This is a story of old Mr. Scrinch, you might call him a successful landowner in the Las Vegas Valley. He had a reputation with his peers of an uncanny ability in always buying distressed property in the least desirable part of town and at his terms. He was notorious for investing as little rehab money into a project as possible, and rent schedules that always seemed over market. Somehow he always kept his properties filled with tenants that weekly paid his collectors in cash. It seemed that even in today’s market his business was thriving and his coffers growing.
Each year during the Christmas Season, instead of celebrating the joy and peace that this time can provide; he would send his tenants notice of rent increases and initiate the eviction process on those that had fallen behind with their exorbitant rent. He was an unpleasant man, who had become callous to the needs of those around him. As a result his health had deteriorated rapidly. He was also without family and friends except for a nephew, named Ted, who worked diligently as a maintenance man for his rentals and part-time interface to Mr. Scrinch’s tenants. Ted was a good man but working for a tyrant that verbally abused him on a regular basis. You get the picture.
This year was no different from the past years; the notices were sent out and the evictions initiated just like clockwork. However, Mr. Scrinch’s health had reached a new low. He had caught the latest flu bug that pulled his health to new lows because of his already weakened condition. He was hospitalized and provided fluids and antibiotics, but slipped in and out of a coma. The hospital staff was not optimistic on Mr. Scrinch’s ability to recover from this illness. He had fallen deeper in a coma and Ted his only remaining relative was called to his bedside. Ted watched and waited at his uncle’s bedside that night not knowing whether his uncle would be part of the living the next morning.
Early morning arrived and the electronic monitors attached to the failing Mr. Scrinch had reached new lows. Ted had prayed all night for his uncle, asking that heavenly angels be sent not only to bring his uncle back from his illness, but to provide a change of heart for this very sad man. That if he were to recover, he would look at life with a new perspective, with charity of heart and concern for those that occupied his rental units. This was a giant request, but Ted was a believer that all things are possible.
Ted looked at his watch; it was 9AM straight up, Christmas morning. He walked to the window and opened the blinds to allow the bright morning sunlight to bring its cheer to this dismal room. As he faced the window he could hear a rustle of the sheets on the bed behind him. He turned and saw his uncle open his eyes and project a large smile on his face. Life glowed in what was a lifeless face. It was then that Mr. Scrinch stated so clearly; “get me out of this hospital, I have much work to do and mends to make”. Ted could hardly believe his eyes and ears. Was this his uncle; who just earlier had been on death’s doorstep.
No one really could explain the miraculous recovery that occurred that Christmas morning. The hospital staff was dumbfounded; they saw no evidence of the illness and later that day released Mr. Scrinch to his nephew. Christmas fell on a Friday, so Ted took his recovering uncle to his house to stay through Christmas weekend. It was during this time that the life-filled Mr. Scrinch laid out all his plans to his nephew Ted. Ted was to become a full partner in his business with immediate responsibilities. Starting on Monday, Ted was to prepare a comparable market analysis on rent schedules for his properties; develop a schedule of improvements and appliance upgrades for all his rentals and tasked to develop a reasonable payment schedule for all those that would otherwise be evicted.
Soon after the first of the year Mr. Scrinch’s health returned with vigor. He walked with a brightened step, while making it his duty to personally know each of his tenants by name when he visited them on a regular basis. He took on the individual hardships of his tenants; they became his family.
This has been my story of old Mr. Scrinch. It was said that from the point of his recovery, he celebrated life to its fullest; filled with charity and concern of all those around him, especially to Ted and his family. That he was soon known throughout the Las Vegas Valley as the “Benevolent Landlord” and that all looked to him as an example of how to be successful in business and life.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
I hope your Holiday Season is filled with the special joys that are bestowed upon us this time of year.