Earlington (Renton, WA)
Earlington (Renton, WA) Real Estate News
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A House is a Home
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

As the housing market heats up, I'm reminded:

 

A House is a Home.

 

I grew up in the Earlington neighborhood of Renton, Washington. I have many memories from those days, some great, some not. I remember playing hide and go seek, kick the can, olly olly oxen free, and exploring the woods across the street with my pals. Later it was sports, high school band, cruising the loop, and playing my guitar.

In those days I couldn't imagine our home as a financial investment. It was our home. We took great care of it. For us three boys, it was getting our chores done so we could do something cool. For Mom & Dad, it was creating a space that served our needs.

I think the child in me assumed we’d be there forever.

Homes weren't flipped and sales weren't short. Our job as a kid back then was exactly that, being a kid. Now it appears none of us can escape the world's bad news and the talking head experts who pontificate big data infinitum on every aspect of every market. Since 2008 most of this gibberish has been rather depressing.

As the market picks up and our industry gets busy again (Yay!) we're all trying to put the recession behind us. In our exuberance to capture every transaction, I hope we don't forget we’re in the people business.

The Fabre home (circa 1962) in the Earlington neighborhood, Renton, Washington.

I’ve had several great conversations about this lately with my real estate friends. We don’t forget the special place a home is. Those youthful memories helped forge who we became in life. 

We agree it’s not just another deal, but these days it's often a very big deal and stressful to a family when it comes time to sell their home.

I am so thankful to my sphere that practice their customer service with understanding and compassion. A house is a building, but a home is refuge. A place where life's memories are made and our affections centered.

 

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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What's the ROI of your Mother?
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I’m a fan of Gary Vaynerchuk... and I credit the title of this post to him. It’s a line he uses in many of his talks when he’s making points on being asked about (or confronted with) the ROI of social media. Gary’s a ‘take no prisoners’ kind of guy and I love watching his YouTube videos.

I can relate to this funny turn of phrase because I’ve been asked the same question many times. “How much of this stuff do I have to do before I see a deal?” I don’t know. What and how much are you going to do? The ROI is having a relationship with your current customers and your future clients.

I highly recommend watching Vaynerchuk on YouTube give the keynote address at the RE/MAX annual convention in 2011. You’ll also find him doing the keynote speech at Inc 500 Seminar 2011, Web 2.0 Expo NY, and #SoMix2012... Warning! Gary has a rather colorful vocabulary so if you’re offended by an occasional f-bomb and other strong adjectives, you have been warned.

He is so worth a listen! Gary is spot on about this new age, The Thank You Economy (Gary wrote the book) and he also wrote, Crush It! If you’re not aware of Gary Vaynerchuk, he took the family liquor store in Springfield, NJ and created the Wine Library, then in 2006 he started the video blog Wine Library TV and transformed the local small store into a multi-million dollar business.

So... “What’s the ROI of your Mother?”

Priceless, of course! Mom would have been 89 today if she were still here. She passed back in 1999 at 75. Mom taught us to be honest, creative, self reliant, independent thinking courteous people with good table manners.

She wanted us to be open to change and new ideas, to be well read, have good conversational skills, and to stand up for what we believed in.

Of all the training I’ve had throughout my life, it is mom’s I most often value and use.

With my brothers Steve and Terry. Hanging out at Mom's on Garden Avenue, Renton, Washington. Early 1970's.
Steve, Mom, Terry, and René, early 1970's.

Happy Birthday, Mom!
Related post: Happy Mother's Day

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
Rene at acme bowl 1024x773
My First Truck.
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I was reminded the other day of my first truck. It was a 1951 ¾ ton white Chevy panel. I bought it from the Orting Fire Department in 1967. They retired this big old fire rescue truck with its 4 speed long throw floor shifter with compound low, 17 inch wheels, a 92 hp inline 6 cylinder engine and leaf springs front and back. What a ride!

The perfect truck for a rock band!

So hey, this was 1967 after all. I took a razor blade to the official emblems on the doors and scraped off Orting Fire Department - Fire Rescue and inserted a peace sign. Totally appropriate for the times I thought.

Plenty of room in that 8 foot bed for guitars, amps, PA and drums. There was absolutely no where we couldn’t go.

We took it across small rivers and drove old logging roads and horse trails, even when it was up the mountain side in the mud.

My 1952 Chevy 3/4 ton panel truck, 1967/68.

And still looking somewhat official, I kept the FIRE RESCUE above the back doors. A few times we turned on the flashing yellow's driving to a gig and traffic pulled over to let us by. How cool is that?

I wasn’t a hippy or anything, just a crazy kid blazing a dream trail to rock n roll nirvana (long before the band by that name came along). My truck was quite the local icon, like a giant loaf of bread on wheels.

The downside (with those peace signs on the doors) was like begging the police to pull you over, and that they did. It happened a number of times and one look at us and they'd search it for, you know, herbs. One day the state patrol pulled me over and gave me a warning ticket for impersonating a fire truck.

My new yellow dump truck at Christmas 1954.

That was a wake up call and besides, it was the end of an era and I was heading in a new direction.

I sold the truck and bought a VW bug, fell in love with jazz, Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck and started college. I decided to be an intellectual with a passion for Russian writers like Solzhenitsyn and Chekhov and listened to contemporary composers like Stravinsky, Bartok, Charles Ives and Alban Berg.

I came out of my little day dream and it hit me... That wasn’t my first truck.

The yellow truck I got for Christmas in 1954, that was my first truck!

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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Happy Holidays 2012
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

One of the things I enjoy during the Holiday Season is getting out the old box of decorations to revisit those little treasures from yesteryear.

Rene Fabre with Santa Claus at JC Penney in downtown Renton, Washington, circa 1953.

Like the tree ornament my brother Terry made back in grade school out of Plaster of Paris. It weighs over a pound and would bend the branch so far you feared the tree would fall over. It was always placed very near the trunk and low to the floor.

I remind him every year!

I made a stained glass Madonna like card for Mom by ironing a crayon drawing between wax paper on construction paper. Did you ever do that?

As I was digging through the box I came across Christmas drawings from my kids when they were small. Christmas Trees and drawings of our home with lights on it and of course Santa. 

Then there’s that first photo op with Santa at the JC Penney store in downtown Renton (before Shopping Centers and Malls). Note it's a black and white! I'll stop...

Brother Steve and I in our Christmas pajamas from Grandma & Grandpa Larson.

That's real aluminum foil tinsel on the tree and yes, I remember a few good jolts when the lights and me got grounded.

Another sacred treasure is Mom's Hallmark cardboard train. I remember it on our fireplace mantle every year. It's where we displayed our Christmas Cards.

It's so fragile now I dare not actually use it, but I display a piece or two to honor it.


Steve and Rene Fabre, Christmas 1958 in Earlington in their new Christmas pajamas.

 

This little mid 50's rambler is handmade from cardboard boxes, hand painted with sparkles and plastic beads. I think we got it from the Wigwam Store.

It has a hole in the back so you can light it up by inserting a tree light.

It's hand rubber stamped on the bottom, "Made in Japan." It's so corny and dated I know, yet one of my prized treasures.

I need this annual rediscovery and it keeps me connected with the river of life. We all have a past, share the present, and have a future. I know it's totally sentimental and I'm the first to admit it.

This is where I truly remember my place in the big scheme of things. I do belong to that very big human family...

AND, its power, its fuel, the engine it runs on... is love.


Enjoy the Holidays! 

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
Rene at acme bowl 1024x773
My Shadow Often Kicks Me From Behind.
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I picked up the guitar when I was 13 years old. The British Invasion had just begun and I knew there was no way I’d ever become a rock n roll star playing an accordion or french horn.

I spent hours and hours listening to 45 records and strumming along to learn the tunes. After I got past the 3 chord songs that used G, C, D and the like I discovered the minor chords through songs like The House of the Rising Sun.

Life was never the same and as a kid longing to express himself, I now had my instrument, a friend, and a companion. 

1965/66 Gibson Johnny Smith.

Fast forward to yesterday, I was listening to Chris Smither in the car running errands. My friend Rob Porter turned me on to Chris about 10 years ago. Not sure how I missed this wonderful artist, he’s been around as we say, forever.

I found a lovely short interview of Chris on YouTube last night. His conversation about the creative process really resonated with me.

Paraphrasing Chris... "Half the time it’s just a lick on the guitar. I have no idea where I’m going, I just like the sound of E minor to C major 7 to G."

"Often the way is to pretend you’re not paying any attention to what you’re doing. Just fill in the spaces and coax it along and the rest will fill itself in."

"I sit at a desk like everyone who writes a story, a book, a song, a symphony, and wait."

Chris Smither has a charming straightforward way of articulating his experience. I love all kinds of music, so I’m not pushing his style. I simply connected with his message. I recognized listening to him that part of me is still that kid strumming his guitar on a path of discovery, regardless if today that's a blog post, a song, or what have you.

I have a lot of respect for Chris Smither as an artist, musician, composer, writer, poet. He's remained true to his calling and has been on the road over 30 years. His story telling cuts right through life's enigmas and reaches for your soul. Enjoy...

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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PRIVATE
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I grew up in a musician’s household. It was a public and social upbringing and we were always around a lot of people. It was understood by my brothers and I that we’d be well behaved in public and we were, with few exceptions. Not that we were kid geniuses or anything, we just understood consequences early on.

If we strayed from the lessons we learned at Mom’s Preparatory School of Proper Social Etiquette and Good Manners the correction was passed to the Dean. Upon the infraction Dad would lean forward slightly pursing his lips, tilt his head to one side and give you “that” look. It worked and his silent stare conveyed volumes, then the festivities continued as if nothing ever happened.

Privacy was something we had at home but only when Dad wasn’t teaching music lessons in his studio downstairs or Mom and Dad weren’t entertaining. Little did I realize then what a great education this would turn out to be for the world online. 

For Dad being in public was marketing. He was always 'on' and at his best when he left the house. As a musician and entertainer his social capital was realized through attraction. The strategy was to create and maintain a following large enough that he could draw a decent crowd night after night to the club he was playing at. If they had dinner, a few drinks, and the dance floor was full for the evening, he was a huge success. And that's how he made his living for 46 years.

If that doesn't sound like social media, I'm at a loss. I'm surprised I still find professionals every day in sales and marketing who want to attract more business and need a following to accomplish their goals, yet ironically refuse to participate online because they have issues with privacy. I argue being online is simply being in public.

Because I’m on Facebook, Google+, or blog doesn’t mean I reveal my deepest darkest secrets. Anyway, they're pretty boring really (like my FourSquare check ins) and not nearly as tantalizing as you'll find on the magazine rack at the local grocery store checkout lane.

We're in the people business, sales and marketing, creating content, generating leads and building relationships is what we've always done. The specific tasks and methods may change with technology and where we do them also, but PRIVATE isn't about hiding. It's still important to meet people at Club Today on opportunities dance floor.

If your online conversations adhere to the lessons you learned at Mom's Prepatory School of Proper Social Etiquette and Good Manners and you don’t stray from your training so Dad has to give you “that” look. I’m thinking you’ll do just fine.

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
Rene at acme bowl 1024x773
Columbus Day Storm 1962
René Fabre, New Media Marketing (First American Title)

I’m getting hit with all this 50 year anniversary stuff lately. I think I need to buy lotto tickets and use some of these dates as numbers to play. Today is the day after that famous Columbus Day Storm of 1962, so sorry, I know, old news. I was 12 years old then and I still remember quite a lot about that day.

It was a Friday. I remember being in the backyard watching the trees sway back and forth listening to the wind howl. We were fortunate and a little protected because our home was towards the bottom of the hill in Earlington, yet our garage got hit pretty hard and so did the back fence and a few trees. Fortunately, the damage in our neighborhood was minimal.

Smiley face

The plan was to go to the Renton High School Football game that night, but that didn't happen. The winds grew worse and all across town the power was going out. It was quite eerie hearing the trees cracking and branches braking off in the wind. All kinds of debris flew flew through the air then the light pole transformers started popping real loud and throwing fountains of sparks before all was dark.

Yesterday I was scouring the web for images and found this video on YouTube. Ironically I've been having fun playing with 8mm Vintage Camera, an app for my iPhone 4s to make your videos look retro. Here's the real deal...

Film courtesy of Ron Fulham on YouTube. This original 8mm movie was taken by his mom and dad in McMinnville, Oregon.

Surreal is an understatement. We had a fireplace but didn't dare light a fire. The downdrafts were so strong we had to close the chimney flue. We gathered in the front room and sat huddled around the candles listening to the tremendous roar just outside. I wasn't aware until years later that the entire coast was hard hit from California to British Columbia.

Over the weekend we ventured out to check on Grandma and Grandpa and friends and neighbors. There was a lot of damage around Renton. Trees were down everywhere and so were many power lines. Several homes and buildings had their roofs nearly or totally blown off, windows were broken, and the football stadium took some hard blows and lost a big section of its over hang.

Fifty years later on this Columbus Day we had no storm. After 86 mostly warm and sunny days we finally had rain. As one who was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, it was sure welcome!

René Fabre

"Where there's conversation, there's opportunity."

Please Note - The views expressed herein reflect only the individual’s personal views and are not the views of the author’s employer.

The Blackberry Chronicles, a blog by Rene Fabre and his travels around the Greater Pacific Northwest and beyond. Connect w/ Rene Fabre on Google+. Rene Fabre on Twitter. Rene Fabre writes reviews on Yelp. Rene Fabre on Linkedin.com The Audiorium YouTube Channel by Rene Fabre. Facebook.com/renefabre Rene Fabre loves digital photography and here are his shares on Flickr. Rene Fabre checks in on Foursquare. Rene Fabre is a musician and composer and shares some of his orginal music and recordings on Soundcloud. Rene Fabre shares his interests on Pinterest.
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