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  • Between my Freshman and Sophomore year of college, jobless, I painted my grandmother's house. It was a large, two story, clapboard house set between Hallenback's Funeral Home and another residence in a small town in South Dakota. Funeral homes really were large homes with the family living upstairs, chapel and viewing rooms on the main floor and embalming in the basement.

    The house I was painting needed lots of prep, I was inexperienced but had a demanding mentor (a friend of my grandmothers), and the project turned out to be an 8 week job for a crew of one. Fine with me.

    Six weeks in, Mrs. Hallenback who had been walking by every morning on her way out for daily errands, showed up at the base of my ladder.

    "Good job, son!" she called up, "God can't find those that work!"

    From her tone, I could tell she considered this a good thing.

    [The Google car apparently hasn't made it to small town South Dakota. I've attached the satellite photo - the funeral home is now Ellworth's and the houses on the other side are now a parking lot.]
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