This is What Happens When You Don’t Have a Plan Dad!!!
This is a Father’s Day tribute to my Dad, Jim McNamara, always and of course the best Dad ever. Wow, as a child I never knew just how special my parents were, shocking I know! Now, at my age, I think about just how lucky my siblings and I were to have two loving parents who encouraged us to do whatever we wanted and try anything. Maybe, perhaps, even have a plan!
My Dad and his choices of careers had an enormous effect on my life. My Dad was a CPA in Michigan from the time he left college until he was 50 years old. Unusual for those days, he made a huge career change going to work for my uncle, Don McNamara’s roofing company, FJA Christiansen Roofing, in their Chicago offices. The year was 1978 and I was going into my senior year of high school and this would be the fifth time during high school that I switched schools. While this was hard on many kids, it was exciting for me. Moving to Chicago sounded kind of cool.
My Dad would come home with stories about work and he would study at home in the evenings learning all about roofing. He was so very happy. Over time, he would talk more and more about the projects he worked on, equipment that broke down and, of course, the people he worked with and met. Over the years the business thrived, and my Dad just loved it.
Looking at pictures, I remember my Dad talked a lot about McCormick Place around 1985. It was always McCormick, McCormick, McCormick. By then, I was married and living in Kansas City. As it turned out, McCormick Place was a pretty big job and that was putting it mildly. Actually, it was one of the largest jobs in the country. Back then it was a $3.7 million-dollar job. In today’s world, it would be close to $10 million! After finishing that job, Dad spent time speaking to other groups of roofers about the logistics of a job that size.
Late 1987 came rolling along and I had been whining about my job (No Plan), to my Dad in Chicago. He told me to “send this guy your resume”. I knew it was for a job but I had no clue what the job was, where it was, what it paid, etc., I just knew it was in Kansas City.
Somehow I got the job (Shocking), so in the first week of 1988, I started my career in roofing. The building was an old shuttered facility that was dirty, no phones, and no clean bathrooms. I thought, Hmm, out of this we are going to build a factory that will make roofing materials? Thanks Dad, it was the best advice you ever gave me.
By 2007 I had purchased a roofing company that I could call my own and have grown it to a respectable size and with a good reputation for our work. I can only hope my work at Cornell Roofing & Sheet Metal will continue to grow into the kind of legacy you created with your work Dad.
Somehow, we both graduated from college with accounting degrees and ended up as Roofing Contractors. For me, it has been the best years ever. Thank you for your guidance through the years and confidence that I could do whatever I wanted to – Even when you don’t have a plan!
Happy Father’s Day Dad!!!
Happy Father’s Day to all you Father’s out there as well! Please share your best Father’s day story with us by commenting here or posting to our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Cornellroofingandsheetmetal/