The Texas Aggie

Back in 1987 a client offered to sell me a rental house they owned on 38th Avenue on the South Hill in Spokane. That is a very good neighborhood and the price was $20,000, a very low price even then.

It was 900 square feet, more like a lake cabin than a South Hill Residence. There was no garage and the driveway was unpaved. There was a tenant who paid $200 per month and after a $2,000 down payment the monthly mortgage payment was $140.

Real Estate taxes and insurance ran $44 per month so I could clear $16 per month. All of this fit into my long range plans but I wondered why Harold and Lorraine would sell the house for 20K when they had paid $30K for it?

They wanted to retire and they explained that there was deferred maintenance which I would have to do. I bought it without any appraisal and the long term tenant moved out.

It was vacant for 3 months while we worked on the place mostly painting, window replacement and fence repair. A young single attorney wanted to rent the house for $300 per month.

He signed the one year lease, and paid the first and last month’s rent and the security deposit of $200. I told him that I would be happy to pay him the $200 deposit back when he moved out with no damages done to the house.

He laughed and said, “I am a Texas Aggie”. I wondered what that meant but the way he laughed made me wish I had not rented the place to him. That same week end I went to the main public library downtown and looked up the “12th Man.”

Texas A&M is one of the finest engineering schools in America. It is the home of the Original 12th Man football theme which is based on actual events. The Aggies were matched with the Praying Colonels of the powerhouse Centre College in the 1922 Dixie Classic later known as the Cotton Bowl.

Coach Dana X. Bible was short of players on the bench due to injuries. Coach Bible had assigned E. King Gill, a reserve Full Back to identify players for the Public Address Announcer. Bible sent an assistant coach to bring Gill to the locker room where he donned his uniform and joined the team as the 12th man.

The Aggies won the game 22-14 and the Tradition of the 12th Man was born. Now the entire Student Body stands for all of A&M’s home games. Folks in Texas (And Oklahoma) know that it is not smart to fight a Texas Aggie (I’m from Oklahoma City), but there were no Sooners from Norman to help me with my new tenant, Billy Stone.

Two months later Billy gave me a week’s notice to move out. I gave him a break with a billing for six month’s rent less the two months that he had paid. When I added the charges for the broken chair and the rent it was $ 1,426.

He laughed again and said, “Give me my Security Deposit and I’ll walk.” This time I laughed and said, “No way.” He didn’t laugh when he said, “You know I’m a lawyer and a Texas Aggie. You’re going to fight over $200?”

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