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Pile of Scrap Podcast

Ep. 15: Back Home Again – Lewis Salvage

Posted by Sierra International Machinery on 1/29/20 5:00 AM

Pile of Scrap Ep. 15: Back Home Again – Lewis Salvage

As a home away from home, Indiana has held a special place in host John Sacco’s heart thanks to the Lewis family. Holding a 30-year-long friendship with Mike Lewis, President of Lewis Salvage Co., the two friends were able to talk about the growth of Lewis Salvage, what the future holds for Mike’s son, Cary, leading the company into the next generation, and the importance of maintaining close friendships in the industry.

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Mike Lewis, John Sacco, Cary Lewis, and Cary's wife Alli


Intro: The following is an original audio series from Sierra International Machinery. Pile of Scrap with your host John Sacco.

John Sacco: Well, we're here. Lewis Salvage. And welcome to a mini session of Pile of Scrap.

Mike Lewis: Mini session.

John Sacco: Of Pile of Scrap.

Mike Lewis: Okay.

John Sacco: You love that name, right?

Mike Lewis: Pile of Scrap.

John Sacco: It’s a good podcast name. With Mike Lewis and his son, Cary. It's good to be here, guys. You know, we spent last night together today and it's just different because the podcast that we do at Sierra, you know, bring more information about the recycling industry, but what's the different altogether because we're talking about their generation. Scrap guy right here, right?

Mike Lewis: Fourth.

John Sacco: Fourth? That's right, grandpa.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: Give me that history real quick.

Mike Lewis: Okay, great grandpa Morris, grandpa Abraham Magazine – my dad, Elmer Lewis, myself – Mike, Cary.

John Sacco: Okay.

Mike Lewis: Morris and Abe came together. Abe Magazine Junk and Coal was the name of his business. Started sometime in the thirties.

John Sacco: Do you remember what age you were when you said, ‘This is for me. I'm going to be a scrap guy like my dad and my grandpa?’

Mike Lewis: You know, I don't know. It was – it was in the early twenties, really. I mean, it wasn't when I was, like, in high school or grade school or playing with the crane and the magnets, but I knew that college wasn't me and scrap was, so…

John Sacco: Was that the first week in college or first day of college?

Mike Lewis: That was after three colleges I got in and out of. So, it took me a while to beat myself up a little bit before I realized that it was time to be a scrap guy.

John Sacco: What about you?

Cary Lewis: I always wanted to be a scrap guy. I was just told I couldn't be a scrap guy.

John Sacco: You couldn't be?

Cary Lewis: Didn’t – shouldn't be a scrap guy. I should put it like that. ‘Oh, you don't want to do this. This is not what you want to do.’

John Sacco: I tell my daughter that.

Cary Lewis: Yeah, and I’d tell my kids that too.

John Sacco: I tell Giovanna, ‘Go big Gio.’ I go, ‘Scrap’s been good, but you're going to USC. Find – You're going to have friends and you're going to meet their dad and then he's going to be incredibly wealthy. Find out what he does and do what he does.’

Mike Lewis: Remember whatever you tell somebody, they want to do it.

Cary Lewis: They do the opposite.

Mike Lewis: They do the opposite.

John Sacco: So, you know, I had Gio. I, you know, it's interesting. She worked for me this summer for three weeks.

Mike Lewis: Didn't know that.

John Sacco: And I gotta tell ya, she was a stud in marketing. She really worked with Lyndsey really well.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: So, I think it was really good. So, you went to DePaul.

Cary Lewis: To DePaul in Chicago. I got my four-year degree in two years and nine months.

John Sacco: Why so fast?

Cary Lewis: Do everything fast.

John Sacco: You’re not like the old bull. You don't know the story of the old bull and the young bull, do you? We’ll leave out some of the deep details. Young bull says to the old bull, ‘let's run down there and get us one.' And, the old bull says ‘let's walk down and get them all.’

Cary Lewis: I would have figured it out halfway there.

John Sacco: I mean to me, Giovanna wanted to get out of ‘SC early. She goes, ‘Well dad, I could grab –‘. ‘No,’ I told her no. 'No. ‘Cause after college, once you're in the business world…'

Cary Lewis: Yeah, you're not going back.

John Sacco: You're not going back.

Cary Lewis: But, that's all I wanted to do. I didn't – just like him, I didn't want to go to, I mean, college wasn't for me.

John Sacco: But you got the scrapbook. It's fine.

Cary Lewis: I mean it's – I like deals. I liked moving stuff. I liked – I liked it.

John Sacco: Okay, so when you came to LA in 2011, okay? There's that picture over there with you and Scott Wadell and General Stanley McChrystal. You were still at DePaul, right?

Cary Lewis: Senior year. I was three, four weeks away from coming to work. I was close. I was close ‘cause that would've been in April. I graduated in June. So, by that point we knew I was coming back. I was taking a couple of weeks off and then we were diving in. That's how it all played out.

John Sacco: So, here we are 30 years. Your dad and I met 30 years ago in September.

Mike Lewis: Right.

John Sacco: And you bought a shear from us. You’re one of the first people that believed in what we were doing at Sierra, okay? But, during this whole process, we created a friendship that is, really, it's amazing. And that's the beauty of, of all why we're sitting here today. This is all about being friends.

Mike Lewis: Right.

John Sacco: And then you, you know, I've told you this a couple of times, I don't ever look at you as a kid anymore. You're – you're my peer. Uh, yeah, you're Mike’s son, but you created your own, you know, that persona – who you are that I respect already.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: I mean, it's like I don't need – I don't need to ‘Look, you're just a young punk.’ No, hell no, Cary. You know what you're doing and I love it. And your wife – what a great story last night. Your wife: immigrant from Poland. Her mom, by herself worked, her how many different jobs for – to make sure Alli had what she needed.

Cary Lewis: Yup. You know, we're lucky that, you know, I can get this – I had this opportunity by my mom and dad. They don't – not a lot of kids get as much go as I got.

John Sacco: You know, your son told me in Chicago, ‘My parents work. That's what they do. So, they work, they go to the yard, they work in the scrap yard and they go home and they work at the house.’

Mike Lewis: Mr. and Mrs. Work.

John Sacco: You – you can –

Mike Lewis: We have a lot of fun.

John Sacco: You know, I don't – I'm not saying –

Mike Lewis: No, I know.

John Sacco: But you know, there's those little things you guys go to the Caymans every year for your yearly vacation.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: But, we need to start seeing you and Rita at, a week over maybe, out of D.C. seeing her brother and come to an ISRI event or coming out to Vegas as you head out to California to cruise the coast. So, we need to see more of that, Mike.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, well hopefully we'll, uh, pick that up coming up here, so…

John Sacco:  This kid knows how to carry the football.

Cary Lewis: Somebody’s gotta teach him, so, you know.

John Sacco: Who’s gonna teach these old dogs new tricks, huh?

Cary Lewis: I don’t know.

Mike Lewis: We don't really need to be taught. We just need to be prodded. Prodded. ‘Get out of here.’

John Sacco: Well, we don't have any – You got – I’m lovin’ this office. You have all the scales. We don't have any cattle prods in here, do you, Cary?

Mike Lewis: Yeah, well.

John Sacco: No? Nothing.

Mike Lewis: Pry a yardstick. Same thing.

John Sacco:  A lot of changes here. 30 years.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: You sit up here now and you look out, look out over here to the West.

Mike Lewis: Yup. Straight west.

John Sacco: That's the old Lewis Salvage warehouse and office.

Cary Lewis: Yeah. The old scale house was over there till uh, ‘97. And then we built this building in ‘97, ’98. The first stage of it. And then added on where the REB-2 is in uh, 20–2012, moved the REB in Winter 2013.

John Sacco: Five acres to how many acres?

Mike Lewis: I think there's 70 inside the city limits altogether at the three locations that are right at 60, 70.

Cary Lewis: Right in there. You know, we don't ever add them together.

Mike Lewis: 300,000 square feet under, under roof.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

Mike Lewis: Among everything else, so.

John Sacco: You and I always joked a long time ago how big you were ­­­– you were huge. You know, just for fun, you know. And now, if you look back from where you were in 1989 to now, it's really, it's impressive.

Mike Lewis: Even as you go back into, you know, the Akron yard, you know, quarter-acre and part of that had a house on it, you know, a quarter of an acre was operated on the beginning. And then, you know, grandpa's place downtown, I showed you this morning was a half an acre. So, you know it's, uh, it's grown.

John Sacco: You know, I was telling Darren last night that I probably had spent at that, well it's now the, you know, which used to be the Holiday Inn and that used to do my headquarters before I started spending the night at your house.

Mike Lewis: Yup.

John Sacco: That I'd probably spent minimum. 40, 50 nights at that Holiday Inn when you think. ‘Cause there was three installations, there was your first three 80.

Mike Lewis: Yup.

John Sacco: Wabash is supposed to eat in the subzero minus 48-degree weather.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: Alan Goldberg, Hartford City, Indiana. ‘Cause see, all the installations and training and you know, there were weeks. So, there were seven nights, so such 21 days, little on all the many times I came back through here and used this as my base to go to Michigan, Ohio, Southern Indiana.

Mike Lewis: Well, a lot of those customers came here to see the machines work too. Remember? And so, you were back, but you were staying with us quite a bit too, so.

John Sacco: Yeah. Yeah. So, I spent a lot of time, I love him.

Mike Lewis: You should have bought that house across the street.

John Sacco: I would have been eaten by –

Cary Lewis:  Excuse me.

John Sacco: Well the story goes, I re–look, I love Indiana. Indiana – this state and the people who have been amazing to me and I find a real connection. You know, we joke back home again in Indiana, but I get out here and there's a sense of home here. I don't know what it is. You know my mom's from Oklahoma. Okay? And my dad came from Italy but a small mountain town. So, I was never 'Big City John,' okay? I was always from the roots, right? But in 1994, um, gauged to Monica and tell her, ‘You know, we might move to Indiana ‘cause it's the center of where I need to be.’ ‘Cause, you know, there was, okay, we only had a couple of salesman.

Mike Lewis: Right, right.

John Sacco: So, it wasn't like Sierra was the size that we are today, right? And so, I said one summer day we're out, you were there and all the family were outside, barbecuing in the summer. And, I mean, it was a swarm of mosquitoes and I kept going, ‘what are these–‘ you know, I didn't, I didn't know that for as many times as I've been here. So, I go back to Bakersfield and it was 110 degrees that day. I'll never forget it. It was July. And, I remember being outside at a wedding and it was just miserably hot. But I was – I remember, I go, ‘there's no bugs here.’

Mike Lewis: No.

John Sacco: I will stay foot here. I'll just travel to Indiana. Came this close though.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, well we still welcome you back.

John Sacco: Well, every time, you know, this is a great place. Great memories. So now, how many years now have you owned Mike Gill Auto?

Cary Lewis: So, we bought the auto parts yard in 2015. Uh, that followed the year we did a big demolition, uh, demolition job in Indianapolis. So, we went right from the demo job, which was a big one for me, kind of personally. Running a yard or running an area, a project, two hours away. Um…

John Sacco: Well, that's when you bought the 750. Now, you had sold your shears. You, at some point, where you were done.

Mike Lewis: Yep. We sold the shears and picked up a mobile shredder, used it for awhile and then this opportunity in Indianapolis came around and went down there and did that job and then moved the 750 up here.

John Sacco: And then you guys bought Gill Auto.

Cary Lewis: Came back, finished. We're cleaning up that job and before we really got, really, from one right to the next.

John Sacco: And then you bought Meyer 11.

Mike Lewis: We found a building on the northside of town that we helped clean up, started looking at it one day and going, you know, actually we're, we're watching these guys wash the inside of the building down and clean it up and we go, ‘this is a really nice building.’ Well, there was two buildings. 200 and some thousand square feet and we thought ‘Surely, there's something we could do with this building and right on the backside of doing the Gill deal, we closed on the building and we did a, we did this complex on the northside of town and it's been a good, good asset, so.

John Sacco: So, how much more growth can you personally tolerate?

Mike Lewis: You know, I'm done buying property, you know, whatever he – whatever he wants to do from here on, you know. Um, a lot? You know, he can take care of it.

John Sacco: I don't want to say little known fact, but anybody who knows your dad knows that he'd rather be in his Caterpillar crane material handler loading trucks.

Mike Lewis: Yeah. Yeah.

John Sacco: You had two cell phones. And I always thought you had a fax machine in that dog–

Mike Lewis: Everybody accused me of that. No, you sat on where you – I had you to the, to the farms, you know. You know what the next move is?

John Sacco: Yeah.

Mike Lewis: You know you sat on one of them mowers.

John Sacco: Oh yeah. Well that's what your son says. ‘Because, my parents, all they do is work.’ So, you sit in your Caterpillar crane, you do the happiest when you're loading trucks and then come Saturday, Sunday gotta mow the woods.

Mike Lewis: Yeah. Yeah.

John Sacco: You got a fleet of mowers.

Mike Lewis: Yeah. Yeah. It's an arsenal.

John Sacco: Do you ever get on one for the hell of it?

Cary Lewis: No. I hate mowing. I pay somebody else to mow.

John Sacco: I wouldn't know either.

Cary Lewis: No. I'd rather plant seed, fix stuff.

John Sacco: Do you have a garden? You say plant seed.

Cary Lewis: No, like fix my grass. I'd rather have that golf course nice grass, you know, sort of thing.

John Sacco: Now, do you play?

Cary Lewis: Oh yeah.

John Sacco: How about you?

Mike Lewis: What?

John Sacco: Golf?

Mike Lewis: No.

Cary Lewis: I picked it up after –

Mike Lewis:  A couple times a year.

Cary Lewis: After college. After high school. I picked it up. Something to do.

Mike Lewis:  I couldn't swing a golf club, no.

John Sacco: Oh yeah. You've got a broken wing.

Mike Lewis: Yeah. It’s alright.

John Sacco: Might need to get that thing fixed.

Mike Lewis: Maybe.

John Sacco: What do you think, Cary? Should he get his –

Cary Lewis: Yeah, he'll get it fixed.

John Sacco: You need to get it fixed, man. You’re too young.

Cary Lewis: We’re close.

Mike Lewis: Sound like a surgeon.

John Sacco: Nah, you're just too young. You've got to get those things fixed. Although I don't think I have a rotator cuff. I get back here and threw 100,000 pitches to my son over the years in the backyard throwing balls. And I ended your oldest son, Michael's fledging baseball career.

Mike Lewis: Poor guy.

John Sacco: I hit a ball...

Cary Lewis: You got Mike out of the scrap business. That's what ruined it.

John Sacco: So, for those who will listen to this, put a ball on a baseball tee. ‘Mike, Mike, go out there in the yard ‘cause you have all this space and I'll hit you some balls.’ You know me being the coach that I've – I'm a coach, so I hit this line shot right at him and I'm looking, I'm going, ‘oh, oh, oh.’ Wam! Right here in the chin.

Mike Lewis: Yes.

John Sacco: That was it. Baseball was over for Michael.

Cary Lewis:  Yeah.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: He had the baseball threads…

Mike Lewis: Poor guy.

John Sacco: I felt horrible.

Mike Lewis:He turned out just fine.

John Sacco: No, of course he’s fine. You're blessed. You’re a father that has three kids that are, are very productive people. And, uh, now you just get to have, enjoy the grandkids.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: How many grandkids?

Mike Lewis: Three. Rooney, Callahan and Granger. None one alike.

John Sacco: Not one alike?

Mike Lewis: No, no.

John Sacco: You love those kids though. Oh man. I get – I always get the photos from Dad.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, I send you the photos.

John Sacco: Always sends me the photo. You know, Rooney man, now. How old is he?

Cary Lewis: Nine.

Mike Lewis: Seven.

Cary Lewis: Seven.

John Sacco: Seven.

Mike Lewis: Seven, six and four.

John Sacco: Okay. Which one of your grandkids love the scrap business?

Cary Lewis: Callahan.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, the middle one, I'm guessing.

John Sacco: Really?

Mike Lewis: Likes them trucks and stuff.

John Sacco: Does he ask you to go to work with him?

Cary Lewis: Yeah, he asks. They think they're coming to work when they're of age.

John Sacco: Uh, oh.

Mike Lewis: You got Rooney and I think is like his dad. You got Callahan that’s like Cary and you got Granger that–

Gary Lewis: TV.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, I think he could be in Hollywood. Okay? He's going to – he can be an actor.

John Sacco: But, you're going to be – you’re Hollywood now. You're gonna film. Hollywood Louis.

Mike Lewis: I don’t know.

John Sacco: Your nickname: Laid Back Louie.

Cary Lewis: We're still not positive how he got that name and how people think we're so cool all the time, but…

John Sacco: Well, you guys always smiling.

Cary Lewis: I guess that's it.

John Sacco: You know, okay. So, I posted a picture today on LinkedIn saying ‘Back home again in Indiana celebrating 30 years of friendship with Mike Lewis and family.’ One guy chimes in. A guy both your dad and I were chapter presidents with.

Mike Lewis: Yup.

John Sacco: At ISRI. Said ‘Yeah. Mike is always keeping the smiles, you know, always smiling.’ And I think, you know, your demeanor to a lot of people is laid back because it's not aggressive. You're smiling, but you always told it like – you never sugarcoated anything.

Mike Lewis: No.

John Sacco: No sugarcoat with dad.

Cary Lewis: We don't know how – he doesn't know how. We don't know how.

John Sacco: But when you're doing it with a smile, it's a whole different thing. You don't have that growl on your face. That's a blessing you have. You know that, right?

Mike Lewis: Yeah, thank you. Yeah. I guess.

John Sacco: Well, we're missing Rita. Your mom, your wife. Got a little laid up. A little early winter flu.

Mike Lewis: Got that flu bug or some kind of sickness going.

John Sacco: You know, when I first met you back 30 years ago, you were less than two months old and you were in the middle of the living room floor. And you know, when we're negotiating on the shear, you kept saying ‘Rita, you know, Rita.’ And I didn't know Rita was wife. ‘Who’s Rita?’ Suddenly or somehow I'd missed the ‘wife’ part and got accountant part and then I realized Rita was the wife and the boss.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: You like to think you're the boss, but...

Mike Lewis: No, I never thought I was the boss. No, remember… I'm just a crate operator. That's what I tell everybody.

Cary Lewis: Yep.

Mike Lewis: Which is just fine.

Cary Lewis: That's funny.

John Sacco: How's working for mom?

Cary Lewis: I, I get to work with my mom and dad every day. Not a lot of people get that opportunity.

John Sacco: And, I bet you there's more people say they would never want to.

Cary Lewis: There's – yeah. Who would dismiss it? But, we make it work. We're doing it for eight, nine years now. So, a lot of kids would have gone packing after a couple, but I had a good opportunity here.

John Sacco:  Wow. It's what you guys have done since you've joined and the expansion that I've seen and, you know, the expansion isn't so much, you know, all – but it's just the common sense growth.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: Doing it methodically.

Mike Lewis: Yup.

John Sacco: Without putting yourself in a lot of debt and stress to do it.

Cary Lewis: Right.

John Sacco: Taking what you earn here and putting it back in.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: That's been our theory. I mean, you know Sierra, hell, we have 72,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity now in Jesup, Georgia.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: We just finished the one here a few months back to the new 24,000 square foot. It’s a beautiful plan.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: And because I don't see it every day when I say it, sometimes I go…

Mike Lewis: Yeah, right. Sort of hard to believe. Yeah. Because I've been at 1620 East Brundage Lane Bakersfield. That 18 acres all my life.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: I went down there, swept the floors, at Sierra Bag Company and then uh…

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

Cary Lewis: It is hard to believe sometimes that you do some of the things that we do and have gotten as big as we've gotten in the last couple of years. And maybe – maybe ‘big’ is not the right word, just… it's totally changed.

John Sacco: Oh, no. Your dad was huge.

Mike Lewis: Just one minor step.

John Sacco: You know, these are the, you know, it's funny. You just, just jokes back from all those years ago. Just joke whenever this, you know. ‘Cause you know, you guys have been surrounded – think about this: you were surrounded by OmniSource, now it’s OmniSource MetalX.

Mike Lewis: Yup.

John Sacco: And, then… who was the guy in Elkhart with the shredder? Who had the shredder up there? Who was there?

Mike Lewis: Sturgis Iron and Metal.

John Sacco: Sturgis Iron. You have Mervis to the South.

Cary Lewis: All the Levins.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, right. You know the Gertlers to the West. You know, there, there was – we compete. You know, we do what we do and they do what they do and, you know, we do business with them and some of them and some of them we don't.

Cary Lewis: We're in an active market and that's a good thing.

Mike Lewis: Yeah. Oh yeah. But you know, it would be a real fumble if you don't make money cutting iron in Northern Indiana, you know.

John Sacco: There's some people out there, some people gone.

Mike Lewis: It's a real fumble that that happened.

John Sacco: Yeah. Well I always say your success, Louis Salvage success is really based on the fact that, and you've got that, Cary, but your dad's word was it, man.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: I tell people all the time that, you know, who don't know Mike very well, your dad, so you don't get – you could leave Mike Lewis a million dollars in cash and say I'll be back in 10 years and the day you walk in, here you go.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

Cary Lewis: I mean, we didn't have any contracts with any of our accounts until two years ago.

John Sacco: See, that's it. That's so old school if you think about it, how many people can you really do big business with today without a contract?

Cary Lewis: Not any, unfortunately. And we've – we've gone that direction, but we still do a lot on a handshake.

John Sacco: Well, you do. And people, well, you've always done what you say you're going to do. So, you know, it's not like people say, ‘Well what's it like doing business with Lewis Salvage?’ Oh, you better watch your wallet. No. You know, and that, and that –

Cary Lewis: We don't give anybody any – ever any question to – or room to question anything that we do or don't do. And if we can't do it, we tell people we can't do it.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

Cary Lewis: And so that way we're not given a false hope or false sense of what we can or can’t do.

John Sacco: Yeah, and that’s the beauty. I mean, you know, again, you guys here in Indiana, this the Midwest, which I always call the ‘real America,’ okay? Where America is really still Amer–where you can find what we were supposed to live in. Where you do business, the transaction, and ‘Hey, I'm doing fine.’ You do it and you keep doing it. And you don't ever have to do this. My dad had a saying in Italian: [speaks Italian], which means ‘do good and forget about it or do bad and you have to always look over your shoulder.’ You don't ever have to look over your shoulder.

Cary Lewis: No, no. We want to sleep well every night.

John Sacco: Well, George Adams. Okay. You know, he did a podcast, he wrote a book – book and I was reading his book. He says he sleeps real well every night because you know, ‘stay the high ground.’ Well, if you know George, he sleeps two hours a night. I go 'Well if two hours is sleeping well every night, then so be it.'

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: But you're right. You know, and that is, that's just the cornerstone of Lewis Salvage right there: your integrity. That's it.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: You know, it's kind of simple. In a lot of respect. You're smart though. You guys understand commodities and trading and hedging, which is important with all the volumes of stuff that you handle. It's almost simple. It's not, it's not – hold on. This business is not simple, but my point of being simple is, how much of your reputation allows those doors to open as you go?

Cary Lewis: Yeah. That's all you got sometimes.

John Sacco: Okay. You be the young buck, alright? And, you're out there and following dad and all.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: You probably didn't get, I mean, you get resistance, but you don't get any of that resistance, ‘I've heard bad things.’

Cary Lewis: No, never have to fight any of that. No. I fight my long hair more than I'd fight in any other sentiment, you know? But, I think people are coming around to that too. I am and I was young, you know.

John Sacco: You are young.

Cary Lewis: Nobody believes a 25-year-old.

John Sacco: Yeah.

Cary Lewis: Not so much. Not in trying to get a million-dollar deal.

John Sacco: No, that's true. I think – who knows? I mean, I think, though, again, back to just the basic foundation of Lewis Salvage. Just, your word is it, you know, that's all. It's very, like I said, that's what makes it simple to me.

Mike Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: That’s why being here all these years later, I think for all us and seeing your kid grow up literally from this little kid in swaddling clothes in the middle of the floor, you couldn't even roll over when I first met you.

Cary Lewis: No, I was, like, two months old.

John Sacco: Then I learned about, okay, all you kids would go to bed and so we'd go downstairs in the basement on your old state route 15 house. I learned about tornado warnings. Tornado? You know, ‘What is that?’ You know?

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: A lot – a lot of stuff learned out here.

Mike Lewis: The weather changes every 15 minutes in this state and you gotta be prepared.

John Sacco: I have survived in Indiana doing a machine installation in 48 – minus 48 degrees.

Mike Lewis: Alright.

John Sacco: Dodging lightning bolts in Hartford City.

Mike Lewis: Yup.

John Sacco: Literally running for cover. Driving home from War–Wabash to home. Here I call it Warsa– I'll call it Warsaw.

Cary Lewis: Excuse me.

John Sacco: Drive it back at the end of the day.

Cary Lewis: Excuse me.

John Sacco: In a blinding snowstorm. You couldn't see which way the road went.

Mike Lewis: Right.

John Sacco: And, also rain – thunderstorms. Same thing. You couldn’t see.

Mike Lewis: Right.

John Sacco: Antonio, shorty. Great times.

Mike Lewis:  Yeah.

John Sacco: Well, guys, listen, we're going to wrap it up here, but you know what, Cary, I'm going to give you a last word for you. What do you gotta s–what do people need to know about you? Come on, Cary. Tell us something. Tell a story about Mom and Dad. Tell stuff.

Cary Lewis: Oh… Putting me on the spot here.

John Sacco: Yeah, 60 minutes.

Cary Lewis: I can tell you the – so, the first thing dad told me to do, I came back from college. The first thing he tells me to do: 'Clean that golf cart off. We're gonna need it.' First thing I did is clean the golf cart off and so that was so we could go around the yard and he could start showing me what was what.

John Sacco: That's awesome.

Cary Lewis: I'm a lucky kid.

John Sacco: You are.

Cary Lewis: To do what I do here for my parents.

John Sacco: But, you know what? You're creating your own luck too.

Cary Lewis: Yeah.

John Sacco: You really are, Cary. Proud of you. What the man you've turned into and you've gotta be proud of yourself.

Mike Lewis: Very proud. Yeah. John, it's good to have your back in Indiana, you know, and you and Phil and everybody and your dad. May rest in peace. You know? I mean, we just…

John Sacco: He loved you, Mikey.

Mike Lewis: I know. He was a great guy. We talked about him. Some of the stories, some of the times he'd call me up on the phone and complain about the prices and stuff like that, you know? So, hats off to the Sierra team, that's for sure, you know. A great 30 years of friendship and it's nice to everything that goes along with this business and all my buddies from ISRI and everything. So, glad to have you down for the day.

John Sacco: Thank you.

Mike Lewis: Yeah, sorry Rita. Missed you, but she'll pull it together.

John Sacco: She knows I love her.

Mike Lewis: She's tough.

John Sacco: She's very tough.

Mike Lewis: She’ll be all right.

John Sacco: Listen, both of you. Thank you. God bless you both. And to another, more than three, how about another 60 years? Let's double that, right?

Mike Lewis: There you go.

John Sacco: Right on.

Mike Lewis: Double it.

Conclusion: This has been a Sierra International Machinery original audio series. Thanks for listening. Please share this podcast and make sure to subscribe.

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Topics: Recycling, Scrap Recycling

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