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Fatherly advice

image Like father, like daughter: Fatherly advice and a yellow note encouraged Rhonda “Seay” Usher to establish Primitive Stone LLC.

DALLAS/FT WORTH - Buddy Seay, owner of dirt hauling and excavation business C-Company, en-joyed putting pen to paper and seeing his thoughts take shape on large yellow sheets of multiple legal pads.






    Shortly after Buddy’s passing, his daughter, Rhonda “Seay” Usher, grabbed a stack of his legal pads to use in her new stone supply and dirt hauling business. As her eyes fell on one of his forgotten missives and scanned the yellow page, there was no mistaking whom it was meant for.
    “When I picked up this piece of paper, I knew it was for me,” Usher says. “It said, ‘I’ll be there every step of the way. Work with the best. Take control. Things to do. This is just the beginning.”
    His words meant everything to her. Buddy had encouraged her over the years to help him expand his business, but changed his mind on his deathbed, telling her to concentrate solely on marriage and motherhood.
    “Being the rebellious person he had taught me to be, I knew what I needed to do to keep the business going to the next generation,” Usher says. “Three months after he passed away, I just said, ‘You know what? I can do this.’ Finding the note was confirmation that I was making the right decision.”
    Usher had entrepreneurial experience and certainly knew the business, having spent her youth in Buddy’s office.
    “As a child, my sister and I didn’t really have a home life; we had an office life,” Usher remembers, laughing. “We had to go out into the office and sit for hours and hours. When we were kids, we were called “office babies” because we would go to the office and pretend to write tickets! But he didn’t want us girls in the business because it’s tough. ”
    Buddy would know – he had pulled himself up by his bootstraps to become a success.
    “My father was in the business over 60 years,” she says. “He started as a dump truck driver with one truck. He excavated and moved dirt all over the Metroplex and owned several dirt pits and up to 100 trucks at one time.  He was the best at what he did and very well known in the industry. My grandfather, father, uncles and cousins have all been in the sand and gravel hauling and excavating business.
    “The machinery, the loaders, the smell of the dirt, the digging, when I hear the dump trucks – it just means something to me. I feel like it’s home,” she continues. “My dad had passed away, but I just couldn’t let that part go.”
    Usher says the past two years as owner of Primitive Stone LLC have been a “process. You have to have tough skin. Even if you don’t get the bid or the job, it’s still a learning experience. You have to believe in yourself; even on days you don’t feel you can do it – do it anyway.”
    Despite the learning curve, Usher is thrilled to be doing what she and her father loved. And for those days when she does need a bit of encouragement, she rereads her dad’s yellow note. It’s framed and displayed on her office wall now along with her first check, which she signed over to him.
    Primitive Materials in Arlington is a stone supplier and hauls materials to and off of job sites. –mjm

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Melissa Jones-Meyer dfweditor@constructionnews.net