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R.I.P. Faultline Fabrication

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by 65swb45, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. 65swb45

    65swb45 Supporting Vendor

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    "There are places I remember all my life,
    Though some have changed,
    Some forever, not for better,
    Some have gone and some remain." -John Lennon, "In My Life"

    Ever since my childhood, one of the things that has struck me is the ability to remember things that don't exist any more. Many of the buildings in the neighborhood where I grew up were destroyed in the Sylmar quake of 1971, including my elementary school. In my mind I still occasionally take a mental stroll thru the halls of that old building. Yesterday I added a new one to the list.

    Yesterday was bound to be a different kind of day anyways. I had already agreed to take the day off of work and meet with my mother and visit the cemetary on the anniversary of my father's passing. I had the opportunity to share with her how the past and the future have blended together as I share some of the lessons I learned from my father in helping others. Then I went off to deal with the past and the future yet again.

    One of the things my father taught me was the difference between a hand up and a hand out. If someone really wants to change, a kind word and a helping hand is a greater charity than money. I spent several unpaid hours drilling, bolting, cutting and installing parts on two of Simon's still unfinisheds projects as others continued the messy process of cleaning out the shop. After a while, Art Banks showed up to do the same. Art's parents must have taught him the same lesson.

    As I worked, I asked myself what the lessons were to be learned here. First and foremost was the one I had been telling my best friend for the last 15 years: it takes a lot more than talent to run a business.

    In my friend's case, he was and is a very capable bicycle mechanic who makes a decent living as a punch press operator. He has often dreamed of opening a bicycle shop, but I have always talked him out of it. Eventually he was lucky enough to befriend the owners of a small bike shop and get 'behind the scenes.' He got to wrench on bikes, talk to customers, look thru catalogs, order inventory and basically live the dream.

    He also got to watch the business slowly fail, as accounts went past due, vendors went C.O.D, customer's parts mysteriously disappeared and the owners tapped into outside sources to try and keep the business afloat. My father had watched the same thing happen to several of his business associates. The story is common. Sad, but common. There have been times where I have said to myself, 'there but for the grace of God go I'.

    The second thing I learned is that yesterday was just like every other day in the life of Simon Morris: too little, too late. Even with a midnight deadline, the building was nowhere close to being vacant, and that Simon once again was being deludedly optimistic about his ability to accomplish all of his goals. Every customer and friend that has dealt with Simon for the last few years has witnessed, experienced and eventually walked away from this maddening scenario . As his customers came to pick up their things and asked me what I thought, all I could really say was, "why should this day be any different to the rest?" And that's as much as I'm gonna say about that.

    The third thing I learned was really just being reminded again that there really is such a thing as a landcruiser community. Of the few guys that came to help Simon in his final hours, three of us, John Alveron, Art Banks and myself are all TLCA members and part of a local club, Trail Crew-L.A.TLCA. That made me proud. Joining a club isn't always evidence of the spirit of common enterprise, but in this case I would like to think that it was.

    The last thing I learned was something that there was no way to know until yesterday. In his sadly deluded but hopelessly optimistic mind, Simon still still believes that he can make everything all right again. Even though EVERYONE knows this isn't possible, I still find it commendable. In my own experience, I have watched my uncle run away from one failed venture after another, including five businesses and seven marraiges. Often, his brother, my father was the one left to clean up the mess.

    In contrast, when Art and I left at 11pm last night, the last thing I saw was Simon getting back to work on a customer's rig. Again, too little, too late. But not running away. Faultline is gone, but Simon is not. Quitters never win, and winners never quit. Now I am sure: Simon is not a quitter.



    Note: the purpose of this thread is not to provide a platform for flaming Simon. The board has already suffered enough from that. If flaming starts, I will just keep deleting the thread and reposting it until it stops. What I would like here is for others to take a few minutes to share stories about other things in their lives they have watched come and go and the lessons they have learned from it. This is the food for thought I would like Simon to look at as he thinks about the future. Group support and helpful opinions really define what this board can be at its best. If you don't have anything positive to say, STFU!
     
  2. Mace

    Mace rock scientist.. Staff Member s-Moderator

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    I am sorry that it did not work.

    Good on you for helping him out last night :beer:
     
  3. 2badfjs

    2badfjs

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    the good,the bad,and the ugly.....

    i've never delt with simon, but your story is very touching.

    it's nice to see someone share a story that obviously has some meaning to it.

    mark, simon sounds like a good guy, given a bad rap, with a ugly ending.....

    but like you said: faultline is gone, simon is not..... :cheers:

    truely a sad day :frown:

    thanx for sharing mark!
     
  4. White Shark

    White Shark

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    It's hard to see someone's dream die. It's commendable that he's still plugging away. Many of us dream of opening Cruiser related businesses, but it's hard to make a living while helping friends. This often leads to failed businesses.

    It's hard to give free shop space, tool use, and advice to others when your living is at stake. I can appreciate that as a General Contractor. Eveyone wants to use your tools and have you give them free advice and it's hard for them to understand that that's how you put bread on the table. They have a hard time understanding that their hobby means the same to you as paying the rent and feeding the kids.

    I'm sorry to hear that things didn't work out in the long run. Here's to while it lasted. :cheers:
     
  5. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Moderator

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    The other half of the sad is all the people that were strung out along the way.
     
  6. PabloCruise

    PabloCruise

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    Mark,

    Thanks for sharing. I appreciate your thoughts on business.

    I do not know Simon, or Faultline Fab, so I'll stay tuned! I do know that failure often precedes success (Edison, Babe Ruth). But it is not pretty watching a biz go down the tubes.

    Peace,
     
  7. Biff

    Biff

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    I dealt with Simon, one time did some suspension work for me.
     
  8. krzyabncanuck

    krzyabncanuck USFS HOTSHOT GOLD Star

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    This kind of sounds familiar. I have a 4x4 shop here in town that i have helped at for the past 15 years. He taught me most of what i know. If not for him I would still be paying people to work on my stuff, but he took me under his wing and taught me all sorts of stuff. He has been having problems for a few years now and everytime I go over there and use something i try to give him money and he would always turn me down. So I finnally started giving the money to his wife behind his back, to this day he still does not know. But he is getting ready to shut his shop down now. Least he found a good job already but it is still sad. He even offered it to me but I know if he could not run it any longer then i could not either.
     
  9. TJDIV

    TJDIV Back in The U.P.

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  10. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily...

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    Not everyone's cut out to run a business. I commend Simon for taking the plunge. The fact that this one didn't work out doesn't mean that future endeavors will have the same result.

    A trustworthy business partner to run the day-to-day operations might be all that was required to keep everything moving along whilst Simon he built/fabricated. That kind of business partner is not easy to find, unfortunately. Of the negative remarks that I have read in the past, I don't recall any being based on the quality of his work -- it was typically about the business side of his operations.

    Although I've never met him, I wish him well.

    Thanks for the story Mark.
     
  11. Skilter

    Skilter

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    The anonimity of the web can sometimes be nice...

    As I write this, my father is moving his stuff out of his office. Our family business is suffering a sad day. But, sometimes... people just can't see the light even when many loved ones are supporting the cause. They can't figure out that times change and to continue down the same path can put the well being of others in jeapardy. He is leaving due to stubborn pride. He has done it before (2 divorces, bankruptcy, 2 failed business) and, since he can charm a snake out of its skin, he will probably do it again... He has made a lot of money and lost a lot of money, but ultimatley he is a gambler at heart and will not change. When he starts gambling with the future of his kids and grandkids, where do you draw the line?

    It is tough to see this happen to anyone, but it is especially tough to see this in your own father. None of us are perfect and it is a hard day as a son when you learn this about your father.

    Well... back to putting one foot in front of the other...

    "Illegiti Non Carborundum"
     
  12. mabrodis

    mabrodis

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    To get back to the memories part of the thread...I have not lived in any one place for very long, so I have not seen major changes. Here in Castle Rock, though we only moved in 3 yrs ago we've seen some pretty drastic changes, rutted, weathered, scrub-oak covered areas around our house are all now new houses with nice lawns and you would never guess what it looked like before.

    For me it's not the changing so much as I remember how I felt years ago at that same exact spot. For example, my dad taught at a high-school up in Denver, I went there, and ofcourse had the normal high-school life, sports, girl-friends, etc...I remember being so pissed on days, and so happy on others, and now when I walk by those building they feel totally empty. My dad no longer works there, I don't know anyone there, the place has no significance anymore, except for how it triggers my memory, how I worked on my 40 behind this shed, how I kissed a girl behind the bus there, how I got paid each year to rewax the gym floor...remember running around during an annual waterfight at a local park...the same park I went to as an adult to watch fireworks (and will also on Monday), same place, same grass, probably been cut a few times in 10+ years, but same baseball diamond, etc...sometimes it feels like I'm stepping back in time looking at these places so closely tied in my mind to great memories...

    The whole idea of how a place means nothing, but the place with people means everything is finally hitting me, maybe because I'm getting older, not sure exactly. Last summer we visited my dad in Maine, he's opening a B&B, my brother's family, my sister's family and my family were all there, we went out and walked on some breakwater things, went to a lighthouse or two, it was a great time...I think about that now and wonder if we will EVER be together like that again. Sure I could fly out there and meet with my dad and his wife, but my sister might not be able to make it, or maybe she could but my brother couldn't..or maybe we all could but my cousin couldn't...guaranteed it will never be exactly the same again...which just makes me want to take more pictures all the time now to make sure I never forget the fun things I'm doing now.

    I know I'm not old compared to alot on here :flipoff2: but even I get nostalgic at times, thinking about what I was thinking 5 or 10 yrs ago when standing in the same exact spot...and wonder what I will be thinking when standing there in 5 or 10 more years... :rolleyes: