the sequel to Maye West Mysteries
Book 1 Murder on Lake Haverly
Alone in my office, my chin resting between cupped hands, my eyes closed, I was daydreaming about the good old days. After signing up for Real Estate School, my temporary Real Estate Permit clutched in my hot little hands, I showed up at my new office. My broker, Sam Jones, said, “There’s your desk; there’s your phone; get to work!” Armed with that through training, enthusiasm, and a desire to make money, I dove headfirst into the dog-eat-dog Real Estate business.
Real Estate was a “Man’s Profession.” My three fellow agents assumed I would love to cook, clean the bathroom, and assume secretarial duties. They supplied a salmon for the “little woman” to cook. I said, “You guys are gonna get mighty hungry waiting for me to prepare your food; I am here to work just like you!” It went over like a lead balloon.
I might have had a few second thoughts after I learned what my new profession’s practice entailed. “I know what you’re thinking!” The ‘Good old Days’ of Real Estate were a piece of cake, right?
And it was! No cell phones, no lockboxes, no computer or MLS printouts! Want to show three houses to your client? No problem! Call three offices, reserve three keys, drive to three offices, pick up three keys, show three homes, take three keys back, and repeat day after day. The average commission was $300.00 to $800.00, and you worked your ass off to get one or two every month. Damn, it was fun, and I loved every minute of it!
The contract was one legal page with carbons, which evolved into 9 pages, no carbons plus addendums and CYA (Cover your ass) forms.
Shaking myself awake, time to do something productive. The problem was; my personal production was as dry as the Arizona desert since my once-in-a-lifetime Lake Haverly sale closed escrow. You remember that one, don’t you? My company listed and sold the four properties surrounding a Shangri-La lake, locally known as Lake Haverly, to my clients from New York City.
Ed (Fast Eddie) McGinley and I worked together, closing the Lake Haverly sale. His dry humor makes me laugh. To give you an example, Ed’s pain-in-the-ass client Mr. Willoby called Ed several times a day complaining about something wrong with his house. I heard Ed say, “Mr. Willoby, the inspection doesn’t cover every little thing. Ed reached his breaking point and said, “Mr. Willoby, it’s a UFO!” After a short pause, he said, “You fucking own it!” He hung up the phone, and I fell off my chair, laughing!
James Crandall was our resident hothead client, challenging our patience with the Lake Haverly transaction. He was also Frank Singleton’s and Coroner George Green’s biggest headache! James showed up to his memorial service alive, well, and mad as hell! When James’ long-lost son, John Kinney, showed up, James turned over a new leaf.
My best girlfriend, Lavonne Hall, an interior decorator, hitched her wagon to mine and followed me from Washington State to Arizona. She uses my office for estimates and plays receptionist, answering the phones when needed. She decorated my office and once a year kidnaps me and takes me shopping for clothes. She has more taste in her little finger than I have in my whole body. When John Kinney and Lavonne met, they fell madly in love and are now planning a big wedding. I am happy for them, but he is going to take her to Texas: Dammit!
Sara MacLanahan, my second agent, is a kick-in-the-pants little ball of fire. It’s a miracle that she didn’t jump ship the first week! It hardly fazed her when she found her new client’s bloody bodies in her first listing! She re-listed the property with the relatives of her murdered clients. I could see a little of me in her.