An Couple's Debate on Whether to Trust Jim McMahon
"My husband and I built a new house on our farm, our "last" house, the house to "grow old in." So we were very particular about our choices. A couple months after moving in, I started noticing that the shiny white bathtubs and sinks were turning blue where the water had stood in them. I considered every angle and deduced that it had to be the water. The water HAD to be tested. But WHO to do it? I was afraid of the local health department, considering we raise cattle, and some "government agencies" don't seem to know where food comes from. What if they condemned my well? That was too much of a nightmare for me to think about. Well, I wanted to work with a local merchant but there aren't many in our area except the ones who sell the expensive water-softening systems. I knew I didn't want that. I'd been to hotels with those softening systems and every time we stay in one, my "very fine hair" becomes an uncontrollable fluffy mess. I couldn't imagine having "hotel hair" for the rest of my life!
I finally found a local business that advertised water testing and treatment systems. Called them. A mature gentleman in bib overalls came out, talked like a sensible man, took a water sample and promised to call me. My cattle farmer husband was comfortable with the bib-overalled man, who owned the company. So was I. Then the call came. He wanted to know when my husband and I would both be home so he could send his representative out to discuss our water test with us. I smelled a rat because I'd been caught by "Amway-type" sales people before, but I doubted this country gentleman would do this to me. Would he? Husband and I had a hard time finding a convenient time for both of us to talk to the rep. Finally hubby told me to tell them that he said if they wanted to work with us, they would have to talk to ME, whatever I said would be OK. (I already knew that, but "they" make you play their game.)
Date was set. Young man with a white lab coat and a brief case rang my front doorbell. I nervously let him in. He wanted a light place to set up his portable laboratory, so I ushered him into my kitchen and watched him set up his laboratory in my bar area. When he was ready he started pulling out test tubes, adding water from my tap and dropping in chemicals. Each time he would predict how bad the results would be. They never measured up to his "doom and gloom" expectations. Then came the "piece de resistance": I don't remember the test, but it was specifically for people with well water and it was sure to be awful. Darn it - mine was NOT awful! I let him finish his glossy presentation, repack his brief case, and told him I would call him when I decided what to do. Unbeknownst to him, I had had my own white lab coat once upon a time. I am a biology major and a chemistry minor. I understand a little bit about the water cycle and contamination. I knew my water was not contaminated and there couldn't be much wrong with it - nobody ever got sick or even a little so, and it tastes delicious. (I should sell bottled water out of my tap - now that's an idea!) Not really - too many liability issues. I just want to grow old in peace on this old farm, but I DON"T want to keep scrubbing those blue films out of the sinks and tubs. I knew enough chemistry to know blue and copper go together, but I don't know anything about plumbing and I never had the teacher who taught water testing. So, what to do?
Giving up on local resources, I went to the internet. After several hours of searching, reading, and rejecting, I found this website for this man who appeared to be an ecologist and seemed to care more about our natural resources than he did about making a name for himself. He would not even sell you anything until he knew what you NEEDED. I read some more of what he said and I called him. He sounded just like those geeky ecologists I had classes with in the biology department. I even had an ecology class myself. But Jim didn't know this at the time. He just talked about my water, what it was doing, what I hoped for. I gave him the home test results I had done, but he decided he wanted more information before I could spend any money. He re-analyzed my water at no extra expense to me. I told him he couldn't do that, but he said he owned the company and he could do anything he wanted. I liked his boldness. We decided I have acid water and some silt, so we selected the right items for me. No fancy water-softening system, just the components I needed. Now here's the catch. You have to give Jim a credit card number to order. At that time, I was uncomfortable about ordering anything over the internet (now my husband wishes I still was!). I was talking to Jim "in person" on the telephone, but I "found" him on the internet. I swallowed hard and gave him the numbers, hung up the phone and told my husband what I had done. Well, I'm gullible, so he figured I had messed up again. (Utah is a long way off from Kentucky for us to go try to find a crook.)
Well, we waited. Nothing came. My husband said, "Well, I guess you've done it this time. I told you so." But I remembered how nice and how competent Jim sounded on the phone. And a man who loves the land and really cares about our water supply - well, this person just had to believe in more than dollar bills. And then it happened. The semi-truck pulled across our cattle crossings and backed up to our garage. The equipment, supplies, and instructions were delivered!
Hired a plumber to put it in - my cattle-farmer husband is allergic to household tools. A few days later, NO BLUE in the tubs or sinks! Financial transaction was exactly "on the level". Jim McMahon IS who he says he IS and he DOES what he says he will DO. Even my skeptical, bib-overalled husband is a believer now. (And somehow, I resisted the urge to say "told you so.")
I'm a satisfied customer. I wish Jim McMahon were running for president. My choice would be easier - but what's more - I know we would be better off economically (Jim is honest) and ecologically (Jim loves the earth and really cares what we do to it. He wants us to take care of it so it can provide for us.
Sherron, and yes, Ronnie Cunningham (October 7, 2008)
"What's in YOUR Water?"
James P McMahon