August 23

Tale of Two Friends

About 12 years ago we were renovating our studio and our architect introduced us to a new contractor names Casey, the owner of Loop Construction. Casey had just moved from Wisconsin for his wife’s job and to be near family. He had no customers in the Chicago area. We soon realized that we worked better together without the architect who made too many mistakes and was a poor communicator. Casey and I worked out every detail and dealt with every code requirement to make our studio more professional. Periodically I would call Casey for other renovation projects for our 1924 home. He became the younger brother I always wanted. He’s just an amazing person and I admire his honesty, his fairness, his memory and his loyalty. We made a quilt for his family and he sometimes brought his family by for parties. We talk about aging parents, back problems, flipping houses and our kids. Word got out in our neighborhood of old houses and at last count, Casey had renovated the homes of 23 of our friends.

When our daughter changed schools I began thinking about moving to be closer to her middle and high schools as well as Bill’s university. I talked to Casey and asked him if he’d come with me to look at some fixer-uppers in the historic district of our village. I wasn’t going to buy any house without his advice and help. He renovated our current 4 bedroom 1930 home from gutting to move in in 4 months.  When we first met him he was a solo general contractor. Last time I talked with him he had 35 employees.

Meanwhile when our daughter went off to 1st grade Bill and I joined a new gym and began taking fitness classes with Constance. She gave us great and fun workouts and quite simply got us in incredible shape. She became a friend and we continued to exercise with her several times a week for 6 years. She even came over after I had my stomach reconstructed and pledged to help me get back in shape. She did. After every illness and respiratory infection, she was there to restore my stamina.

A few years ago she left that gym to start her own fitness studio about 45 minutes from us. I was heartbroken. It was too far for us and we missed her presence and fun at our gym. Years have passed since she left and I still wake up on the days she used to teach and think, “I wish Constance was teaching this morning. (sigh)”

A month of so ago Constance called to tell me the exciting news that she was opening a second location about 4 blocks from our house! After she got the keys to the building, I walked one of our foster dogs by the address she had given me. I looked at the building permit: Loop Construction. I gasped! I had forgotten that I had given her Casey’s contact number a long time ago. How happy I was to think of two people I care so much about working together for the benefit of both. Two entrepreneurs making their dreams a reality. I will, of course, be there when her studio open next month but it will be all the better knowing that Casey’s fingerprints are all over the building. If you’re in the area and want a great workout, here’s a link to Constance’s new place Hit It Fitness Oak Park. Now if I can just convince Casey to start kickboxing with me…