Jerry Daskoski

Jerry’s Favorite Books and Authors

Jerry Daskoski spends the majority of his free time reading literature, with his favorite genre of reading being fantasy. He believes that books themselves are a form of art and that art is something that someone else has created that allows people to have an “experience” that they would not otherwise be able to have (whether that art is a book, a painting, a poem, music or a sculpture, etc.).

Authors of “quality” are able to write books in such a way that they take the reader on a “trip” and allow them to have an “experience” that is so engaging, that you become a part of the world and the story that is created by the author’s written words. Books can take you so many places.

Jerry’s favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien and his favorite book(s) is The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. There are too many fantasy trilogies and their authors that are his favorites, to even begin to name them. But they all have one thing in common; they are all written in such a way that when you read them, you end up experiencing and living in the world that the author has created with their writing.

As Dr. Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The Daskoskis and Homebuilding

Jerry Daskoski and his wife bought their first house in 1975, a 2-Story 100 year-old home that they thought would never be able to be paid off, for the grand sum of $26,000.00. Their first house started them out on a trend of buying a house that they could live in (meaning that they could live in it while they worked on it) while they did their “renovation.”

Renovating a house is very different from remodeling a house, as renovation means that you are restoring the house to its original condition when it was built. All of the houses that Jerry and his wife have bought over the years, have had a lot of natural woodwork in them, from oak wood floors to the wood beams that often crisscrossed the ceilings in various rooms, to gorgeous wood staircases and banisters, along with crown molding, wainscoting, beautifully wood trimmed beveled glass windows, along with huge wooden “pocket doors” between rooms, to pantry rooms and kitchen cabinets all of natural oak (although usually painted when they purchased the houses). All of the houses they have owned have had lath and plaster walls and ceilings—no sheetrock or drywall. The walls always had the laths nailed into what was truly a 2 by 4. You could measure the two by four and it was actually 2 inches by 4 inches and was much heavier in weight than the two by fours that you buy today (which actually measure 1 and ½ inches by 3 and ½ inches). They all also had the original red oak or white oak, ¾ inch thick tongue and groove floors, that always looked beautiful after being completely sanded down to bare wood and then either shellacked, varnished or having modern polyurethane revive and restore their original look.

The trick in buying an old house, was always in seeing the “potential.” This was much easier to do back in the 1970’s and 1980’s than it is in the twenty first century. Jerry and his wife always called buying a house like this a “labor of love” that would produce a lot of “sweat equity.” After living in these homes and restoring them, they eventually would sell them and move to another home that was “hiding in its potential.” They fell in love with these houses that had a hundred plus years of history and families living in them, but they also always made a nice profit on the houses when they were later sold. The first home that they purchased for just over $25,000.00, was sold less than five years later for more than three times the original cost.

The second house Jerry Daskoski and his wife bought was a three story Victorian mansion that had been owned by a group called the Ananda Marga Yoga Organization from India, and had two floors of rented rooms, with numbers on the doors, and a sprawling first floor daycare. Buried beneath the walls that had to be built to satisfy the regulations of having a large daycare in a dwelling, was one of the most beautiful wooden staircases that Jerry had ever seen. The home came with a “Carriage House” above the garage, and when the Yoga Group went bankrupt, and Jerry bought the house, he and his wife inherited an individual living in the carriage house and another living in a locked bedroom, who was snoring loudly, when the realtor showed them the abandoned house. They had to make arrangements for these two gentleman to find housing elsewhere once the house was purchased, and they were living in “our house.” It took Jerry and his wife two years of renovations, staying up until 2:00 am in the morning many nights working on restoring that home to its original beauty inside and out. They would later sell it for more than three times what they originally paid for it, were offered cash, and it is now a historic bed and breakfast.

This was the way it worked with all of the homes that Jerry and his wife purchased. They would live in them while they were being restored, and then they would sell them a few to several years later, until they had enough money to pay cash for the two homes that they own now – one in Shawnee, KS, and the other in Haven, KS, that is currently in the midst of being renovated.

Jerry Daskoski will always remember that when he and his wife bought their house in Shawnee, it came with the original deed, which was a land grant to a famous Native American and signed by President James Garfield in 1881. These will probably be the last houses Jerry and his wife buy.

Jerry & Travel

In Jerry’s “reading” he has traveled too many places to name.

In reality, he always travel with his wife. Their number one travel experience took place around two years ago, when they celebrated a special wedding anniversary by traveling to Paris and London. To get the most out of the trip, Jerry and his wife did a lot of planning ahead of time, and rented flats/apartments for a couple of weeks in Paris and a couple of weeks in London. They stayed long enough that they saw and went everyplace that they intended on going to, and then had time to just “wander.” “Both of these cities are incredibly astonishing cities to visit,” says Jerry.

Jerry Daskoski and his wife started RVing around fifteen years ago in a huge, used 40 foot Fleetwood Motorhome that got four miles to the gallon. Then for a wedding anniversary gift, Jerry’s wife decided that she wanted a lightweight, fiberglass travel trailer that they could pull behind their SUV. To purchase the Casita Travel Trailer, that Jerry’s wife wanted, they needed to drive from their home in Shawnee, KS, to Rice, Texas, which is around 50 miles south of Dallas. Upon arrival at the Casita Travel Trailer Manufacturing Plant in Rice, Jerry and his wife then “designed” the Casita Travel Trailer that they wanted built for them. Then six months later, after their Casita Travel Trailer was built, both Jerry and his wife drove back to Rice, Texas, and pulled their Casita back to their home in Shawnee, Kansas.

Jerry Daskoski and his wife live almost on the Kansas—Missouri, State Line, and have travelled to many places in Kansas and Missouri. Their favorite state to go RVing is Colorado, and the longest they have stayed in one place in their RV was in their favorite city in Colorado, Estes Park, where they leased an RV lot for a month. It was the most glorious month, filled with nature, from snowcapped mountains, rushing rivers, and a personal visit by a bear to their camp site. RVing has taken them to cities like Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio, St. Louis (their hometown), and places like the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore, along with too many cities and places in Colorado to name.

One of their favorite trips, was by airplane, and then a rental car, when Jerry and his wife went to the Northeast part of the United States. They first started in Boston, Massachusetts, and meandered through Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.