Like a message in a bottle, Jon Goods sent out a plea to the Key Peninsula on Facebook.
A large Douglas fir had just fallen on his house, a 31-foot motor coach, blown over by the strong winds Tuesday night. With the forecast of arctic cold air for Western Washington and temperatures sure to dip below freezing, Goods said he needed help.
“I have no windshield and no place to live,” he writes on his Facebook post early Wednesday morning. “Looking for a cheap motorhome or trailer to live in. Help please, Jon”
Hard times is not new to this affable 50 year old with gray thinning hair and beard. It seems the last five years has been especially tough, he said. An unforgiving recession and breakup with a girlfriend just added misery to a hard life.
“People have no clue what poor is never mind working for it,” Patrick Osmon said
Goods said he is not necessarily seeking charity. He has a job at Northwest Auto Clinic in Wauna. He said he is a good mechanic, but he only earns a wage when cars drive in to the shop for work. This is the shop’s slow season.
“In the summer we do OK,” shop owner Patrick Osmon said. “In the winter we starve to death.”
Desperate times demand desperate action, and Goods is getting the word out.
“I mainly need food and small propane bottles,” he said. “I need the propane for my cooking stove and lantern.”
The storm knocked out his generator as well, and Goods is trying to figure out how to fix that too. But he said he is thankful he was not in his motorhome when the tree fell.
He usually leaves work by 5 p.m. The night of the storm, he decided to stop by the store and pick up a bowl of noodles for dinner. As he pulled up to his house, he said, he sees his neighbor just starting up a chainsaw. His truck lights illuminating the damage.
“If I would have gone straight home the tree would have mashed my truck too,” he said.
Instead he went in the motorhome, he said, and found his 6-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier Harley shivering but glad to see him.
Surveying the damage, he said, “the whole windshield and fiberglass nose of the motorhome is gone.”
He said he does not have any idea how much it would cost to fix his home.
He and his neighbors cut the tree into chunks “the size of my legs,” he said. “It took three guys just to twist the log off my motorhome and push it off the road.”
He has been sleeping in the damaged coach since.
He said he fires up a propane-powered infrared heater, pointing it to the back end of the motorhome where he sleeps. He shuts off the heater after 30 minutes. He throws an insulated jacket over Harley and curls up under two quilts and a sleeping bag.
His Facebook plea has garnered a few responses and queries on what he needs.
Osman, hIs boss and shop owner, has also asked for help on his behalf.
“It’s awful cold to not have a roof tonight. Looking for cheap housing or motor home, input, alternative ideas,” he wrote on Facebook Wednesday night.
The burley garage owner is protective of his people. He knows what it is like. He has seen hard times himself.
“I gambled my mortgage to open this place,” a defiant Osmon said. “Twenty five years later I’m still here. We’ve had some hard times, but we’ve stuck it out.”
Goods has worked for Osman on and off for 17 years. This summer Osmon brought him back after hearing that Goods was without work and in need.
“People have no clue what poor is never mind working for it,” Osmon said.
Contact Jon Goods at (253) 857-5999 or message him on Facebook.