So, there I was, living in my own apartment with CP and thinking what the heck have I done? It was sure a sign of what was yet to come because things never really got much better.
CP always talked about what a good mechanic he was; all I ever heard was “shop talk” when he and the cousins got together. Boring. He had fixed my car a time or two, and I really didn’t think much of it. He was really interested in opening his own auto shop. How the heck could he possibly open his own shop with no money? Did he think he could just start moving cars into a shop and start working on them? He must have. I don’t know how he did it but he conned the owner of a shop into renting it to him. I think it was because his cousin also rented from him so the owner thought it was safe. Haha.
So, I tried to be as supportive as I possibly could. I showed interest and excitement. I helped him paint the shop office. I don’t know why that was so important. It had a decent paint job already. When I got off work every afternoon, I went to the shop and sat in the office answering the phone. It didn’t ring much. Hahaha. It cost too much to put ads in the paper, in the phone book, etc. Word of mouth is how he got jobs. The thing is when you get a job to do you actually have to work on it. At one point he had 6 vehicles on the shop floor. Those vehicles were there until the owners got tired of waiting for him to get the work done. One VW Bug sat there for a year before the owner came and got it. I felt so bad for these people!!
Eventually, I washed my hands of the entire operation. I got tired of calls from irate car owners day after day. They would be angrier every day because CP would never call them back! He didn’t call them back because he wasn’t doing the work. He wasn’t doing the work because he was always “shootin’ the shit” with his cousins. I mean, geesh. If you want to take a break now and then is one thing but to spend entire days just talking?! You don’t make any money if you don’t do the work!
This whole time CP had the shop, the financial burden fell on me. He wasn’t making any money and we were eating bologna sandwiches and ramen noodles, day in and day out. It’s pretty bad when all your paycheck goes to paying rent, utilities, other bills and gas for the car and you only have about $50 for food for the entire month! Boy, does that get old fast! I was ready to strangle CP because he wasn’t pulling his weight! I was so very happy when he finally got kicked out of that shop!!
Fast forward, years later…1992. When my kids and I left him — he made sure to tell people (I had eyes and ears back home) that the reason his shop failed was that “Deb stole all my money!” What freakin’ money?? He’s damn lucky I was in MO because I would have cold-cocked him upside the head if I were still there!
To be continued…..