New Venture

Recently I told you about two college boys who are graduating and don’t have a clue about what to do with their lives.  If you recall I suggested they do an eBay consignment business. Even though they seemed interested they were not jumping up and down.  I offered to loan them $1,000 to get things off the ground.  It was a loan.

Last night about 7pm the gate phone rang. It was the boys wanting to come up to the house. I have a locked gate with a solar panel to run the keeper operation. You know, one of those kind you punch numbers to get in. It was the boys. They wanted to talk. I was finishing up my blog so I gave them the code to come my way.

They looked like two four year olds on an Easter egg hunt. They were bubbling with excitement. I poured them each a tall, cold glass of buttermilk and one for myself. I’m sure the buttermilk was just what they were wanting. You should have seen their faces drop when I plopped the two glasses in front of them. Then they took a sip. The buttermilk converted them. I got the feeling they had never drank buttermilk.

Before I could ask the boy who played ball said, “Mr. Cooper, we want to do it. We got to talking around and there is a real need. People don’t here don’t know how to sell online. We can fill a real need.”

The other kid jumped in, “You were right about the old JC Penny store. The landlord said you had talked to him. Thank you for softening him up. He said he would give us six months free rent if we would clean up the place. After six months our rent would be $250 a month.”

I slipped in, “You will need shelves.”

“No sir. That’s the beauty of that location. The old store is filled with shelves, because it was a mail order location. People ordered and then picked up their products in the store. It’s perfect. My daddy knows a guy who makes signs. The sign maker owes my dad for a loan he made a couple of years ago. Dad said he would let the sign painter pay off his debt by making us a sign.”

“Then how much money will you need to borrow?” I asked.

The ball player answered,  “Maybe $200 for some fees. We will have to see.  But before we take your money, we want to see if we can get in there and set up on what we have. We had rather not start out in debt.  But if you have some tack or trinkets you would like to sell, we will sure take them on consignment.”

How refreshing to see two young men who don’t think the world owes them a living. I assured them I did have a few old saddles and odds and ends  ‘stuff’ they could sell for me. I cautioned not to expect sterling results the first week.

The non football player was a motor mouth, “Mr. Cooper, we are going to use Craigs List for things we think locals can use. Etsy.com seems to be a good place for crafts and there is another auction site called Bonanzle.com.  We have been doing our home work. eBay will be our main focus, but we plan to experiment with these other sites.”

Before I could ask how they planned on advertising the football players butted in, “We have it figured out on how we will let people know. We are printing  1,000 flyers and we will tack them to light posts and the in store windows of those who will let us. We plan to visit all the churches and let them know about our service.  Churches are always in the need of money. We will enlist items to auction for charities.”

They had more ideas than they had time to tell me. I finally told them I had to finish a painting and to let me know when they needed money. The taller kid said, “Give a man a fish and feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.  Mr. Cooper you have taught us to fish. We each own a desktop and laptop. That gives us four computers. We just needed an idea to follow.  We hope not to take a fish from you, you have taught us how to catch our own.”

I slept well knowing we still have quality young men and women in America. They will do well, because they have the right attitude.They were still throwing ideas at me as I pushed them out the door. Bandit, my dog, looked them over and I could tell he approved.  As they were getting in an older pickup truck the tall kid shouted back, “Thank you Mr. Cooper for the buttermilk.  That was a real treat.”

I knew then there was hope for them. Anyone who loves buttermilk has to be good people (smile).  Think I’ll go pour me a tall, cold glass and heat up a slice of cornbread in the microwave.

Forgive me for not talking politics tonight. My brain is overloaded with Washington, DC and our lack of leadership.  I’m one tired broken down cowboy. Tomorrow we will face the battles again.   Good night,  Will <><

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