The Lolo Show

Living La Vida LoLo

Enabling The Dreams Of Others Part One

Lois Burak - Saturday, April 01, 2017




Readers, 


Frankly I'm struggling with whether to share my most recent experiences with you. 

The fear that sharing those events could damage my chances of obtaining my goals in my search for employment and the gnawing fear that is due to the one thing that people love more than a comeback story - to revel in someone’s defeat. In general, I’ve made a great effort to stay clear of those that enjoy the spectacle of witnessing the trials and shortcomings of others. 

I have found great comfort within when writing about my life's journey. It’s therapeutic (for me) to share my triumph as well as my setbacks in hoping  that someone can relate, learn and perhaps avoid heartache through my stories.

It’s my MO to add a bit of humor to my story so that the reader sees the author as someone they know as well as a sense of understanding combined with an awareness...  without judging harshly.

I take full responsibility for the decisions I've made that put me in this place. Things that did not involve any illegal activity - just some naiveté on my part. My friends remind me that I tend see the good in people and expect everyone to think as well as behave like me. I can tell you,  if I was my own  best friend the advice that I would give myself would have been no different than what some of you might think to yourself after digesting what you've read here. One mistake I won’t make again is dwelling on the past. I’d rather only revisit the past to form a strategy regarding my next move so that the next piece that I post will be the comeback story that I wish to relate to you all.  

Most who've read this know my back story and if you aren't aware of where I've been,  just Google my name and you’ll quickly find most of what you'll need to know to get up to speed. 

Here’s a quick recap:

1. I grew up poor in tumultuous surroundings

2. My father, Marvin Burak, was an edgy and controversial political radio personality 

3. My mother was a burlesque dancer

4. My brother is gay and struggling in life

5. My mother shot my father in self defense, killing him and I was struck with one of the stray bullets from that event at the  age of sixteen.

6. I started my own business at twenty two years of age and through sacrifice and hard work purchased investment property and closed my business after 25 years to pursue my dream career.

7. I accomplished a 360 degree turn around to brand myself, (NOT my business) as the new female voice in radio.

8. After a 10 year relationship with a younger man abruptly ended I made some relatively bad decisions that left me in a financially vulnerable position.  I’ll leave out the details for my memoir.

Having my own business at such a young age, the one pleasure I did receive was providing opportunity for others to fulfill a dream or goal - whatever that might be. Working towards a successful career, buying a car, house and even in one case - a boob job.  Each landmark that I could share a part in when it came to a person’s life experience was always worth it to me. 

 

I got my high off of being in a position that enabled others to soar. The problem that I learned too late in life - Altruism is best served when you have money. Having altruistic values when you don’t have a solid financial foundation only sets a person up for anyone looking to take advantage of them. I was recently blessed to sit with one of my favorite elementary school teachers. I told her about a franchise idea I have that would benefit businesses in neighborhoods like the one where my business was located. I have not forgotten her advice, “Being altruistic is a wonderful trait Lois, but first go where there is money.” 

That being said, I’ll briefly explain what led to posting here.

Remember the investment property I mentioned? Well, nearly two years ago three men approached me about leasing it and purchasing the remaining salon supplies and equipment. 

I'd recently met with a high end commercial broker about listing the property and in addition had another party interested in purchasing it. My heart was not ready to let go completely so I decided to give these three men a chance. They didn’t have a positive credit score but I saw promise and I liked the idea of a salon and spa reopening in the neighborhood as I also still had an attachment to the legacy of the space. 

Readers, I can hear your groans already - believe me!

I had the appropriate contracts drawn up by a business attorney who was recommended to me by a trusted associate and I did allow the new tenants far more slack than I should have as well as offered advice from my many years in the highly competitive beauty industry and neighborhood. None of which they took advantage. It seems they were of the belief that black people conduct themselves differently than white people. While some of you may agree with this, I can assure you the only color that is relevant to business is green - the color of money. It is your character not your color that determines a class of people.

Needless to say, shortly after their business started they were in the hole. Please stop yourself if you plan to write what "I coulda shoulda" done in the comments section. Trust me I took every step to protect myself other than refuse to make the deal to begin with. 

What happened is an unfortunate, one in a million circumstance - I exercised my legal rights per my agreement. The police stepped in and threatened to arrest me citing a code that did not apply to commercial property. They forced me to hand over my key. If there was one thing I learned as my father’s daughter it is DO NOT test the police.

My attorney instructed me to change the locks a second time which only resulted in the police ordering the tenant to break into the property - before you argue illegal lockout, there is NO CODE in Philadelphia preventing a lock out of a commercial property. This was confirmed by a Philadelphia tenant landlord court judge and an IAD investigator. A commercial property contract is a voluntary arrangement between two or more parties that is enforceable by law as a binding legal agreement.

I’ll save the details for my upcoming book entitled “You’re Fucked” (I’m kidding, I’m not writing such a book but welcome any journalist’s inquires).

We continue Readers - I was forced me to spend additional monies to start the eviction process through the court. I won possession hands down. (Again sparing the details-for now). Shortly after the sheriff posted a writ of possession on the door, one of the men asked to meet with me. 

We sat together with his father. An elderly black gentlemen clad in a two piece suit shrunken shoulders looking tired but I surmise was there for the love of his son. The tenant explained he had his father’s support who had strong belief in his dream (Something that really tugged at my heart.) and was loaning him the funds needed to pay me back what was in arears as well as monies their negligence had cost me. Having moved forward with one of my dreams (The LoLo Show relaunch and studio rebuild) I could relate.

He gave me a check that covered my legal fees which I desperately needed being that his nonpayment of rent and for the equipment had caused me financial hardship and I agreed to let him stay. I know - You’re probably screaming at your phone reading this. You could probably guess what is coming. Sparing all the details, he has not kept to his end of the agreement. 

The newest cause of heart break regarding this situation is the turn towards racial divide - Not from me, rather people who know of my situation and have brought it down to a black & white issue. 

AM I surprised? NO. As I stated earlier one part of my character is wishing people thought as I do. 

Okay, finally the reason for this post. I suppose there is that part of me so much like my father that I want to share about my recent experience job hunting despite everything else that I have going on at the moment. 

Not being a political person I will not suggest who’s at fault. I feel the need to report on this because I believe there are people reading this that are completely unaware of reality. One of those people was my late mother.

 

 

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