Q. My son is interested in becoming a bricklayer – something I’ve always considered a dying art. Is there a bricklaying school in Dallas? S.B., Dallas.

A. Yes, there is an annual A.two-week bricklaying school sponsored by the Association of Masonry Contractors. Normally, it takes a laborer from three to five years to become a full-fledged bricklayer. For that first few years of work, the laborers simply carry bricks to the more experienced bricklayers who have learned to quickly lay bricks in perfectly straight lines. This year, the school was held at Texas Industries. After completing the course, laborers are generally able to gain experience equal to about two years of on-the-job training. The school costs contractors approximately $100 per day per student. The cost includes paying the laborers’ wages that they would normally receive on a job. A laborer usually makes $5 to $7 an hour; an experienced bricklayer makes approxi-mately $12 an hour.

Q. Do I have to pay taxes if I have a garage sale? S.M., Dallas.

A. Legally, the situation is very sticky. According to the state controller’s office, an individual may sell two taxable items (“taxable” meaning items that aren’t normally tax exempt) in a 12-month period without paying tax. The third and all subsequent items must be taxed. Under this law, if you have an unsuccessful garage sale and sell only two items, you’re in the clear. If, however, you really strike it rich and sell, say, 10 items, you must pay tax on the last eight sales. Here’s the good news: The law is very rarely enforced. According to John Moore, director of tax information for the state controller’s office, enforcement officers only check situations when a complaint is registered. Therefore, an annual family clean-out-the-junk garage sale is pretty safe.

Q. I heard that Tenth Street in Oak Cliff was once written up in Ripley’s Believe-it-or-Not as the street with the most churches in the world. Is this true? CM., Oak Cliff.

A Tenth Street in Oak Cliff may very well be the most church-laden street in the world. Unfortunately, Ripley never heard this news. Ed Meyer, an archivist for Ripley’s headquarters in Canada, checked his records and concluded that there has never been a category for the street with the most churches. Q. I’ve been hearing lately that Trammel Crow is trying to diversify his holdings. I recently noticed a new operation on Young Street called Trammel’s Dallas Bail Bonds. Is this one of Mr. Crow’s new interests? D.S., Mesquite.

A. No. According to Rich A. Ashton, a partner in Trammell Crow’s company, Crow is not diversifying in the direction of jail bonds nor does he plan to. The company on Young Street is owned by Dennis Merrill, who just purchased the business in April. The operation isn’t new, however. Its original owner, Houston Trammel (thus the name), started the business roughly 15 years ago. One of Merrill’s employees says business is booming, “especially when there’s a full moon.” Even builders don’t have reports like that. By the way, there’s only one I in Houston Trammel’s name; Crow spells his first name with two I’s.

Q. What are the bumps in the road at the intersection of Inwood and Walnut Hill? There are road signs before you reach them that say “Test Area Ahead”. H.L., University Park.

A Those “bumps” are A. part of a durability test for a product manufactured by the 3M Company. The product, called STAMARK, is a self-adhesive, highly durable material used for road striping. According to Red McSpadden of Lectric Safety Lites, a Dallas company that uses 3M products, the main problems with road stripes occur in areas where traffic frequently stops and starts on the surface. 3M decided to use the intersection as a testing ground because of its heavy traffic flow and Dallas’extreme heat conditions. The 1/8 -inch thick test stripes were placed at the intersection of Inwood and Walnut Hill in February 1981. In December 1981, 3M representatives came to Dallas to take up the stripes but weren’t able to because of traffic-control problems. McSpadden says the company should be back in the near future to remove them.


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