Prologue to Options,

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.

Published by Time Traveler of Life

Biography Creating worlds, characters, and wielding power like a madwoman, making my characters happy, sad, angry, and some of them with no redeeming qualities. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I sometimes laugh out loud when I am writing a scene, and I have been known to cry when one of my favorites has to die. I am a left-handed Gemini, what do you expect? Reading bedtime stories to my two children until they fell asleep or until they just told me to go away, was fun. Making up wild stories for my grandchild, and creating Halloween costumes from Cowboys to a Dragon, was another favorite thing to do. I missed that so much when they were grown, that I started writing. My yearly newsletters frequently were drafted third-person by my Love Birds, Miranda our motorhome, and by Sir Fit the White Knight, our faithful Honda. Throughout the years, some of my creative talents centered around writing letters of complaint expressing my displeasure with services or products. One crucial, at least to my Son, was a note to our local school bus driver petitioning her to allow him back on the bus. He was kicked off for making an obscene gesture at his buddy. I reminded her that it was not directed at her, and that “obscenity can be in the eye of the beholder,” kids use that gesture as a greeting. He rode the bus until he graduated. I loved driving my English teacher crazy. Leaving a “continued next week” at the end of my five handwritten pages required each week. He was one of many people that suggested I “do something about my writing.” I graduated from the School of Hard Knocks at the top of my class. After 30 years, in the trenches as a Real Estate Professional, I have found that truth is stranger than fiction. My books are filled with characters I met in that profession. Their names were changed to protect the guilty. Others were from people we met traveling around the country in Miranda, our Motorhome. I am married nearly 60 years to the love of my life, Shirl, and partner-produced two exceptionally talented children, and one grandchild who is our pride and joy.

One thought on “Prologue to Options,

  1. A lovely read. And… “My three fellow agents assumed I would love to cook, clean the bathroom, and assume secretarial duties.” Oh, those were the days, hey!

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