GTE Telephone Switching Building

This story was originally written back in 2015. So another 6 years have come and gone with this saga.

Back in 1977 GTE was updating the phone lines down Smithwick way. They made a deal with us to lease a small plot of ground to put an switching building on. The property where this building is located is on a 7 AC tract that I had owned for several years.

Cec made the deal and I told him to just cash the check when it came in, which was easy enough for him to do back in those days.

The terms was $850 for a 10 year lease, with a renewal clause with a cost of living increase to be factored in after each 10 years.

After Cec died, when going through the records I discovered that they never paid in 1987. By this time it was already nearly 1997.

I started trying to run something down by writing and trying to call Brownwood where the office was when the original agreement was signed. I never heard back. By this time GTE had become Verizon.

Finally I started taping notes to the door of the little building trying to get someone’s attention. At some point I got ahold of someone that told me the Staubach Company (yes, Rogers Real Estate company) was contracted by Verizon to handle all their ground leases. In fairly short order I got ahold of a lady up in Dallas that seemed eager to get this resolved and try to get new leases signed and me paid for the past amounts. Yes another 10 year anniversary date had come and gone.

I had several conversations then I heard nothing. I keep calling back and getting her voice mail. Every month or so I’d try her, each time I’d leave my name and number. It had been close to 2 years since I had spoken with the once helpful lady.

Finally I called her direct line and someone answered. I explained who I was and why I was calling. I told them that I really needed to speak to Lenora, because I didn’t want to start all over again.

“Well sir, that may be a problem. Lenora is no longer with us”.

Of course I launched into “can you tell me where she went”?

“She is no longer with us, meaning she died”.

I’m thinking well dang the luck, so I ask “when”?

“Oh, it’s been about 2 years ago”.

So I gave the lady on the other end of the line as much information as I had. She assured me that she would get back to me.

That’s been about 16 or 17 years ago. Everyday I think, maybe today I’ll get a call or perhaps a big ole check will show up in the mail.

I checked the mail today and guess what, that’s right nothing there again.

I figure with everything going the way it is, Elon Musk’s Starlink will be beaming all the information we’ll ever need back to earth and the need for that little precast building will go away and it will all be lost forever. Maybe I can convert it into a one unit self storage and rent it out.

Given Cecil Lewis’s past history, if he was still living, he would have already broke into that building and removed all the equipment and writes and started using it to store hay and cattle feed in.

Below is the original link to that story for back in the early days of The Angora Chronicles. I added it so the reader can have the benefit of those past comments.

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