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From Mowing Lawns to Television Back to Lawns

I was taking this girl on our first date, we got to the Braves stadium, walked in a private entrance, walked through some tunnels, then we were standing on the field. I told her to hold on a second, and I walked into the visitor dugout and back to the locker room. I asked to have pitcher Jake Westbrook come out on the field so I could interview him. He came out, she got to hold the microphone for the interview, then we walked up to the press box got free food ate at the table next to Skip Carey, and enjoyed the game from there. After the evening was over she told me she had a blast and that I'd never be able to top that first date because I had set the bar too high. Maybe she was right.

I came walking up the hill and saw two secret service agents standing in the distance holding the biggest pairs of binoculars I had ever seen in my life. They were looking off at what I have no clue. I went up the hill and then had to go through metal detectors and show my credentials. Then was taken inside to the press area. A bit later the band started playing and in came President George W. Bush. It was a $2,000 a plate fundraiser dinner for him being held at Reynold's Plantation. I was there covering it for the news that evening.

So with all that excitement in the news business, you may be wondering why in the world am I running a lawn care company? Am I nuts? No not at all, because although the excitement is on a different level now, there's still a lot of things that make me smile and make me want to get out of bed every day, but more on that in a bit.

Back in high school I spent a couple of summers working for a lawn care company. Then I spent a couple of summers with my buddies running our own little company. We didn't even have a riding mower, we simply used a push mower that we loaded into the trunk of my little Ford Escort. So we were riding around town with a push mower hanging out the hatchback of my car. I don't even think we had a blower, we did that thing where you drive the mower up and down the driveway to blow off leaves. It was crazy hot work, and we sweated a lot always stopping for Powerade feeling like we were going to die on some days, but it taught us all the value of hard work. It also taught me how to treat a customer.

So I left the mowing profession (if you wanna call it that...maybe gave up the summer job would be a better way to word it) to pursue my dream of being on television, and of reporting the news. I was a total news junkie. In high school I was the guy sitting in the library first thing in the morning reading the newspaper. Then at lunch I'd hurry up and finish eating so I could go read the newspaper some more. Then I'd get home at night and watch the evening news with my dad. We'd watch the 6:30 evening news on either CBS or NBC, then we'd switch over and watch at least the start of the 7:00 news on ABC. I know, I'm a bit strange.

So I figured I needed to get a job in news. I spent a couple of little league seasons covering local teams for the Athens Banner Herald and for the Oconee Enterprise. Then I became the general manager of my college radio station. I was on air and did dj work along with covering the news. Then I was the sports anchor for my college tv show. After doing all of those things I settled on the idea I wanted to be a television news reporter or sports guy. I got my degree from Georgia College and State University, and I got an internship at NewsChannel 32 which was located in Toccoa, GA at the time.

Well, after I interned I started working security. One night almost a year after my internship I was working a high school football game in Commerce, and I ran into the sports anchor for NewsChannel 32. He told me they had an opening, so I mailed in my resume and a tape of some of my work. When I look back at that tape now I have no idea how I ever got a television job anywhere, but sometimes things just happen based on a higher power. So, I got the job!

I spent three years as a reporter and cameraman and editor and writer and all those things, heck I even got to fill in and anchor sports several times and the actual newscast once. I made some great friends, I met some interesting and famous people, and I just had a blast.

The field though is very competitive, and the job is very stressful, and after three years I realized it wasn't something I was going to do the rest of my life. So I decided to move on to other things. I did security for a while, even played poker for a little extra income at times, and just wasn't sure exactly what to do.

Then one day I remembered those summers of my youth. How good it felt to look at a yard and know you had accomplished that. It's one of those jobs that rewards you every day. Every day I get to see a yard that has tall grass, or even a yard that is a total wreck, then I work on it, and when I'm done I feel a sense of pride every single time. So I decided to start my own lawn care company.

So life has taken me full circle right back to the days of my youth...well except I actually have a trailer to carry my equipment in now, no more mowers hanging out the back of a tiny Escort.

I never could top that first date, and things didn't work out with that girl, but I have a new wonderful woman in my life now who has two sets of twins, so when we're not out mowing we manage to stay pretty busy around here...and in regards to that $2,000 a plate dinner, well I'd rather eat pizza anyday! And having to wear a long sleeve shirt with a tie outside in the dog months of summer was always a blast. Having to race down the road to meet a deadline for the 6pm newscast...ok well you get the point. No job is perfect, but I'm happy to be out cutting lawns!

If you've read all this then maybe you are interested in my service. I hope you will give me a call, and I would love to come out and give you a free estimate!

Chris McAndrew

10:35 am


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