"Life Lessons... from the back seat of my car" is a collection of more than seventy stories and essays by real estate broker and author, Loren Keim, including humorous, sad, off-the-wall, wacky, bizarre, touching and inspirational stories from Keim's unique experiences in the field of real estate as well as his insights into human nature, relationships, economics, society and politics.
"For good or bad, I've had the opportunity - or the misfortune - of quite often being in the right or wrong place at the right or wrong time," says Keim, who, for more than two decades, has represented business people, politicians, actors, rock stars, celebrities, and everyday people in the purchase and sale of property. This collection of those incredible experiences is certain to entertain, amaze and amuse you.
Excerpt: The Eldorado & the police...
About 20 years ago, when I was just beginning in real estate, I had invited friends of mine who were thinking of investing in property to my house for dinner, along with my girlfriend, after which we drove in my car, a big Cadillac Eldorado, over to the office to go through the Multiple Listing System. By the time we were finished, it was quite late, and none of us were particularly pleased when, having piled back into my car, we discovered that it would not start. So I called one of the most important emergency services in the country. Yes, I called AAA.
The tow truck driver, who was dispatched in response to my panicked call, looked over the car and announced that he could get the car started but it wouldn’t make it very far. Even though he explained the problem, I was sufficiently mechanically challenged, not to understand it precisely. But the point is that, being young, macho and just plain stupid, I decided that since it was only a few miles to my house, where everyone had left their cars, I would make a run for it. And since the mechanic had told us that we had an electrical issue, I felt it would be better to drive with no headlights, and therefore we should stay off the major highway and just take the surface streets.
So, slightly after midnight on a Friday evening, I drove at a relatively high speed down Hamilton Street to Hanover Avenue in Allentown and took a short cut through a parking lot to try and save as much time as humanly possible, in the process of which I passed a police car going the opposite direction. I suppose it should have come as no surprise to me that the police cruiser spun around and, with sirens and lights flashing, proceeded to pursue me.
Making a quick turn around the corner, I pulled over leaving the car in park, naively assuming that I could simply explain to the officer why I was driving with no headlights and that he would certainly let me go the last mile to my home. As I went to open the big door of the Eldorado I noticed a police car pull up next to me in addition to the one that was now behind me, and another car approached from the other direction pulling up in front of my car, boxing me in.
Putting the car in park, and starting to get out, I turned to my companion, and over the noise of the loud engine said, “Keep your foot on the gas pedal, we’re going to have to get out of here quickly”. In the process of stepping out of the car, I somehow managed to trip over my own foot and land flat on the ground at one of the officer’s feet.
To add a bit more context to this story, I should probably inform you, that having all but cut off my middle finger several weeks before by slamming it in the car door, the doctor at the Muhlenberg Hospital Center who had sewed me back together, had cast it with a metal bar on either side of my middle finger. As near as I can determine using hindsight, the police officers, seeing me take a dive with a metal object in my hand, assumed that I was armed.
Suddenly officers were diving behind their cars, drawing their guns as they did so. “Lie face down!” someone shouted. “And push that weapon away from you!”
I, of course, had no idea what they were talking about. After all, my only problem was that my headlights weren’t functioning. So naturally, I stood up and said, “What are you talking about?”
And then, since they were all shouting at once, I got back in the car and shut the door, only to find myself caught up in a spotlight. Needless to say, when all of us were forced to get out of the car while the officers searched it, my friends and potential clients, not to mention my girlfriend, were far from pleased.
As it turned out, the police had been responding to the burglary alarm at a bank in the shopping center parking lot when they found themselves being passed by a large car with no headlights, with the result that they had pursued the car. Needless to say, they were extremely unhappy with this turn of events.