Chapter 159

I went immediately over to the gym after changing. I still had not heard a word about today’s activities. Everything was buzzing with activity. Kim was working the cash window. The lobby was full of people waiting for tans. With the graduation season upon us the perfect tan was a must.

I looked into the training room – Jamie was about half way through her course with this group of five. I quietly closed the door and went upstairs. There were three sitting at the meeting table with a stack of paperwork. Marcy came out of her office and must have read my mind.

“The last one is with the doc and the other with Jason and Courtney. So far they have all checked out quite well, are very interested and appear to really want the jobs. I have the room keys for them. They are two to a room, all with double beds over at the Holiday East. Having the four women in this group worked out well,” she said.

“I know you wanted to take this group to the mats to see how athletic they are but I have an interruption to that. Donald Horsey owns the property on the back side of the gym. He wants to meet in an hour with you and me about the property. Ching Lee will fill in for you while he is here. She wants the two of you to warm up on the mats before this group is finished, I think in about fifteen minutes,” Marcy said.

“Have her hands healed enough for her to do that?” I asked.

“The doctor cleared her this morning. She says she is ready to work you over,” Marcy replied with a wink.

“Corry and Roseanne asked if there was any study material they could have to prep for their interview on Monday. I think they really want the work,” I said.

“I have learned the hard way that there was a lot of truth in the statement when you said, ‘The younger you hire them the easier it is to train them like you want them.’ Some of the experienced temps and help I hired still are not where I want them to be and resist doing things the way I want unless I get firm with them,” she said. “Call them and have them stop by tomorrow. I will put something together for them.“

“They both were in the running for the debating team until the last round and were really good in a lot of areas. I know they are good at putting reports and data together.”

I met Ching Lee at the lockers and suited up. After a few warm up moves, we were on the mats. Normally we would start out with the light stuff, disarming each other with fake knives, a rubber gun or an assortment of other kinds of weapons used on the street. We would then work our way up to the more advanced stuff, ending with the pogo sticks with the leather ball on each end.

Today she wanted to start with them and started out aggressive. Within minutes we were both huffing and puffing. We had both been knocked on our ass several times. When we finally called break we had a large audience, including the four female applicants. We had been at it for over fifteen minutes.

As Ching Lee and I took off the heavy padding, I spoke to the four ladies. “What we are trying to find out here on the mats is what kind of self defense training program we need to put together for you to be proficient. It will have no bearing on the decision to hire or pass over you today,” I said.

“Ching Lee and I will demonstrate then each of you will get your chance to act and react with her accordingly,” I said.

Ching Lee produced a rubber knife and we began to play off each other’s moves. She was thrusting, swiping and jabbing. I was blocking, dodging, and staying clear. When we ended a move in a hold and a stalemate one of us shouted, “Clear” and we both jumped back to start again.

We stopped and motioned to two of the candidates to come onto the mats. I had not been introduced to any of them yet. I only knew them from names on a temporary id tag. I felt a little bad about that but that would soon be corrected after the meeting with Mr. Horsey.

We were just about to start when I was paged to come to the office. I met Donald Horsey in the lobby and escorted him upstairs to Marcy’s office. I was toweling sweat from the heavy exercise off as best I could. I would have loved to have had a quick shower first.

After the introductions, Mr. Horsey began, “My wife and I moved to Arizona ten years ago for health reasons. We came up for the funeral of my brother and his wife. They were both killed in an auto accident on the beach highway near Rehoboth, Delaware. Neither one should have been driving anymore.”

“I have been trying to get my wife to agree to sell the property. Every time she agrees, by the time I get things set up with a realtor she changes her mind. We have been stuck in traffic every day at the beach where we are staying. We went to Annapolis and were stuck in another traffic jam coming over the bay bridge for 6 hours, an accident or something. She has agreed to sell again. I want a fast sale before she changes her mind again,” he said. “We have no reason to come back here anymore.”

“I was surprised to see this place booming when we stopped at the house a couple of times. I am hoping you might be interested in buying the property for expansion on a quick sale. There are four acres just like the lot this place is on, long and narrow, with the house next to the highway. The house is 30 years out of date. I’m sure everything needs to be replaced. We were getting ready to remodel when we were forced to move to a hot dry area,” he said.

“I have a copy of the deed, tax documents, and parcel numbers so you can check it out if you are interested. I want $125000 an acre; $500 thousand total. I know it would bring a lot more if we put it in capable hands but that could take months and maybe side-lined again,” he said.

”May I borrow the deed and lot number for a minute?” I asked.

I went to Jason’s office where he and Jenny were going over the day’s interview data. “Can you check right now to see if this property is free and clear and also who the rightful owner is and where?” I asked Jason and Jenny.

“Take about ten minutes. We will call you as soon as we find out,” Jenny said.

When I was seated with Mr. Horsey I asked about Mrs. Horsey.

“She is down in the car waiting. I will bring her up,” he replied.

I assumed she was elderly and was right but she was spry one. When we were in the lobby I asked if she wanted any kind of drink or refreshment.

“That would be nice,” Shirley, as she liked to be called, replied. I led her into the gym and to the refreshment and gave her a menu. I had politely asked him what he wanted telling the gym was ladies only at the time as I handed him a menu. He chose a fruity drink. When I returned she had changed chairs and was watching the activities in the gym.

“I ordered one of those decadent strawberry smoothies. It sounds delicious,” she said. “What are those ladies doing out there?” as she pointed to the mats.

“We have the contract to supply security for Frost Borough College in western Maryland. We are interviewing to fill those positions today. They are being evaluated to see what kind of additional training they are going to need,” I replied as her large strawberry smoothie was delivered.

I carried that drink and his as we made our way upstairs. Marcy was in the process of explaining to Mr. Horsey what all the big screens were telling us. When she got to the one about the charter planes Shirley perked right up, “Make flying us back to Arizona part of any deal,” she said. “I hate those big crowded planes with the small seats and stale coffee and some dude feeling me up.”

A few minutes later Jenny waved me into Lorrie’s empty office. “It is owned by Donald and Shirley Horsey of Yuma, Arizona. There are no leases, loans, or judgments against the property and the taxes are up to date. The zoning is light commercial / residential, is currently being taxed as residential and is zoned as light commercial because it is so close to RT 50. It is right next to our property but I’m sure you know that.”

Jason had joined us, “They are in Marcy’s office – what kind of paperwork do we need complete the purchase now?” I asked.

“A notarized bill of sale, 1099 tax form with their SS numbers, a copy of both of their driver’s license or photo ID and a sales contract,” Jenny said with Jason nodding.

“How long will it take you to type all that up? The price is 500 thousand. I don’t see how we can let it get away,” I said.

“I will call Joey – she is at home – and have her bring my notary stamp and book,” Jason said.

Susie Q came over. “I worked for a realtor before working here. I can download the forms. Get me the information so I can fill in the blanks. It will take half an hour at the most.”

I went into the office and asked Mr. Horsey if a company check would be OK. It was too late to get a certified check from the bank this late on Friday.

Jenny gathered up their information and she and Susie Q started the paperwork. Mr. Horsey, Marcy and I went over to look at the house. It had been closed up 10 years as he implied. A lawn maintenance company cut the grass every two weeks and checked out the exterior of the house for any evidence that it had been broken into. The water had been turned off and the pipes flushed with mobile home antifreeze. The electric was on for an alarm system.

The house had been built in the 50’s and never updated. There was no furniture, just curtains on the wall and plenty of dust everywhere. It had been built with a very large family in mind. There were four huge bedrooms upstairs, each with a small separate bath. Maybe the rooms looked so big because they were empty.

Downstairs there was a large kitchen – very out-dated. A large dining room and living room and another bath finished out the lower floor. There was no basement. The heat had been electric baseboard. Electricity was very cheap then, now there was no way you could pay the bill in the winter. Overall the house looked sound. The only question what to do with it. But I was sure Bob could give me a direction to go.

We got back to the gym just as the paperwork was finished to sign. Joey was there with the stamp. A company check, a round of signatures, an exchange of paper and we were done. They were flying back to Yuma on Wednesday in the G5 with one of our stewardess. Shirley was very happy when she had finished looking at the pictures of the G5 they were going to fly in.

With our lot and that one joined together it made a nice parcel on RT 50 worth millions in the future to developers as housing development or a shopping center. It turned the near worthless lot the gym was on into a real asset now.

After a meeting of the minds we were satisfied with the 10 applicants. Jason was away Saturday but would be here Sunday morning to finish the paperwork before they would fly back to Frost Borough with a job offer.

We called them all up from the gym to the meeting room and formally went through a round of introductions before sending them to the motel for the night. They were to be back here at 8 for a mile timed run on the Marathoners and then the target range with Jamie.

Edit by Alfmeister

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