b'PAGE 6 Amazing Grace/ NATIONAL CLOTHESLINE / DECEMBER, 2019arty Moore was enjoying being Once you actually go in and invest there, but its a world worth investing drycleaning and wakes up doing theM a salesmana job he feels he yourself in some of these mens lives in because the success rate is astronom- same. Hes gotten the bug. Hes suchwas born to dowhen his fa- and you hear the stories and realize ical. It really is, he said. a blessing to us, so were expandingther purchased D&M Cleaners of Pharr, that the guys are real, but made some our market range, Marty added.Texas, in 1976. It wasnt long before he stupidchoices,herecalled.Gods arly on, the warden asked Marty D and M Cleaners is now in its 61stwas asked to chip in. He complied but givenmethegiftofcommunication E if hed be receptive to teaching the year (43 in the Moore family) and itsgot a little more than he had bargained with these guys and I had to prove my- inmates in a cell block devoted to an area rife with expansion. Its locatedfor. self. They see through fallacy pretty the worst of the worst offenders. He rel- about as close to the Mexican border asHebailedoutafteracoupleof quick.Theyseethroughyour ished the opportunity. After all, his own you can get and as far south as Texasyears, Marty recalled. He had a girl- hypocrisy. These guys can spot a fake. life had a few colorful, checkered inci- goes.friend and literally ran off on a Satur- Fortunately, Marty loves the chal- dents with alcohol, high speed driving Over the last many years, weve re-day morning. It was a real interesting lenge. At the plant, he often draws on and the view of the inside of a jail cell. ally had the privilege of distancing our-situation and thats how I officially be- all three of his DLI certifications (CPD, He was just luckier. Although, to be selvesfromourcompetitorsasthecame an owner. his fathers interest MartyHe bought out and shared ownership with his mother.www.dandmcleaners.comTheonlyproblemwas,thebusinesswasnt in the best of shape.He had created just a tremendousamountofdebt,hesaid.Itwasacrazy situation. It really, really was, butwe had the opportunity to pick up the Moorepiecesanditsbeenablessingeversince.That was more than 40 years agoandMartyharborsnobadfeelings.(Really, my dad did me a favortalkabout growing up quick.) His new-found responsibilities soon developedinto a full-fledged passion. He liked be-ingabletohelppeoplekeeptheirwardrobe looking new.We are going to mend the tears,sew the buttons, get the stains out, re- CPW and CED) to wipe away stains; fair, Martys own stories usually dont cleaners of choice, Marty noted. Weally clean it, press it properlywere now, he draws on his life experience to compare to those of the people he men- deal in high end quality. We do whatgoing to put it back in new condition, help wipe slates clean for people too tors. othercleanerswontdo.Wehandlehe said. The second thing we do, and often overlooked or disregarded. Many are humorous, like what hap- things that other cleaners are just afraidI think we do it better than anybody, is OnceIstartedconnectingwith pened to an inmate named Kelly who of. Thats been a huge blessing. We re-we build relationships with customers. these guys a lot of them had never told Marty: Ive always driven junk, ally have a great reputation in the com-I instill in all of our customer service been talked to straight, he said. A lot soIborrowedmyneighborsnew munity.people: Make your customer a friend ofthemarehopeless.Theyhaveno pickup and Im hauling drugs and Im Mistakes still happen, but as a per-first and a customer second. Then, if hope. going down the road and I run it off son who has dedicated much of his lifethere is an issue or a problem, its not a intoaditch.Imsittingthereinthe tohelpingpeopleovercometheirs,problem because you can call a friend hatlackofhopeoftenextends ditch with my drugs and all of a sud- Marty doesnt fear them. When I makeand say, Listen, while I was cleaning T even beyond prison life. Having den this lady speaks and says, Are you a mistake, its a mistake of the mind,this garment, I ran it too long. I did afelonyonyourrecordlimits OK? not the heart, he emphasized.something wrong, but we need to stand your employment and living options. Kellydidntseeanybodythere.behind it and make it good. With a public who fears them and no Marty continued the story, He looked o far, there havent been any mis-Asaforinstance,Martyremem- moneytostartwith,recidivismcan aroundandsaid,Godsawoman! S takeshehasntrecoveredfrom,bered a new customer who brought in seem like a forgone conclusion. Where are you coming from? unlike some inmates hes tried towhite blue jeans. Despite following the When these guys get out of prison, Turns out it was OnStar who called help.care label, black ended up bleeding all they have to have an address to go to. Kelly by the trucks owners name and Ivebeenburned,headmitted.over them. He knew he just bought a They have to report to a parole office. said not to worry the police were on Weve had the guys who are either ha-pair of pants; he didnt know they cost The state wont just let them out on the their way to help. Needless to say, he bitual alcoholics or theyll get back into$1,100 new at Neiman Marcus. At least street, Marty explained. Once that did not want that at all. themethandtheyrerightbacktothe customer had bought them at 50% process is done and theyve met their You have all of these stories that where they were.off and brought in the receipt. Even the release date, they put them on a bus are funny and then you hear tragic Its a daily battle for many of themdiscountedcostseemedincredibly with a $50 gift card and a one-way bus stories, where theyve lost their chil- andMartycontinuestoencouragehigh, but Marty offered a $550 check ticket to go re-establish life. They cant dren at an early age and life kind of them to be better people. After all, there(plus tax) or $650 in credit. do it. Its almost like a prescription for crumplesonthem.Theyendup is no feeling quite so good as that of re-Shes been a consistent $500 or $600 failure. hooked or committing a crime and life demption.a month customer. Besides, our reputa- Marty created an inmate trust fund is just not fair, Marty said. Some guys Ive heard stories of redemption.tion is worth more than a $650 pair of to help offset the financial burdens, but cope and some people dont. We had a kid four or five years ago thatblue jeans, he noted. Im sure weve moreimportantly,healsogiveshis One person who Marty taught early was probably 19 or 20 (or maybe hebeen taken advantage of, but as long as time. He talks on the phone daily to on had some difficulty dealing with the was 20 or 21)hed been drinking I know Im doing whats right, at the manyoftheinmateshesmentored fallout of going to prison. His entire and he was going home and he hit aend of the day thats all I want. who are struggling with problems in family had disowned him for his crime, car that had three high school footballtheir post-prison lives. He also teaches butMartysawsomethingspecialin players in it and he killed all three,t the end of another long day, twice a week at the prison, offering les- John. Marty said.A Marty was at the business, not sons of faith and rehabilitation. He was working for Tyson Foods af- By the time he was getting ready toeager to return home after the Marty is humble enough to know ter his release when Marty asked him get out of prisonhe had served hisdeath of his wife, Chris. Then, he had a that he wasnt the original draw for if he wanted to join D&M Cleaners and sentence. Of course, it was involuntarysurprise visit from a frienda chap- many inmates. In the state of Texas, the help him build an empire. From his first manslaughter, he continued. lain from one of the state prisons. He prisons have no air conditioning except day, he has been the Chief of Opera- By the time he had served his sen-wanted Marty to help him preach and wheretheclassesaretaught. Atthe tions. That was about two-and-a-half tence, two of the families reached outteach inmates looking to improve their start, he assumed many were attending years ago. to him and had forgiven him. It ate onlives. He accepted the invitation not re- because of that air conditioning (and I knew exactly what he was capable him. You could tell this kids life hadalizing how much it would improve his not so much for Jesus). Regardless of of and its an amazing journey. Hes been changed. He wouldnt have in-own life. what drew them in, the important thing workinguntil1,2,3oclockinthe tentionally done it.Thatwasoversixyearsagoand is they stayed and came back. They also morningonnewcomputersystems, Both the prisoner and the mentorMarty has found the work extremely beganrecruitingeachotherontheir scheduling people, team building, in- were humbled by the amazing gesture.rewarding, though it can also be quite own. novating, Marty said. Thats grace. Thats beyond what mostchallenging and eye-opening. Itsawholedifferentworldout Now, he goes to bed thinking about of us have, Marty said.'