, my brother was also a boy scout and before the medics came had spun my leg back into position. The leg needed to be twisted back 180 degrees so that the toes were facing the right way again. I didn't find out until recently that they were considering taking the leg off at the hip. There was something wrong with the bone in that location, and it was either cut off the leg, or try grafting in a cow bone and seeing if that would work. It had never been done, but the doctor and my father thought it was worth trying. I spent six weeks in the hospital sharing the room with adult roommates, some of them smoking which I found very annoying. I didn't see any kids my age until I left the hospital. That's a long time for someone ten years old to hang out with adults only. Finally they did the operation and inserted the cow bone, putting me in a body cast. What is a body cast? It goes from the toes, yes I could wiggle my toes, and to just under my arm pits. I could not bend my foot, my knee or my leg at the hip. I couldn't even bend my back. I had just become the only real "cow-boy" in history.

    More later, it's time for dinner.

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    1967 Lake Quesnel in Canada. Me on the left and Randy on the right.

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    Me on the chainsaw. No shoes, no problems.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2004
    Occupation:
    Plumber
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    Realizing that the guys at my church were earning a lot more than me was driving me a little nuts. I was working with tools, they were working with tools. They were getting three times more than me. I was getting my hair cut from my friend Dennis Unger and in the next chair was the wife of the largest plumbing company on the Eastside at that time. I mentioned to her that I would love to be a plumber. She told her husband, Gail Bellows and that was my first job working for a plumbing company. However, it wasn't that easy. They were from Yakima, I was from Bellevue, and they thought that hard work would be too much for me. Forget that I had a paper route at ten, and walked miles with papers on my shoulders in the rain and snow. I was from Bellevue and must be soft. Forget that I did five day hikes with the scouts across the Olympic Mountains in Junior High hiking 10 miles a day up and down mountain passes, I was from Bellevue, they were from Yakima. I was given a job driving the flatbed truck picking up material for the plumbers. That lasted six months before they put me out as a helper. Physically I was fine as they were about to find out. In the bicycle shop I commuted to work on my bike. I averaged 20 miles an hour on it. Most people do about 10. I had grown up as one of five boys and two sisters. All very competitive. I was about to let all that loose on them. The company was Crown Custom. At the end of my time with them, they had at least 150 plumbers and that many electricians too. That was the Monarch Electric side of the business. When that went through rough times, I became one of the shareholders of Phoenix Mechanical, rising from the ashes of Crown Custom.

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    My brother Randy Love on the left, Bruce Martin center and Terry Love on the right. Camp Parsons where we hiked from Dosewallips to Hurricane Ridge. They don't even show that as a hike, as a lot of the way is just over snow in the Summer. There is no trail for much of the way. Very few people have ever been there. Five days and about fifty miles. 1967
    Along the was we passed McCartney Peak and Lake Lillian

    After working at Crown for a while, one of the owners brothers had me transferred over to work with him, running copper. That was Glenn Bellows. He informed me that it was him that had told his older brother to stick me in the warehouse at the beginning. Duh, I was from Bellevue. He wanted me though now, because of the record keeping that showed that whoever I worked with was quick and I didn't have call backs. He now wanted that speed working for him. I leaned a lot about waste and vents working with him. And yes we raced doing tasks. I loved running up the boards that replaced the stairs that hadn't been built yet. I loved the springiness of that as I sprang up them. I could grab the rafters and swing myself up into the attic space and skip hauling a ladder out there. At one point Glenn Ross mentioned that he could break a hole in 8" concrete with seven swings of a sledge hammer. That was amazing I thought. So intrigued, I now was working on my swing and I got it down to five blows. Late thirties I was kicked off a softball team for unsportsmanlike conduct for hitting the ball too hard at infielders. I later learned to miss the infielders instead of trying to blow them up. That team was with the Burnsteads, Rick and Steve. They were home builders.

    After two years they gave me a van to plumb out of on my own and then worked me into a two man crew and then three. My supervisor went on vacation one week and I got a different one while he was gone. We were pretty cocky, my crew, and we were the ones to beat. We were plumbing five three bath homes a week and getting back to the shop early at that. My replacement supervisor didn't like the bragging we were doing. Me brag? Heaven forbid! Haha. Hey, it was a way to get my guys to really bring it. It's more fun to feel like you're winning than to just put in the time. So this guys solution was to fire me for being cocky. He took me into the president of the company to explain that as a Christian, it was his duty to fire the plumber that was too cocky. Yeah, except the president of the company looked at him and said he wasn't about to fire the fastest plumber they had. That was a win for me, and a loss for the supervisor. I think he didn't like the fact that I had come up with my own layouts that used less pipe and fittings, and even the home builders were pointing that out to him. He later left plumbing for the phone companies, as a supervisor of course.
    A few years later, Glen, the plumber that thought I wouldn't be able to plumb? I became his boss at another plumbing company. Merit Mechanical. I learned a lot from him, and I have always considered him a good friend.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
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  4. AfroJoJo

    AfroJoJo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2017
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Interesting
     
  5. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Your bio could be made into a movie.

    There are some unemployed movie executives in Hollywood, like Harvey Weinstein, and one of them might see an opportunity here.

    Eagerly waiting to Chapter 3.
     
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