The guys: Ballard in horizontal stripes and Norford in verticals.
You've tossed dull corporate newsletters straight in the trash,
so why read the one from the yard maintenance company? How about
dramatic candor of "The Ooops Issue"?
"In May of '96, if you were driving down 250 in the vicinity of
McIntire Park and saw a truck pulling a trailer that was ON FIRE,
chances are good that was us."
Then there's the customer appreciation issue with photos of
Meriweather Mowing Service owners Rod Ballard and Dave Norford
kowtowing– literally– to one 20-year customer, yet also calling out
by name a deadbeat client who ordered a lot of work right before
filing for bankruptcy. "Not cool, Richard. Totally. Not. Cool,"
admonishes writer/editor Ballard, whom Norford calls "the
volcano of creativity that keeps bubbling out."
The newsletter started out as "strictly advertising," says
Ballard. "And lawnmowing is kind of boring. You can only say 'let
us lime and fertilize' so many times."
The two men had a long history of deadpan before starting
Meriweather in 1990, says Ballard. They both attended Albemarle
High and became friends at PVCC. Both worked at the original
Piedmont Airlines. They used to broadcast Madison High football
And they were both playing on the same softball team in 1989
when Norford helped Ballard mow his lawn. "We knocked it out," says
Ballard, "and said, we ought to start a lawn service."
The next summer, they had 30 customers.
Given the frequency of the...