Thursday, January 19, 1995
A couple of weeks ago during a winter storm, a big old branch (we call them widowmakers) fell from a redwood tree and shattered Marilyn's skylight. Today she has asked me to meet an insurance adjuster to discuss the work. I expect him to try for a cheap fix, though I can't imagine what that might be. Duct tape? You have to replace the entire skylight. It'll cost a thousand dollars. Maybe he'll try to squeeze me down to eight hundred.
Tim wears boots and a cowboy hat. "Howdy," he says. He's scribbling on a clipboard while squinting up at the roof.
I've got my ladder. I ask if he'd like to climb up and take a closer look.
"Naw," he says. "I'd say you need to re-shingle."
There's one spot where the branch damaged a shingle. Two shingles. "I can weave them in," I say.
"No. Re-shingle the whole side."
I'm puzzled. The roof is only three years old; it would be an easy spot repair. "Why?" I ask.
"I had a house in Dallas," he says. "A tornado turned it into splinters. I had insurance, and you know what? They went bankrupt from all the claims. I never got a penny. So you know whose side I'm on."
Tim hands me the estimate - $6525.00 - returns to his Cadillac, and rides off into the hills.