Skip to main content

Posts

LAWDY, WILLIE AND I ARE GETTING OLD

I realized the other day, I do not look into a mirror that often.When shaving, I study a portion of my face but do not take in the entire picture.It is only when getting a haircut, when the barber turns the chair to the mirror upon completion and I take in the entire effect.My haircuts take very little time and when I see my reflection, I again realize I am REAL bald and getting seriously older by the minute.I have crinkly eyes, a grey mustache, and hair appears on and in my ears.
I still have a mental image that I am around 20 years old and am astonished how much older those around me are getting.My bride and I went to see the band CHICAGO some time back and I was surprised how many “old folks” were in attendance.Nancy pointed out they looked exactly like us!WHAT!I look like a 66 year old grandpa?

     I have never been a good judge of women’s ages…anywhere from 15-55 they fall into a general category.  I was riding down the elevator with a young lady in our department at ANN TAYLOR in…
Recent posts

WE LIVE WITH ANGELS AMONG US

I have always been comforted by the scripture in Hebrews 13:2…”Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for in doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.”I DO believe there are angels and spirits all around us.We do not always see them, but they are here and I believe they areplaced by the grace of God to look after us.I know this to be true because I have encountered them and have felt their presence in my life.
     Throughout my life I have prayed for intersession and have received help.  My first marriage was very difficult and my wife insisted on a divorce.  We had two young children and I was desperate about the impact this would have on them.  I was alone in my new apartment bed, despondent and praying, when I literally felt a strong, reassuring hand press down on my chest, and rub…like you would reassure a small child.  I felt a presence say to me, “Relax…I am with you.  You are going to be OK.”  This lifted a huge burden.  I was able to rest…a short time …

YOU CANNOT DISCHARGE BOTTLE ROCKETS OR INSECTS SAFELY FROM YOUR BODY

This time of year I always remember the stifling heat of summer in north Texas during the 50’s & 60’s.No one had air conditioning and it was torture to attempt to go to sleep in a hot bed and wake up in warm, sweaty sheets.I read recently the human body dispenses north of 25 gallons of sweat annually into our beds.(The point being, change the sheets weekly.)In Sherman, Texas, that number had to be considerably higher in the summer months.
     One source of relief from the summer inferno was the Sherman municipal swimming pool.  It seemed anytime I was at the pool, my late childhood hero Judd Bell was present.  Judd was about 3-4 years older than me and always seemed to be in the midst of an adventure.  I witnessed someone finding a bottle rocket and Judd placed it down the back of his swim suit, secured in the natural cleavage of his buttocks, bent over and lit the fuse.  The rocket shot off his butt and into hot blue sky over Sherman.  I thought it was the coolest demonstration …

HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY ANN AND MY LITTLE BROTHER BOB

Today, July 7th, is a pretty important birth date for me.My daughter in law, Emily, celebrates her 35th birthday today.I am awfully glad she was born…she makes my son extremely happy, is a joy to be around and has presented me with two wonderful grandchildren, including my only grandson, who happens to share my middle name!(Tough thing to do for a little guy.)      It has made us all very happy for Emily to be in our family and I have been impressed with her zeal to do the right thing.  She works hard at being a good mama, wife and partner, while maintaining her sense of humor and making us all feel loved.  I thank God she and Jacob found one another and this has been a blessing in all our lives.
     Today would also have been the 64th birthday of my little brother Bob.  He was killed in December 1967 in a bicycle accident, when he was only 14.  It is hard to imagine him being 64 and I continually wonder what kind of man he would have been.    What career would he have pursued, would h…

THE NIGHT WE LOST 1/3 OF THE SHOPPING CENTER INDUSTRY TO THE WILES OF MEXICO

In early ’74 we opened Amigoland Mall in Brownsville, Texas.This coincided with a shopping center leasing convention in Dallas and we came up with the brainstorm of flying the retailers down for the grand opening.
     The plan was to load up two jets with the deal makers attending the conference, go to the new mall’s cocktail party, take buses over to the “Drive In” restaurant in Matamoros, Mexico for dinner, then return everyone to the airport and fly them back to Dallas.   
     In mid afternoon, we loaded buses outside the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas, put large sombrero on everyone's heads, took them to the planes at Love Field and boarded for the ride to south Texas.  These guys did not get out much and this was a real adventure for them.  They drank a lot on the plane, landed, got to the mall and drank a lot more at the cocktail reception.    
     I was part of the crew that herded them onto buses to take them to Mexico for dinner.  Now, Mexico has always frightened me.  We are p…

FRED SIMON THREW ME TO THE DOGS

One of the perks I enjoyed under Fred Simon’s leadership at Simon, was the opportunity to work on a variety of shopping center projects. This included what was the first phase of the downtown Indianapolis re-development in 1980 called Two West Washington, in the former Wasson’s Department store, at the corner of Meridian and Washington Street.
     We were working on a Brooks Brothers Store, Custom Shirt Shop and others, when out of nowhere came an alleged opportunity for a Gucci store, sponsored by Cyril Magnin of Joseph Magnin stores in San Francisco.  WHAT?    
     It all happened so fast, arrangements were made for a news conference with Cyril Magnin and we were to fly him back to Indianapolis for the event.  On my 30th birthday, Fred sent me on one of the planes to pick him up in San Francisco and fly him back.  His entourage included his little dog, Tippy and a strange young man who was “supposed” to look after the dog.   
     We started back to Indiana and the dog promptly peed …

FRED SIMON’S FEEDING AND CARE OF A GOY

I had been in marketing at Simon for around 8 years and was attempting to outdo each grand opening and special event's activity at our malls.  In 1980, Fred Simon changed my life and career path when he brought me into the leasing department.    I joined leasing at the same time as Max Reiswerg, whose parents owned the kosher meat market in Broad Ripple.Max and I shared an office and Fred would yell down the hall, “Get the butcher’s kid and the redneck down here!”Max was a blessing for me and would interpret the Yiddish phrases bandied about and directed at me.I quickly learned enough to determine when I was in trouble or not. I learned the science of leasing shopping centers under the tutelage of Fred, Irv Katz and a crew of really enjoyable individuals.A new factor for me was the accompaniment of food at every available opportunity.All meetings were an occasion to eat and I was quickly indoctrinated into the Fred Simon dining customs, which included frequent visits to Shapiro’s D…