This is my two hundred and ninth monthly teaching letter and continues my eighteenth year of publication. In the last letter, WTL #208, I was explaining how it took me two years in my own barber business to get well enough established in Fostoria, Ohio to start living comfortably. During these same two years I actually sacrificed about one year in lost income, in comparison to what I would have earned at the Hotel Barber Shop in Bowling Green, Ohio for that period.
By 1956 between my wife’s income from working in the office at the Seneca Wire Mill Company, along with my receipts from barbering, we were doing well enough that we were starting to consider building ourselves a house, but we weren’t doing well enough financially to buy a house already built. So our only other alternative was to buy a lot and build a house, portion by portion, as we could afford it. Again, we were working on a shoestring, so to speak. We started by purchasing a lot in an area that others, at the time, wouldn’t consider, but we took a chance that in the future the area would be built up with new homes, and that is what happened. So we paid $100 down on a lot, and $25 a month until it was paid for. We then found out if the lot was paid for, we could get a ready-cut house for 10% down, and Sterling Homes would finance and send most of what we needed, except for the foundation, plumbing, wiring, and concrete. We got up the 10%, and we were on our way, but I had to build the house myself.
That meant that I had to rearrange my hours at my barber business to gain the time I needed to build our house, and I had to gamble that my business wouldn’t suffer all that much. I was in the barber’s union at that time, and all the other union barbers in town were working from 8.00 A.M. until 6.00 P.M. five days a week, plus Wednesday from 8.00 A.M. until 12.00 noon. Before this time I had chosen to close to all day on Wednesday, making it a five day week for me. I found out by closing all day Wednesday, the greater part of the usual Wednesday customers would show up on Thursday. So I decided to start opening up four full days a week, being closed all day on Monday and all day Wednesday. It worked as I had gambled it would, as the greater part of the usual Monday customers showed up on Tuesday.