Pay it Forward Day: Dave, Mario and the Pool
It’s always nice to move into a new house and learn you’ve got nice neighbors—y’know, ones that will bring over a plate of welcome cookies, or will loan you a cup of sugar in a pinch.
But there’s nothing like a neighbor that will bring in heavy equipment and dig out your backyard to build in a new pool… for free.
That’s what Mario Dinucci had happen. When the 40-year-old veterinarian moved into his new home in Auburn, Calif., he met his new neighbor, Dave Holloway, and the two hit it off; both had kids and both loved to ride. Their kids would play together in their shared open space out behind the home, and the two headed out on mountain bike excursions on the plentiful trails around their homes that abut against the mountains. In no time, neighbors became friends. “We were the new ones to the neighborhood, and they treated us like family from day one… just good people,” Dinucci said.
That meant more than just the occasional cup of borrowed sugar. Since Dave owned a local demolition company, responsible for jobs including bridge overpasses and factory teardowns, he had the tools to help Dinucci with little landscaping jobs around the house. In exchange, Dinucci was more than happy to help out Holloway’ with his pet’s vet needs. “He’d even take my dog in to work with him, look after him, and bring him back,” Holloway said. “You can’t get better service than that. Just, good people, y’know?”
So when Dinucci mentioned to the 47-year-old Holloway he was about to dig out his backyard to build a pool, Holloway offered to provide help in digging out the backyard. But what was an easy job turned into a bit of a project.
“It was a much bigger endeavor than either of us expected,” Dinucci said. “We hit rocks the size of my F250. But he was tenacious.”
Holloway’s backhoes were then supplanted with rockbreaking equipment. “We cut the pad and didn’t hit any hard material, so I was like, ‘looks like we’re gonna luck out.’” Holloway said. “But then we started digging it out and right off the bat ran into some large stuff. A one- or two-day job became a four-day job.”
Holloway cracked away the huge rocks, dug them out, and after several days of work, created the footprint for the build. The pool was ready to be installed.
“I mean, he helped us here and there, but this pool thing… if I’d have had to pay someone, it would have gone massively over budget. And he wouldn’t take a dime,” Dinucci said. “He literally spent his entire weekend working on it… just a ton of time.”
“My wife and I asked, “what can we do for him?” Dinucci added.
It then dawned on them; he remembered Holloway telling him about a gravel bike he was keen on.
“He talked about wanting a gravel bike, and I wanted one too,” Dinucci said. “He had a friend who had an Obed Boundary and loved it, and we’d both been checking out the website. We decided: let’s order two—one for me, and one for him.”
The next day, the Obed team called Holloway.
“They said “hey, you’ve been told to order a Boundary, build it up, pick the color—and no joke, it’s already been paid for,” Holloway said. “I knew exactly who it was that did that. I’m so blessed to have a good friend in Mario. He wasn’t gonna let me back out of this one, but really, it didn’t take much convincing! I was really thrilled.”
With the hole dug and the remainder of the job (rebar install and concrete pour nearly underway), Dinucci had a chance to sit back, grateful for the opportunity to show his appreciation to a neighbor who gave so selflessly.
“Time is valuable,” Dinucci said. “He has two kids, his business. He wouldn’t even let me pay him back for the gasoline for the machines. One thing I learned early in life came from a friend who had this big house with a giant beam, and on it was this saying: “Blessed are those who give without remembering, and take without forgetting.” If more people could think that way, the world would be a better place. Dave’s a good person, and a good friend—this was a cool way to give back.”
One thing is certain: while Holloway and Dinucci have some out-of-town gravel excursions planned for their new Obed Boundarys, when the pool is completed in a few months, there will be a gravel ride… and big ‘ol celebratory party.
“I’m sure Dave and I will ride our Obed Boundary’s that morning, will finish with cocktails and a jump in the pool. Dave and his family will pretty much have a key to the pool and free run of it anytime they want it, too!”