November 1, 2014

Another Note for the WIP fourth book. This is set in after I was out of college and actually in the very early part of the times in “Notes To My Kids”. There will be a couple of other overalpping Notes too.

BBC was in Fort Worth once. Not the British Broadcasting Company but Business Broker’s Company. What is this BBC? It was owned by my dad and he brokered the sale of businesses and their related real estate.

After leaving banking dad bought it and he and Meemaw got an apartment out near Hulen Mall (they still had the Gainesville house too). The office was on Hulen near the Vickery intersection by what was later the new Chisholm Trail Parkway freeway in a mid-rise office tower. There were several rooms in the space and the windows looked out to the east towards the Trinity River and downtown – rooms with a view if you will.

Businesses would become clients and dad would try to sell them. If he sold one he got a commission if not he got nothing and still had to pay the rent. We talked about me working there but BBC never made enough money for that but sometimes I helped dad with a tax question relating to a sale since I was still a CPA. There was a spare office with a desk and chair they said was mine but I never worked there. On the weekends he and mom would jump in their Dodge van and head back north to Gainesville and the house there. It was a lifestyle they lived, or endured in some cases, when there were no sales.

One July 4th we got a little bonus out of it all. We went up to the office and watched the big fireworks show held each year in Trinity Park. We spent the sunset and early dark time sitting in the big leather office chairs and gazing at the exploding flashes of red and green expanding over the river in front of the skyscrapers with their speckled lights on. It was a great time and I liked going up there just like I had always enjoyed going to the banks growing up to see dad or TR. And things went on with us that way, up and down as the commissions came and went, until dad got cancer and had to shut the operation down.

One thing I did get out of the office was the red leather chair that was dad’s. I took it home and I also lugged it around to clients and used it for something better to sit in than the usual garbage consultants get to sit on. When dad was so sick I had it onsite at a project when I worked at Coopers & Lybrand. They day of dad’s funeral my friend at work Mark Burton called me and said something like “I know this is not a good day Jeff but AAFES kicked C&L out and killed the project”. That was quite a shock and later partners and others got canned due to that fiasco but not all was lost for me since Mark saved my dad’s chair and took it home with him for me.

I went and got the leather chair at Mark’s house and took it home. It never followed me to work after that and since then has sat in the game rooms of the houses I owned since then. And for a brief while I tried to revive BBC but still working for a consulting and accounting firm really left no time for that. So in the end BBC faded away for good.

When I go up to the game room now to read some rules of one of my wargames, look at their maps, or read a book I usually sit down in that old red leather chair and lean back with a cold drink near my hand. Besides pondering the rules I have pondered what might have been if dad had not gotten sick and we still had BBC. If that had happened I might still be looking out those same windows that showed the fireworks that year and life’s other explosions might have gone off differently than they did. At least I still have that beautiful red burgundy chair and use it around my own life’s fireworks shows.

Author’s note: Mark Burton moved back to Oklahoma and became a State Farm agent. Like me, he escaped Coopers & Lybrand.