Tuesday, June 27, 2017


We all have experiences that stick in our minds because they were so unexpected and surprising. I was reminded again of one such incident by the Black pro-Trump woman exploding on Maxine Waters about how illegal immigration hurts the black community.

It happened as a result of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. We lived in an apartment in Sherman Oaks. The plaster was badly cracked in every room, our windows were cracked, our rugs and closets flooded from overturned water heaters above us, any cabinet not secured shut emptied its contents onto the floor. Our place was a total wreck, but we managed once the electricity came back on.

Of course, there was widespread damage to all homes and apartments all across the LA area, making it very difficult to find anyone to hire to fix the walls and windows. Naturally, many people in our apartment hired illegal, unlicensed people to fix their damage because they didn't want to wait and because it was much cheaper to hire illegals than the licensed repair men.

However, Tom, my husband, got out the yellow pages and called licensed repairmen until he found someone who could get to us if we were willing to wait a few weeks. He was convinced that only someone who was licensed would do the job correctly, so he booked the repairman.  

When our repairman arrived, to our great surprise, he thanked us profusely for waiting till he could get to us. He explained that he was always in competition with illegal plasterers and window installers. In heated frustration, he told us the illegals come across the border, set up companies, pay no income tax, no workman's comp, no Social Security and undercut his prices. Then, he said, when the government catches up with them, they run back across the border and can't be caught. He added that they come right back, using a new name and do the same thing all over again. 

We felt really bad for this struggling small businessman and wondered, as he did, why nothing was being done to stop this.

He happened to be a black man, but obviously anyone facing that kind of unfair and illegal competition would have been just as angry as he was. 

BTW, when the big aftershock came, all the plastering done by cheap, unlicensed labor cracked right open again and had to be repaired again. We had no damage at all, because a man who was a true professional had done the job right. 

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