My Story

linda

• Date of Birth: August 9, 1958
• Home town: Colorado Springs, Colorado
• Family: As you will soon learn, my Father was a military veteran. He was killed driving a taxi when I was 15.

My husband, Joe, is a Colorado Springs police officer.

I have two wonderful children (twins), a son and daughter. They have excelled in school both academically and in their extra-curricular activities. They were taught that hard work pays off. I am so very proud of both of them.

Work Experience: I guess you could call me an entrepreneur. But first some background:

To better understand current events, I would ask that you allow me to share my life’s story. There is a purpose for me doing so and I really appreciate you reading along.

I was raised in the lower east side of New York by my mom, close to her parents who immigrated to the United States from Romania.

I went to public school P.S.134 and 137 until my dad retired from the Air Force in Colorado Springs at ENT Air Force Base, where we joined him in 1968.

Life in New York was full of culture and opportunity. I was raised modestly, though my mom told me we were doing well compared to a lot of other people, and that I should be grateful for having a roof over our head and a warm bed to sleep in.

My parents were savers, and placed a high importance on not wasting money. It was this conviction that caused my dad to leave the family safe and supported near relatives while he endured the frequent moves and separations resulting from a career in the military.

Then, at the age of 15, my whole world was changed forever.

Linda's Dad

In July of 1975, my dad was brutally murdered on Fort Carson in Colorado Springs. He had retired from the Air Force, but unwilling to sit idle, was working as a taxi driver. He became one of several victims of a senseless killing spree. His case is still unsolved, and that is another story I will tell you about.

I must have inherited my dad’s aversion to sitting idle, so while attending Harrison High School in Colorado Springs I worked at Michelle’s restaurant and Homer’s Odyssey, both located in Colorado Springs. I was also a baby sitter. I held all these jobs to make some extra money.

I mentioned at the start of my story that I am an entrepreneur. After my high school graduation, I began my entrepreneurial journey. It wasn’t easy. Here is why.

My father had always wanted me to go to college and had been working and saving his whole life. He and my mother and I lived very frugally, in a house that I still own in Colorado Springs.

When I told my mom I was ready for college, and needed the money dad always told me about, she said, “Do you believe everything you hear?”
She still didn’t want to spend it, and kept it a secret from me until she died.

Stubborn, full of energy, determination, drive, and self-motivated, I decided through hard work and saving I would make my own way in this world!

Continuing to work and save, I moved out of my mom’s house at the age of 18, rented a duplex close to the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, and started going to college there.

Quickly realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to save much going to college, I decided to quit after a semester and get a trade, so I went to beauty school for a year, kept working and bought my first house at the age of 19, with no money down, and the payment being the same as what my rent would have been. I was off to a good financial start!

However, unsure of myself, I quit-claim deeded half of the house over to a roommate, so I wouldn’t have to handle the house all by myself. When that didn’t work out, I quit-claim deeded the other half to my roommate, cashed out and bought my second home in 1980 on the west side of Colorado Springs, for $45,000. I still own that house today.

I was working at a salon called Shampoo, when I got fired. I remember my boss telling me that I would never make it on my own. After hearing those harsh words, I was determined to prove him wrong, and started a legitimate licensed salon called Linda’s Salon and then added Linda’s Salon and Sun Tanning out of my little house on the west side. I also had a roommate and was able to take care of my house payments by maximizing the opportunity.

In 1983, I decided to keep expanding my opportunity and purchased a small commercial building from Planned Parenthood for $75,000. Planned Parenthood was not able to move out as soon as they expected, and ended up paying me rent.

By the time I took over the building, I had made my down payment back, took out a low interest renovation loan and started Hair Drama. I still kept working out of my little salon on the west side.

In 1986, I decided to upgrade, buy a somewhat larger house, and sell my little house myself to a customer who had inherited money from her mom. After a year, she decided not to go through with the purchase, and that is how I ended up with my 2 houses and commercial building that I still own. But, I was not a real estate tycoon, as some would have you to believe! I really believe my dad’s philosophies took root in me and I seemed to see opportunity even when life looked pretty dark.

But, in 1989, I found my mother unconscious on the floor of her house.

After a week in the hospital she died, and I was truly left all alone. As I started going through her house with my friend for support, who also was my tax preparer, I started to find a lot of bonds, really old ones, from the 1940’s, and also found my dad’s old suits in the closet with money in his pockets. I was filled with grief but also anger and yes, I did feel somewhat betrayed. All those years of scrimping and turning setbacks into opportunities could have included getting my college degree if I had been able to access the money that now fell to me.

By the time I was done going through my mom’s home, combined with everything I had been putting away, and money I eventually got from my dad, I had amassed close to a million dollars. I was afraid to tell anyone, after my dad being brutally murdered, and not having anyone I could trust, I just decided to save the money until I had a family to spend it on. Underneath all this was a feeling of guilt at spending any of the money my parents saved their whole lives, when they could have spent it on themselves.

In 1990, I married Joe. This very happy occasion was a memorable one not just for joining two hearts but also, more forebodingly, because during the wedding ceremony my step mother-in-law was able to obtain my social security number and filed it away for the future.

During the next ten years, I worked, raised my family and managed my properties. I did get close to my mother-in-law during this time as well. She knew about my life’s struggle and seemed to sympathize with me, urging me to confide in her and look on her as the more mature female friend, even mother figure that I missed so much. I didn’t know the feelings she harbored about me until we went to court.

Late in 2000, I got into a wholesale business that dealt in shampoo and hair care products (professional hair-care) while I operated my beauty salon and supply company, Hair Drama. This kind of product resale is commonly called “gray market” because it is legal but has pitfalls, as you’ll see later in discussions on this website.

So now you know the bare bones of my life’s milestones. As a side comment: I also want you to know, I have had no history of illegal drug use. I will occasionally drink a glass of wine, but I am keenly aware that my father’s alcoholism puts me at risk for the same condition. My mother often commented, “men don’t like women who drink.”

I see myself, and I hope you see me, too, as a person who has had obstacles to overcome, maybe similar to what you and many others have done. It has often been difficult – even tragic – to be Linda. I don’t wish for a different life, however, just to be able to celebrate the toughness and fortitude my dad gave me and to safeguard all that is near and dear to me, as my mom did.

One thing I have learned is that you can only be who you are, show what you know, and do the best you can.

Philosophy
“Isn’t the American Dream what this country is all about?”
“A life of saving and taking risks is what I strongly believe”.

Favorite Quotations
“Property is the fruit of labor. Property is desirable, is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich and hence is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently to build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” – Bob Marley

“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.” –Einstein

Books
Gone With The Wind and Mans Search for Meaning

Music
Bill Withers, Peter Frampton, Elton John and Barry White

Movies/TV
Mary and Max, The Lives of Others, The Green Mile and The Deer Hunter, State of Grace, Curb Your Enthusiam and Saturday Night Live

Interests
Cooking, Fitness, Health, Dogs and Eating

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