Written by Dave Gannaway
Sometimes a humble regular guy rises above the rest, like a cork in water. Such a man was Charlie Brown. Charlie’s genius was in his ability to see opportunities in the mundane. A builder by profession, he had a knack to finding plots of land at low prices which allowed him to build houses that low income families could afford. This in depressed times gave him a full order book when others were struggling. One quality Charlie had that gave him the edge, and separated him from the rest of his competitors, was he truly cared and wanted to help people!
He saw a location where sand had been excavated from the ground leaving it looking like a miniature Grand Canyon. There were huge barren holes in the ground, some fifty to sixty feet deep that stretched for many acres … such sites have little appeal. The bottom of the pits were typically filled with stagnant water, and offered little practical use. These excavated sites, or pits, began to cause problems with the local authorities who claimed they were an eye-sore and a danger to children.
To everyone’s disbelief, Charlie Brown offered to purchase the 80 acres of holes in the ground from the financially strapped and troubled owner. His offer was eagerly accepted and Charlie Brown became the proud new owner. He was so excited and motivated that one would have thought he had won the lottery! Everyone else, myself included, thought that he had taken leave of his senses. After all, who, in their right mind would purchase 80 acres of 60 feet deep holes? But he just smiled and said, “Oh ye of little faith!”
Less than ten miles north of Charlie’s field of holes, work was scheduled to begin on a new freeway. The highways planned route took it through the chalk hills of the South Downs. Long stretches of the road would cut deep into the sides of the chalk hills. Hundreds of thousands of tons of chalk would be taken from the hills, but where would the road builders dump it? Little wonder Charlie was smiling. The road contractors were offering to pay top dollar to anyone with suitable landfill sites who had the capacity to take it. Preference would be given to sites closest to the excavations.
Charlie’s field of holes was right on their doorstep, and the contractor beat a path to his door to secure a contract. He now had a contract to fill the empty sand pits with the perfect material, and he was going to be paid top dollar for the privilege. His smile broaden even more. He invested in a large bulldozer and operator and soon the trucks began rolling in by the dozens every day. And slowly but surely the landscape of the field of holes gradually reverted to its original level, topography.
Eleven and a half years later, the field of holes that Charlie Brown purchased for “a song” was complete. After many formalities and surveyor’s reports, the area was declared prime building land. Three quarters of the total area he sold for development for $60 million dollars. The remaining quarter he kept for himself. Again, his friends and family questioned his sanity. He could have earned many millions more by simply selling the lot. Again he just smiled that knowing smile. Charlie already had another idea up his sleeve. … The fields beyond the parcel he had kept for himself could only be accessed via his land … and the green grass beyond covered huge unexcavated reserves of sand! Charlie smiled when his mind began to wonder who would be supplying sand to the building contractors and developers who had invested in his 60 acres!
You May Also Enjoy These Related Articles:
The Incredible Story of Nicola Tesla
All of Our Motivational Articles
Return to Home Page From Charlie Brown