Welcome to September! The kids are back to school, we'll be flipping burgers on the grill, and of course, welcome a bit of a reprieve from the August heat. Speaking of back to school, we went wayyyyy back in the archives to bring you this first photo.
This is Wilkes School. A wood and brick schoolhouse that was heated by coal in the winter and cooled by opening the windows the rest of the year. The barren playground was just a set of monkey bars, but that didn't stop Tim and his friends from enjoying it any less. His formal education started here, and while the original building is long gone, the memories have stuck with him for decades.
Fast forward about 45 years (sorry, Tim) and my how schools have changed!
The T.Lake team has been working at West Laurens Middle School, a 2-story brick building boasting a collegiate-level athletic facility and state-of-the-art learning technology inside. We're proud to be granted the contract of maintaining this school and despite all we do, it's impossible to show our teachers and educators the amount of gratitude we have for them.
We're excited to share more about this project with you as we reach completion, but in the meantime, we have some other exciting news to share as well!
Cleaning Up & Clearing Out
Here at T.Lake, we're always busy. And every few years we get a hankering to renew ourselves in the way of getting rid of 'junk'.
Now we all know that one man's trash is another man's treasure - so we reached out to our friends at Ritchie Brothers and Iron Planet to help us auction off some old equipment and trucks from our shop. We keep our fleet well maintained and equipment is hard to come by right now so there was a lot of interest and thrilled people ready to buy.
After we convinced Tim that the stuff had to go (which is harder than it sounds... this man still hides 3.5" floppy discs in his desk drawer) and taught him something about 'lifecycle cost management' we met with buyers from Pennsyvlania, Ohio, and just about all over to come and take a look.
There was one piece of equipment that Tim absolutely wouldn't part with though...
This John Deere tractor that Tim's son Aubrey lovingly named 'Old Green'. Purchased new in 1995, it was the first "big" tractor the two Lake boys drove, and how they learned to move dirt.
Legend has it that 27-year team member of T. Lake, John Berryhill came into work one Saturday when all was quiet. He brought his grandson with him and they spent the day riding equipment. Old Green was the favorite of the day. It cranks the first time, every time you hit the ignition. It runs like a champ, just like a John Deere should.
Affectionately known as Lil Poppa, John's grandson begged to come back and ride Old Green. Believe it or not, for his vacation, he asked for a trip to T. Lake to drive that tractor around the yard.
John Deere has been a longtime partner and supplier for our business. In fact, we've spent many hours together working with their research and development teams on a mission to continually improve their equipment.
So we kept Old Green, sold the rest, and in the end, it made us (Robert) feel good to clear out the yard and actually turned out to be quite cathartic.