The Art of the Deal, Country Style
“Ya know I love farmin’. Wouldn’t do anything else.” Wayne says, “but sometimes it’s hard.”
Years ago I was workin’ two jobs and the farm just to keep things going. Was workin’ fah Cherryfield full time and doin’ odd jobs for folks on the weekends. I didn’t have time for anything and my second wife was handlin’ all the money.
Anyway, one day I stopped in Helen’s for a cup of coffee and Bob come up to me and says ‘Wayne, I been lookin’ all over fah yah.’ Well I hadn’t seen Bob in while but I had no idea why he should be lookin fah me. ‘What’s up I said?’
‘I was down at the court house last week and they said there’s a lien on yah farm. The government put a lien on yah farm.’
‘Well that ain’t right. I pay my taxes every year. Send ‘em a check just like I’m sposed to.’
Well I started lookin’ into it and turned my second wife she had spendin’ problem. She was puttin’ the money into another account and those checks I was sendin’ were from the account with no money in it. And she’d make sure and collect the mail so I’d never see the demand letters. Well I don’t have to tell ya things got sorted out real quick.
But when the dust settled I owed a lot o’ money. More than I was ever goin’ ta make. I got to thinking, Cutler Point. It’s on the bay. I ain’t even been down there in 15 years or so. I’ll sell Cutler Point.
So I advertise it. 4 acres on the watah. Set a top price on it ‘cause I wanted to be selective in who my neighbah was gonna be.
One day this fella from New Jersey calls. He flew into Portland on business and would like to take a look at it. So I tell him to come on over. He shows up in this shiny black BMW. Well there weren’t no road out to the point. Just a cart path and then a trail. I told him I was gonna build a road.
Well he liked it and made me an offer. I said “No.” He made another offer and I said “No.” He said “Well what will you take for it?” and I said, ”Just what I’m askin.” He finally agreed to it and said “OK, I’ll give you half now and other half when the road’s built.” And he wrote out a check right there on the hood of that BMW. Before he left he mentioned he had a couple of days business to attend to in Augusta before he headed back to Portland to catch a flight home.
Well as soon as his taillights disappeared around the bend I hopped in my pickup and drove down to the bank in Machias and said, “Carol, can you make sure this check’s good before depositin’ in my account?” Then I run over to Bill’s place and said, “Bill, what you got goin’ on today.” And he allowed as how things were slow. I said, “Bill, get all yer equipment together. We’re gonna build us a road tomorra.”
The next day Bill brought over a backhoe, a dozer and a dump. We worked our butts off that next day but we got it done except for a little clean up.
The following day I called the fella. “You still in Augusta?” He said he was but he was headed down to Portland the next day.
“Well you just might want ta swing by the farm on yer way to Portland cause I got that road done and I’m ready fah the next payment.”
The next day he come by and he could drive that BMW all they down to the point. He gave me another check and we shook hands and I said to him “You mind if I give you a bit of advice?”
“And what would that be?”
“If yah comin’ up here to negotiate business yah might do better if you rent a Ford Escort at the airport rather than a BMW.” Well his face turned red. I think he was kinda mad.
That was fifteen years ago. He built a house on the point. Still comes up here. He’s a good neighbah.
Thanks for the link, that’s a good story about the farm. I’m sure you’d trust Lorraine with all of your money, actually, there are quite a few in this business that I would feel the same about, and many that I would not! Richard and Emma Pickford are coming down for the week, with their lovely little daughter, Lily. If thing go to plan, I won’t be having many more visitors. Love to you both, Robin.