His name is Albert John. He is my husband. We were married November 28, 1970. Over 40 years ago! Now that’s something to be proud of these days. Not that I can take any credit for it.
His siblings and the nieces & nephews on his side of the family call him Albert. But I have always called him Al. Albert just didn’t ever seem to fit. He’s never been fat (as in Fat Albert).
He is the most humble human being I’ve ever known. He makes me so mad sometimes, because he is so gifted, yet he thinks of himself as so inadequate. He says he can’t read: yet he reads boat magazines, blueprints, and horse articles without any trouble. He’s not the best speller, but who is these days? But actually, lately he spells pretty good …… because he has faced his fear of maybe spelling a word wrong and being ridiculed.
He is smart. So smart. He doesn’t think of himself as smart because he struggled to make it through high school. He thinks I am smart, because I have a college degree. But he is wrong. He’s the smart one. I guess they call it street smarts (“a person who has alot of common sense and knows what’s going on in the world”)…..yes. He has common sense, something I sorely lack.
He has vision. I have never known him when he hasn’t been dreaming. When we were first married, we lived on a hobby farm. We had a few sheep, chickens, bottle calves, etc. But within 10 years we were running a 600 head sheep farm. Al started drywalling in 1971. He worked for a guy named Frank Goldade. They did small jobs, ‘scab jobs’ they called them. But by the late ’90s Al ran a commercial drywall business and was travelling around the country with a crew, doing big jobs. When we moved to Chamberlain we didn’t have much. Al’s drywall business had gone sour and as a result our credit was ruined. But Al didn’t let that stop him. He found a small lot on the hills of Oacoma, purchased it from a little old lady, and proceeded to build us a home, block by block. Seriously. It took us 4 years, but Al finished the house. And his vision carried him through it. Today its a beautiful home overlooking the Missouri River. In 2005 a carpenter friend of Al’s died suddenly. Al bought the project he was working on (an old house he lived in and was turning into apartments.) Al finished the job and today rents out the 3 apartments that resulted. In 1990 we owned a 18′ Rinker ski boat. Today we own a 40′ Bayliner yacht, a 32′ Trojan cruiser and a dinghy. We take trips up and down the Missouri and the Mississippi Rivers.
All these things because Al said we could. He wanted it and he went after it. And God blessed him and his work. Abundantly.
He is so creative. We own a trophy store, and just by talking to a customer, he know what he wants to do for them. It could be a beautiful trophy, or an original acrylic or a stand out plaque. He seems to see it in his head before he starts these jobs, which blows me away. Our trophy business continues to grow, because of the creative, original, beautiful work he does for his customers.
He has a work ethic like very few. You probably got that impression already. Drywall business (drywall is not easy work!). 600 head sheep farm. Building homes. Remodelling apartments.
He is kind. Always helping others. ALWAYS.
He is generous. It’s a good thing we don’t have a lot of money, because he would give it all away. He gives of his time freely.
He is courageous. He’s not afraid of failure. He has had failure in his life but has got right back up again. But there is one thing that stands out in my mind that speaks of Al’s courage. When Al and I first purchased Amitie (our 40′ bayliner yacht), Al had never driven a boat this size before. That first year we had it here in Chamberlain, there were many days when Al had to face his fear with that boat. The wind had come up, and he had to get that big boat into the slip. Something that is not to be shrugged at. One time we were downriver for a few days. We were anchored in a bay. A big storm came up in the middle of the night and pulled the anchors loose. Al (with me by his side encouraging him) had to drive that boat down the middle of the Missouri River in pitch dark, in huge waves, just trying to keep it from going aground. It was pretty scary.
He is even now, forty some years later, at age 62, so handsome. So romantic. So tender.
I have just skimmed over the person that Al is. Jesus lives in him. He probably wouldn’t tell you that (unless you asked), but the character of the man, Al, I also know to be the character of Jesus. Everything I’ve said. Humble. Wise. Kind. Creative. Generous. Yes, Jesus shines through this man, my husband, my friend, Al. I am very grateful……. so much more than words could ever express, that God brought Al into my life. I can’t imagine what my life would have been without him. But that’s a whole ‘nother story…..