Tag Archives: refurbishing

A Family Masterpiece

May 10, 2017 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Some childhood memories stick with you. Dave Carroll, a retired Union Pacific manager, holds onto the memory of one fateful childhood leap that dented his grandfather’s prized 1950 Mercury.

“I’ve got so much of my life in this car,” Carroll says. When he was about 6 or 7, Carroll was playing with cousins at a tree house on his grandparents’ farm in Fullerton, Nebraska. His grandfather John Carroll’s out-of-commission vehicle sat under the tree house.

“I remember it like it was yesterday. Instead of going down the rope ladder, I jumped out of the tree house onto the car and I caved the roof in.”

Carroll remembered his grandpa’s large hands. “He got in the car and he took his hand and popped it out, and I thought, wow.” Some wrinkles remained in the car’s roof and would stay there for many decades. “The funny story is, years later, I paid to fix that roof,” he says.

His grandmother, Etta Carroll, bestowed him the car after his grandfather passed away. Then she accidentally sold the car for $50 to a neighbor kid, while Dave was serving in the military during the Vietnam War. Dave and his father, Jack, travelled to Fullerton to get the car back after Dave returned from overseas. The duo were quickly chased off of the property by shotgun.

“We went downtown and we found the local constable. He was having coffee at the coffee shop. My dad knew him. We told him the story and he said ‘come on, we’ll go back.’” The story ended well for Dave, who was still in possession of the car’s original title. And the car has been with him since then.

Over the years, the Mercury was transported across the United States on a flatbed trailer while Carroll worked his way up at Union Pacific, from a position on the track gang to one in management at the company’s headquarters. His career led him to places such as Sydney (Nebraska), Denver, and Cheyenne. At every new location, Carroll brought along his beloved Merc’. “My intention was to build it, but being a railroader, I didn’t have the time or the funds.”

Carroll returned to Omaha in the ’80s. He met and wed Dianne Cascio Carroll, owner of Anything Goes Salon. Soon after, he began his odyssey of fixing the Mercury. Having the roof repaired is just one of the many changes Carroll has made to his car.

“There’s so many things that have been done to this car,” he says. Over more than 30 years, Carroll says he has spent thousands of hours refurbishing the car. Some projects were finished, only to be torn up again and redone so that he could try the ever-evolving products in the industry that worked better. “That’s my problem,” he says. “I redo things.”

He has often lost track of time while working in his garage in the Huntington Park neighborhood in Omaha. “I’ve had my wife open the door and say, ‘you know what time it is?’ I look at the clock and it’s 10 after 1 in the morning and I’ve got to be to work at 6 in the morning.”

“It’s not about me. It’s about my parents, and honoring the memory of my grandfather. I kept this car because it was in the family and it’s never been out of the family.”

Carroll’s imagination has affected every aspect of the car, from the striking Candy Purple body color, to the custom purple snakeskin roof interior. The air-conditioning vents were salvaged from a 2002 FordTempo. He ordered the custom-made steering wheel from California, and the windshield from Oregon. Thanks to Carroll’s insatiable creativity, the car has a digital dash, an electrical door opener, a late-model motor with custom aluminum valve covers, four-wheel disk brakes, rounded hood corners, a smooth dash and Frenched-in (curved) headlights.

The restoration has also been helped by Ron Moore of Moore Auto Body, Rick White of Redline Upholstery, and Rod Grasmick, an antique auto restorer. Using qualified professionals means that Carroll knows his car is taken care of, but he also finds them to be knowledgable friends.

“I have a couple of friends that are helping me with this car, that’s how our [automotive] community is—everybody helps everybody,” he says.

Will the car ever be finished? “My dad is always telling that he hopes to get to ride it in when it is done, and him being 92 years old puts a lot of pressure on me,” he says.

“My wife says, ‘you’re taking forever.’ Well, look at it this way, there’s better and newer stuff coming out all the time,” Carroll says. And so the journey continues.

This article was printed in the Spring 2017 edition of B2B.

Aesthetic Concrete Design

December 14, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Aesthetic Concrete Design (ACD) is a custom concrete installation business that strives to give customers a personalized installation that won’t go out of style. After 15 years of working in the golf industry, owner Kip Edmonds wanted to do something different. He and his wife were looking to start a family and wanted a job where he could control his hours during the week.

Edmonds put his bachelor’s in horticulture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to use, starting a small landscape design and maintenance service in the Omaha-Lincoln area. To expand his business, he took training in installing decorative finishes on existing concrete surfaces. “I realized I really liked the creative aspect of taking a drab piece of concrete and turning it into something very attractive and very custom for the customer,” says Edmonds. The company started pursuing more custom concrete installation projects, at which point Aesthetic Concrete Design was born.

Nevertheless, ACD hasn’t forgotten their “green” roots and tries to eliminate any extra energy inputs on their projects when possible. Instead of replacing concrete, ACD focuses on treating and refurbishing existing concrete. ACD is also more than happy to still dig into landscaping projects when those occasional calls come in.

Customers can be assured that an installation with ACD will be filled with personal consultations and a complimentary design focus to make it a one-of-a-kind, holistic process. “We like people to see our work, but the last thing we want is for it to jump out as the only design element present,” Edmonds says. “It must work with everything else.”

For Edmonds, faith, family, friends, and then work are his priorities. He encourages employees to prioritize as well and find a balance that works for them, to increase productivity while in the office. Personally, Edmonds is able to mix family and business. In 2006, Edmonds’ dad joined him in installing insulated concrete forms for house construction. Today, Edmonds handles project duties at ACD, while his father handles most of the marketing and administrative duties.

Edmonds and his wife have three children and use Edmonds’ business experiences to teach them to work hard to reach their goals. “I want to be known as a man who lives his faith, is a good husband, father, friend,” he explains. “If I stay on that path, everything else will take care of itself.”

Aesthetic Concrete Design
21827 R&R Road
Gretna, NE