By Olga Kaczmar, Newhall Community Contributor
One year when both of us were poor, I made an agreement with ex-boyfriend T.H. that I would buy him a used motorcycle if he would stucco my new barn (the rains were ruining my hay). It was the year of the high mortgage rates. I was strapped financially: I had a 16 percent first / 24 percent second home interest rate. We sealed the deal verbally.
When the shed barn was erected, T.H. started the stucco job but completed only three sides of the building. He insisted that the barn was larger than what he had agreed upon. Actually, the way I recalled it, we didn’t specify size, only said stucco the barn. Stubbornly, I insisted that he complete the whole job. Stubbornly, he said no.
I filled out forms and took him to Small Claims Court. In front of the judge, I spelled out my case. All spiffed, polished and looking sheepish, T.H. told the judge, She was right. The judge awarded me the judgment and on our way out, the judge said, “Play nice.”
So I waited, waited and months went by and the stucco job didn’t get completed. When I pressured him, he said, “So sue me.” He laughed off the judgment.
Being the mule that I am, I’m not going to let him win. I checked to make sure his motorcycle was parked outside of his new rented home, rounded up a few workers off the street, picked up the motorcycle, loaded it in my pickup truck and hauled it to my farrier’s farm.
T.H. knew instinctively that I took the motorcycle and came to my home screaming at me to give him his motorcycle.
“Sue me!” I said. “It’s at a drug house. They might sell it for drugs.”
My current boyfriend installed the lath on the last exterior wall, but the final stucco remained unfinished. Months went by as the standoff continued. It was a test of wills.
One day I came home from work. Surprise! T.H. was stuccoing the last wall. No kidding. What a relief! I called my farrier releasing the cycle and told T.H. where he could pick it up. Afterwards, T.H. grumbled that the handlebars were all tweaked.
As George Peppard in The A Team said, “I like when a plan comes together.”