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About Action E-Z Haul & Property Clean-up (where we came from, and where we’re headed)
Action E-Z Haul & Property Clean-up started back in 1988 as an experiment — a truly off-the-wall idea which was suggested by my neighbor across the street. It started off as Paul’s EZ Haul and underwent a few name changes. I finally settled on Action E-Z Haul & Property Clean-up.
I had postponed my college education at UOP in Stockton, CA in 1987 in order to pay off some debts and bills I had incurred because of my not-so-smart financial speculation and because my great grandmother had suffered a debilitating stroke which compelled me to postpone my college studies. With the thought that my great grandmother who had reared me from a toddler to a teenager might pass away soon I could no longer continue my college studies without taking responsibility by tending to some personal obligations.
After trying my hand at several sales jobs over the years as well as many other non-challenging jobs I had come across the idea of trying out flea market and yard sales. My friend and neighbor across the street named Jerry was very successful at it.. I noticed he and his wife would go out and buy used furniture and household items and turn around and sell them for a profit.
Cherokee Road was the street I lived on most of my life. This street was my home where I grew up and was a great location for yard sales because of the constant street traffic. Over time, as I learned more about Jerry’s business, he suggested I use my truck to haul away people’s old junk and unwanted stuff. It made sense. I already had a little Datsun pickup truck paid for and would soon discover my own acre of diamonds parked right there in my drive way.
Never did I imagine I had dropped out of college to become a “junk hauler”.
I was not very proud about doing this type of work, as I was college-educated and thought I should be doing something more upscale — something related to my college major. Once the idea of a hauling business took hold, everything else seemed to easily fall into place.
Within a few days, an unemployed guy with handyman skills came around looking for work across the street at Jerry’s. Jerry sent this guy to my house and we built some side racks, placed an ad in the local paper, and began getting calls for my service. With a little practice my bids became more competitive and I began to actually make some decent money. It was not yet a full time job, but I was making more money, per hour, than I had made in any of my previous jobs.
During the first several years, I had to supplement my income by working as a counselor at children’s group homes. The winter months in Stockton were cold and rainy so there was not much demand for my service. During this slow period I got hired at a group home called Teen Triumph, which enabled me to work with troubled youth. Having been a troubled youth myself and coming from a broken dysfunctional home (not so common when I was growing up, but very common today) I could relate to the youth who were not unlike myself at their age.
My Christian background gave me the opportunity to be a good influence while discovering the pain these boys and girls had been through. I worked the graveyard shift so I could keep my house open during the days for my hauling and cleanup business. Some days I was so exausted from staying up all night at the group home that I could barely muster enough energy to complete some of the work my customers wanted done. Thankfully, I had a great worker named Bob Greenberger (nick named Bicycle Bob because he could peddle and make a bicycle move faster than a whippoorwill’s hind end) who could hustle and loved getting outdoors and doing the kind of jobs I had. We were a great team.
The business developed from just hauling people’s unwanted items off to other services such as cutting down grass & weeds, doing small demolition work such as breaking up patios, hauling off broken up concrete, hauling off a refrigerator, or moving some item like a couch into storage, cleaning out storage bins and garages all which made for interesting work. Not a boring day went by as this small business took off. Later I learned to operate a chain saw and take down small trees and shrubs. This was another profit center which added to my already diversified services.
Occasionally, I would mow lawns when requested and often I would reflect on my days of growing up living with my Uncle Ron and Aunt Jerina. They were school teachers who taught me the fine discipline of work. School work and work around the home. Can’t say I worked a day in my life until I moved in with them at age 9. They made me do alot of work, but it had a very positive impact in the end for my development as a youth. The discipline has paid off and there is hardly anything I will not try, simply because it is considered too hard.
I once told my grandfather that I really enjoyed the flexibility in my working hours, job variety, the independence and the pay that my small business gave me but he just sarcastically remarked that I didn’t work enough. He did have a point there but I didn’t let his discouraging words take hold of my thinking. I just put more effort and time in taking my business to a different level. For a few years after moving from Northern California to Hollywood, CA I put my business aside to pursue a different course. (Can you guess what that might be) Now, after belonging to the Starving Actors Guild for several years and working among the stars I decided to take up with my hauling business again and frankly I can’t afford to go back into the acting business.