This has been harder for me to put into words than any I’ve had to do so please bear with me.
I moved to Phoenix in March of 1977 to work for “the up and down boys”. However Spotts and Jim failed to tell me I was replacing a man that all of the servicemen held in high regard. My reception was not what I expected.
To try and break the ground I decided to ride with each man for a day and discuss our thoughts on service. Somehow Pat was first and he took me to the Ma Bell building at 3rd and Earl. We rode the top of the cars and inspected the machine room. I complimented him on his work and was ready to move on when he said “come over here to throw me off the roof. After a few tense moments he changed his mind and that started a professional and personal relationship of over 34 years.
In 1985 we took a very small business on a 25-year journey and made it a well-respected major player in our industry.
He loved the out of doors but always said when we were on the ocean that he felt fulfilled and content as to no other time. He didn’t care if he was fishing on the Cow Patty out of Cholla Bay or on the Como No out of San Carlos or La Paz as long as he was at sea. He always had this silly grin standing there in his swimming suit and flip-flops.
There are hundreds of “Pat-Isms” these are a couple of my favorites.
When we were at U.S. Elevator they used the term “kill” someone rather than fire them. We would go to Denney’s on Grand ave to have lunch and discuss things. One day I said do you think it’s time to kill this person and Pat whole-heartedly agreed but wanted me to do it. I said you know I’ve killed the last several and I think we should spread it around. He agreed and we got up to pay our bill and realized there was an elderly couple sitting together in a booth behind Pat and their eyes were the size of silver dollars. We tried to explain what we were talking about but I don’t think they believed anything we said.
We have both wholesale and retail customers in our business with separate price structures. We used to be open on Saturdays and Pat and I would split every other one.
A wholesale customer called me one day to see if we had a rather old and obsolete part. I checked and told him surprisingly that we had 2. He was from a rural area and said he would be down on Saturday and buy both, as he knew of other similar machines in his area.
The next Monday as I do each day I went through the previous days invoices. I found this dealer’s invoice and saw he had only bought one. I asked Pat why and he said, “I looked in the box and all we had were 2 and if sold both to him we would be out.”
I guess I stared at him for a long time and he finally asked “What?” I said that was the only moment when I wished you had thrown me of that roof!
I cant count the number of calls both Patti and I have received from people he touched through all these years. It’s the greatest testimony the man that he was.
I’m going to miss my friend.