He gets to play with all sorts of expensive cars and trucks, a favorite pastime, even if he can’t afford them.
Yet Jodell Ashford has to work twice as hard as anyone else because he lives with cerebral palsy.
“His mom always told him he could do anything, he just might have to do it differently,” said longtime customer Jo Freeman.
Jo and her husband, Roger, found Ashford when they needed to do something about their fuzzy and filmed over headlights.
Jo said the Arizona sun and sand had oxidized their headlamps so badly it dulled the beam. She could barely see the road at night.
“I heard I could get a ticket for that,” she said.
She saw an ad in the paper for a $40 special with Chore Solutions. Jodell said he could make headlamps shine like new.
Roger said they had planned on spending $170 a piece for new headlights. He told Jo, “What the heck, let’s try it out — sure is cheaper than new.”
The results so impressed them, they now have a standing appointment with Jodell every year to detail their whole car.
“He removes the ‘Arizona pin striping,’ and every single strand of dog hair,” said Jo.
Their 2006 bright red truck gleams like it is right off the showroom floor.
But Jo almost refused to allow Jodell to work on her car.
“When I saw him come down the driveway, I thought there was no way he could do the work and I was being cruel to ask him to do it,” she said.
Jodell’s disorder has resulted in a “scissors walk” where the knees almost cross each other under his hips. Unlike in some cases of cerebral palsy (CP), Jodell has strong arms and a sharp mind, in fact his wife and business partner, Kathy, had no idea he had CP until she met him, but by then she had fallen in love.
“We’re one of those Internet relationships,” she said.
At the time, Jodell lived in Payson and Kathy in Scottsdale. She convinced him to move down the hill to work for her at her property management business.
Kathy’s sister noticed he loved cars and offered to pay the $4,000 cost of auto-detailing school to become certified.
He’s loved the business since.
“I’ve worked in all sorts of places from dealers to auto detailing shops,” said Jodell. Soon though, he realized he would be happier working for himself.
He and Kathy decided to move back to Payson to start up Chore Solutions because of the weather and the people.
“The people here are nicer and more trusting,” he said.
The first car he worked on for his new businesses was Mayor Kenny Evans’ “parade car.”
Jodell has been very successful since.
“I try to do a car a day,” he said.
The work is physically demanding. He can sand and buff out a new paint job removing the “orange peel” and replacing it with a slick smooth shiny finish.
He can recondition leather, removing years of stains.
He shampoos carpets and de-greases engines.
Despite having the ability to do it all, he has taken on an apprentice, Giovanni Lira.
“We met playing pool,” said Jodell.
Lira got to talking to Jodell about his spray painted paintings and Jodell told him about his work. Lira asked him to buff one of his paintings. He was so wowed; he decided he had to learn to do Jodell’s work.
“I can get a car done half the time now splitting up the work,” said Jodell.
Jo said he makes their car look so new people ask her what year it is.
“I take pride in my car,” she said, “I believe people judge me on how I keep my vehicle.”
Jo said when she sees cars drive next to her that are oxidized and covered in scratches, she wonders how those people keep their houses and lives.
Jodell said he has about 150 people in his Rolodex. Many bring him a car once a week for care — and they own multiple cars.
He is known around town by word of mouth, but can be found on the Internet at www.choresolutionsautodetail.com or by phone at (928) 478-6111.