LAGO VISTA, Texas - A simple handshake is not the basis for the friendship between Tiny Freeman and Evan Novak. Their relationship is literally built on a rocky foundation, a rock-filled ditch.
"This is the game changer," said Freeman.
The ditch down her fence line is fed by a new drainage pipe. It’s a feature she desperately needed in order to divert water away from her new house in Lago Vista.
"I can sleep better at night knowing that this isn’t fanning out into the yard and flooding everything," said Freeman.
Her yard flooded after every big rain. Storm water would pour across the street out of a shallow ditch. A damaged drain pipe in that shallow ditch typically made the situation worse.
She called her home builder and the city but couldn’t get the problem fixed. So back in October she did an interview with FOX 7.
"After your story had aired, they came out to understand the problem a little better," said Freeman.
The crew that came out was from Brohn Homes.
"After we saw the video, it was a no brainer, something had to be done," said Evan Novak with Brohn Homes.
Along with a new and longer drainage pipe, concrete was poured for a larger parking pad. The rock along her fence line not only prevents erosion, it also keeps water away from the chickens that Freeman has in her backyard.
"They could have came and stopped at the pipe, and said ‘peace out, the water has been diverted, and we are done,' But they didn’t, and they went above and beyond," said Freeman.
Brohn Homes didn’t charge Freeman a dime for the work. It was covered under her warranty.
"Well Tiny was great to deal with, she was awesome. You know you catch more flies with honey," said Novak.
FOX 7 met Freeman last fall while working on a completely different story.
Her neighborhood was trying to get the U.S. Postal Service to install community cluster mail boxes. That job was completed about a month ago when the boxes started to arrive about the time things were changing for Freeman.
Thursday, Greg Martin, who was featured in the original FOX 7 mailbox story, stopped to talk about the new addition to the neighborhood.
"We were starting to begin to doubt it. They did a great job, and it happened shortly after you brought attention to it," said Martin.
Martin and his neighbors no longer have to drive every day to the Lago Vista Post Office to get their mail.
"Thank you so much FOX 7, thank you Rudy Koski," said Martin.
Lago Vista Mayor Ed Tidwell spoke to FOX 7 by phone Thursday about the mail boxes. He noted that Brohn Homes donated part of the land for the site, and said he is thankful his long-running debate with the Postal Service is over.
Tiny Freeman also believes the FOX 7 story helped get the cluster mailbox built and offered one last thought.
"The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right?"