Although Fred Harris retired in 2020 at age 74, he will forever be loved and missed by those of us who had the privilege to be in his company daily. The following is just one of many expressions of appreciation that customers and fellow employees expressed over the years!
Eight years ago my husband and I embarked on the arduous task of renovating our forty-year old salt box home. We needed our whole upstairs sheetrocked and plastered. Your company was recommended to us, so we gave you a call. On that day the work was to begin, a tall, handsome, trim, cleanly-dressed African American man appeared. He introduced himself as Fred from Lockhart Drywall & Plastering.
Fred went upstairs and immediately set out to work. He came fully prepared and never asked for a thing. Even when we offered him some refreshments, he politely refused and kept on working. He worked alone, steadily and quietly, non-stop all day, no radio, no phone calls... he was like a ghost. We knew he was there, but he never made a sound.
On the third and final day, he finished around noon time. We beseeched him to stop and have some lunch with us. He politely refused, saying he didn't want to sit down for fear of getting any plaster material on our patio furniture. Instead, he stood by the deck railing and we talked a bit. He told us about his wife and mentioned he was in his sixties. We were amazed! We thought for sure he had to be much younger in order to be able to do such strenuous work in that heat.
As he was leaving, before we could offer our thanks, he thanked us, saying he enjoyed working in such a quiet environment and shook our hands. My husband is also a tall man with large hands, but he could not get over the strength of Fred's grip. He said it was like shaking hands with a bear!
---- Fast forward to this summer and we are again into another renovating project, this time, a sunroom. Because we were so pleased with the excellent work that was done last time, we did not hesitate to call again. You arrived to deliver supplies and we were happy to meet the actual owner of the business.
Shortly thereafter, two of your men arrived to do the work. We were shocked to see that one of them was Fred! We both rejoiced at the sight of him and rushed out to say hello and commend him for the excellent work he had done to our upstairs area. He was still the same ol' Fred...just as fit, strong, polite, humble, handsome, tall and cleanly dressed. He blushed as we gushed with compliments about what a good worker he was, what an impeccable job he had done, and how he was a perfect gentleman.
We were so glad that you happened to be there too. So often you can commend an employee, but unless you send a letter, the owner rarely hears about it. My husband and I were determined not to let that happen the second time around.
We have several members of our family who own businesses and their most common complaint is that they cannot find hard-working, dependable, loyal, trust-worthy employees. They say they are a dying breed from a previous generation. We feel blessed that we were able to benefit again by having Fred, who encompasses all of those qualities. It gives our heart rest to know that you appreciate him and take good care of him too.
We wish Fred good health, happiness and many more years, so that one day he will be able to retire and spend more time with his wife. He certainly deserves it!
Joyce Doyon and Carl Hagenstein, 121 Liberty Church Rd, Exeter, RI
Michael M. in Warwick, RI
Exceeded expectations, cleaned up a mess after having plaster work done but I think Ken actually left it cleaner than from when he started!! He was prompt, rates were very reasonable, "especially for quality of work" and a pleasure to deal with. Ask to see his pictures of Venetian plastering "making plaster look like marble"-amazing!!
I contacted Lockhart Drywall after a last minute cancellation by our original drywall contractor. Our schedule was under a lot of pressure, and we needed to find a reliable company who could handle working on a 150 year old colonial home, and be flexible enough to accommodate the chaos in such short notice! I called Ken at Lockhart Drywall, and was very happy to hear the commitment in his voice to helping us out any way he could. We were fortunate to have him already working in our area, and he was able to see the project and provide us with an expedited quote within 24 hours. His prices were fair, and their craftsmanship and cleanliness far exceeded my expectations. Within 3 days of my problem, Lockhart Drywall had saved our timeline, our budget, and provided us with super smooth walls that were ready for paint!
I strongly recommend Ken & Lockhart Drywall for any residential or commercial drywall & plastering needs.
North Smithfield RI
We first met Ken when obtaining estimates for drywall and plaster for our bathroom. We had had several other contractors come, but after talking to Ken both my husband and I knew that it was he who we wanted to do the job. The first inkling that we had about Ken’s wish to please his customers and also pay special attention to detail was when he noticed that we did not wear our shoes inside our home to prevent pesticides from entering it. Without as much as a blink of the eye, Ken took his shoes off, too. What a great, likeable guy! Ken was able to fit us into his schedule and sent his men to drywall. They were quick and neat. Then he sent a plasterer who he knew would be able to do the things we requested. It all turned out beautifully and we love the end result of our bathroom. During this whole process Ken would always come by to check and see if everything was going as planned and if we were pleased with the end result. YES, we were, so much so that when it came to renovating our kitchen, we did not have to think twice. Ken was the man for the job! This time we needed drywall replaced on three walls and where the soffit was removed. Besides that, a hole in the ceiling, where previously a light fixture hung, needed fixing. Again, Ken came to the rescue, fitting us into his schedule. He actually did the plastering himself, which required blending in a swirl ceiling into the older part of the ceiling. It turned out so well that no one can tell where the old fixture was or even where the old soffit was. My husband and I highly recommend Ken and his crew. Ken is always involved in the whole process and always returns our phone calls. The people who work for Ken are just as nice and professional as he is. Ken Lockhart is a contractor above all the rest and we know that hiring Ken and his crew will be a very positive experience for anyone.
Lucia and Bob Cornwell