3 generations building East Texas together

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

CHAPEL HILL, TX (KLTV) - They laid the foundation at Christmastime. Now, six months of hard work is coming to an end. With one day left before the Parade of Homes kicks off, three generations of East Texas builders are hurrying to put the finishing touches on their projects.

On the outside all seems calm. Walk through the front door though and it's a different story. Cameron Chandler isn't just building a house, he's creating a home. The Annual Parade of Homes kicks off Saturday. Builders like Cameron have 24 hours to finish the job.

"Well, we've got a lot of stuff to do in a little time to do it," said Cameron Chandler. "We got carpet guys in trying to get the carpet done. We've got electricians finishing up the wiring and we'll have plumbers this afternoon."

Luckily he's far from alone.

"I been building for myself for 54 years now," said Gene Chandler.

77-year-old Gene Chandler still works five and a half days a week.

"I like to see things go up," said Gene. "I like to build things and see the work of my hands."

He's passed on the business of building to son Keith and now grandson Cameron.

"If there's somebody to learn from, it would have to be him and my dad," said Cameron.

He taught two generations the tools of his trade. In return he got a nickname.

"His nickname is 'Cocodrillo,' which means crocodile in Spanish," explained Cameron.

"They write my name on everything," said Gene. "I don't know where it came from."

"We call him 'Coco' because you never know when he could bite your head off," said Cameron.

"I'm a perfectionist but he's doing a good job," said Gene. "He knows what we expect and he's that way he expects to see good things."

Cameron's home is on set to be finished up just in time. The Parade of Homes kicks off this Saturday and continues through next week.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.