How It All Started with Building a House

On a warn May morning in 1991 in Tarzana (Los Angeles), I picked up a day laborer off the street to help me with some spring clean-up in my yard.  He spoke no English, but he did have a valid "green card."   Never in my wildest imaginings would I have thought that a decade later I would be living in a casita in his back yard in Mexico.  But here I am.  Today he speaks good English and is a US citizen.

What started out with cutting weeds and trimming some bushes, grew into house building, and the establishment of a father/son bond between us.  Here is some of what we did in seven years together.  Seven years because it was a pay-as-we-go project.

I was living in the remains of an old farm place in the San Fernando Valley.  There were an old farm house and a detached oversized two car garage with a primitive maid's room set on a full acre of land.  I was operating a consulting engineering business out of the house.  As the business grew, I was being forced out of the house.  Either I or the business had to move, so I moved into the small garage apartment.  It was awful.  I had not lived in such a dump since college.

Enter Enrique.  To cut to the chase -- this yard cleaning day laborer who didn't speak English, soon became a full-time employee; and together we began to remodel the garage (and later the yard) to make a better place for me to live.



These two pictures were taken from the same spot several years apart.

Before and after pictures.


These two are views of the front of the garage from different angles.

Go here to see inside the house. Go here to tour the yard.

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