25/ 11/ 16
I’ve had the story of my grandparent’s business saved to my desktop for a couple years now. When my husband (fiancé at the time) was deployed, I lived with my grandparents to save some income. It was a unique situation and one that I will always cherish.
One afternoon I sat at their kitchen table and complied a simple bio of the business they started. On a leap of faith and high risk they’re still in business 50 years later. They recently celebrated this accomplishment, along with my parents, in October. Below is the story of Lefty’s Pump and Drilling, told by my grandma and through my eyes as a child who was lucky enough to watch it grow and give water to our community. This is why I support small business Saturday and encourage you to do the same!
Drill Rig with the Lefty’s Logo
A $2,000 loan and $1,000 for living and inventory started it all. Lefty had been working at the Farmer’s Exchange as a manager, but after Greg, my Dad, was born he knew he needed something else. As the Exchange began to fall, Lefty and Sharon took the risk and got a loan from Bank of Aurora from the help of Lefty’s Dad.
Younger Lefty, circa?? Can anyone guess by the Pepsi Can?
They bought the business for $2,000. They began working with the equipment that was left, it wasn’t great and needed lots of TLC. My grandparents bought a small home across from where they began to build the business.
The original office, Baby Me and Grandma Sharon
Sharon would take calls from the office”, which consisted of the house phone and a cabinet in the kitchen. They loaded up the truck with equipment, lunch, Greg (my Dad), bottles and diapers and ran a few calls a day. Sharon worked the truck until a $20 remote later replaced her, however she didn’t feel cheap after the trade. (Her words not mine). She began running the office at home and Lefty did pump work, plumping and HVAC or anything that would make them a little income. After a few years they were able to purchase a drill.
Business became better and another drill was purchased. Greg began working the shop at a very early age. During his summers off school before he had his license to drive, my Grandma would drive him to a job and wait on him while he ran the truck.
Grandpa Lefty and Greg at the Broiler Festival. Original caption on the photo read “Teaching Sonny all the Tricks”
My Dad eventually left for college and returned to continue helping my Grandpa Lefty. After college my Dad married my mom, I came along and my Grandma retired early when my mom began running the office.
Fast forward to today, my Dad and Grandpa are still working the water well drilling and pump service. Myself, sister and our little brother have all been raised around the business and even Waverlee gets her fair share of the shop a couple days a week hanging out with my mom.
Don’t pass by small shops and businesses this Saturday. They all have a story like this, keep them in your community with your support!