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The company I now own with my sister was started as a painting company by my grandfather in 1916. When my father took it over in 1941, he changed it to a general contracting firm. He specialized first in home building, then in commercial remodeling, with a speciality wallpaper company on the side. It was a successful business. By the time I joined the company in 1968 to do payroll and job costing, my father had a crew of 30 men in various trades, from truck drivers to cabinetmakers. He worked hard to make sure these people had work. He succeeded, even though it meant long hours and that, at times, he had to skip paying himself. In the 1970s, however, the continuous boom that