A day in the life of a roofer
It all started in the summer of 1997.
John was newly married and mowing his lawn for the first time since his wife and he had moved into their new home in Goodyear, Arizona. On a hot July day in the Arizona heat, nothing could cool him down. Not even the special iced strawberry lemonade that his wife, Molly, was famous for. Some even say it's why he married her in the first place-- to ensure that he'd receive a lifetime's supply of her wonderful, classic summer drink. That is, assuming he never pissed her off too bad. So far, he was doing an okay job.
Being that it was over 110 degrees out, John was sweating profusely. He had also worked out quite a bit before his wedding back in May, so he could look his best for Molly on their special day. Apparently he had a bit of a beer belly starting to grow before the two of them got hitched. Anyway, John was a tad but skinnier than he was the day he went and got fitted for his wedding ring.
I think you're seeing where this one is going...
The combination of sweat and skinniness made for the perfect environment in which a loose-fitting ring could slip off of a gentleman's finger. That gentleman was John.
You see, the mower they had was given to them by Molly's uncle, Wayne, as sort of a gift for their new life together. He knew they were two young love birds just starting out, so he wanted to give them a gift that could keep on giving. He knew if John mowed the lawn, Molly would be happy, and then other things might commence... if you know what I mean.
Only problem was, the lawn mower was a bit older and had a few issues. Once in a while, it would shut down while in operation, and John would have to reach down and clean some grass out of the blades before priming it again to start it up. This happened a few times that day, and unbeknownst to John, his ring had slipped off and fallen into the grass on one such occasion.
While making a few of his final passes to try and etch that baseball outfield pattern into his backyard -- one that Molly particularly loved -- John caught the gleam of his gold band as it the sun reflected off it and hit John's eye... just before he ran over it with the mower. He tried to pull back, he really did. But it was too late. John's new-old mower passed over the ring just far enough to allow the blades to shoot that thing about ninety miles per hour out one side. In his peripheral vision saw it fly, but he couldn't quite track it.
Sad and somber, he went inside and told Molly what had happened. After all, she had saved up for months while working as a kindergarten teacher to afford that ring before their wedding. They both went outside and scoured the backyard for hours, until dusk set upon them. It was hopeless, the ring was gone.
Gone for 20 years, that is.
You see, John and Molly recently decided to sell that house. And before doing so, they called us, Goodyear Roofing Company, out to do a roof inspection before they listed it on the market. They are good people. The kind of people that wouldn't want to sell a home to a pair of twenty-somethings just starting out and newly married like they were, without a proper roof inspection to be sure they weren't selling the house without disclosing all the issues it may have. After all, the roof was over 25 years old.
Well as I was up walking the roof, checking for broken tiles and any signs of leakage or damage, something made me stop and take a second glance. Something small, gold, and gleaming in the Arizona sun. If it hadn't been near sundown, I doubt the light would have hit it at the right angle for it to catch my eye.
John's ring was lodged just underneath a roof tile near the roofs edge. It must have been there for the last 20 years. I grabbed it, finished my inspection, and came down to tell John and Molly that their roof was as good as it gets, apart from one broken tile. And, I handed them the ring and told them it caught my eye.
Immediately, the two of them began to laugh and hug each other with an excitement that you don't see very often. Then, they told me this story.
John took off his replacement ring that he had been wearing for the last twenty years, and slipped on the original. It took a little bit of a push to get it over his knuckle that was now a bit larger and contained more wrinkles, but John said "Fits just right."
It's not often that we, as roofing contractors, get to be part of such a wonderful moment, but we were in this case. And hopefully we will get to experience some other cool moments like this again. And hopefully sooner than twenty years from now.
Hi, I'm Jason. I started my career as a roofer when I was just a kid. My dad taught me all the ins and outs, on the same Arizona rooftops I work on today.
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