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Author: Mgk Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 242  
Subject: Story Time - A Long One Date: 1/24/2000 2:16 AM
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Recommendations: 33
Turned up this post from another board (not TMF), as I was browsing earlier today. Don't generally like to post others' comments anonymously, but apparently this gentleman prefers it that way. So here 'tis. Just a reminder.

(My father would be 76 this summer, were he alive. Wish I might have shared this with him.)


A 9 BAGGER

Just yesterday some other participants of the forum mentioned how tiresome it has become to read self-congratulatory postings cheering 10-baggers on this board. I have never posted anything about mine - a 9-bagger but nonetheless I feel good about each of those 'bags.' I found that I wanted to tell you about them. If any one of the 'bags' bores you, just move on to another post; one more pleasing to you. That really is OK with me.

My father was only troopship sunk during World War I; the Tuscania, sunk off the coast of Ireland in winter. He was one of the survivors and was hospitalized for exposure. In the hospital he caught scarlet fever and while recovering from that he contacted tuberculosis which plagued him until he died more than 70 years later. Because the TB was so persistent and debilitating my mother always worked and at 9, just a few days before my 10th birthday I got a job as a newspaper boy for the Glendale News-Press. I doubled and then quadrupled the size of my paper-route and it was the money that my mother and I made that put our lives above the stark poverty level. I look back and think - that was bagger number 1. For sure that was number 1.

I had already been in all of the 48 states, Mexico and Canada when, in 1953, I went on active duty in the Army and ran the Officer's Club bar at Fort Ord. While there I talked my way into an even better job as the Booking Manager of the 7th Army Symphony Orchestra in Germany. It was a fabulous orchestra, played and was noted all over Europe and written up in the major magazines of the U.S. as well. During my year of association with the 7ASO I managed to travel to 23 countries in Europe, No. Africa and the Middle East. My ability to mix with the brilliant musicians of the orchestra, a few of whom became famous, and combined with my wanderlust to make that a year-long a cornerstone event in my life. So by the time I was discharged in my 22nd year I had passed beyond the beginnings of becoming intimate with the peoples of the world. Bagger number 2.

Early on a September Paris morning in 1959, walking alone in Luxembourg Gardens, nibbling on a pastry from Dalloyau, I saw a beautiful young woman standing in front of Liberte, a replica of the Statue of Liberty. The young woman was too magnetic, sensuous and voluptuously lovely to allow her to walk away without a word. So I spoke to her in French. In her low soothing voice she replied in pure Indianapolis American that she didn't speak French. In those moments began the great romantic passion of my life. Stephanie - and for decades she counted very greatly within my life. Another bagger.

New cars and clothes and summertime seasons come and go. Rainbows and supernovas light the sky. Some one person's courage or patriotism can bring tears. Still, to me there is nothing more precious in this world than the babyhood of baby. I have known 5, all girls - and knowing that I have lived my life for their love and with their love allows me to understand that I have already known much of heaven. Easy - that's worth 5 bags but, for this story, I'll just count one and that becomes bagger number 4.

Personal tragedy has never been a part of my own life - but I have seen it in others. In my mid-40's I did find myself suffering with depression. With the help of a marvelous psychologist I came to understand the basis for that and it left me never to return. Still, I came into contact with others suffering depression and so I turned to their service. They were the victims of accidents and war wounds who had become paraplegics, triplegics and quadriplegics. For almost 2 years I was a volunteer worker in the Spinal Cord Injury Section at Long Beach Veteran's Hospital. Then a young friend of mine was terribly burned in an auto accident and I helped to tend to her and others as a volunteer in the UCI Medical Center Hospital Burn Center for a year. Working in the burn wards was the most intense experience of my life - such is the level of pain that resides there. In those few years of being in service to others I took away so very much and also I know and remember what I contributed. Another bagger for sure.

Lydia, a young woman with 3 children, worked for a client of mine. One day, in a rather dark hallway, I saw her looking unlike her usual self. I walked passed, just as most of us do. Before I got to my office I stopped, turned and went to where she sat working. I called her into the hallway. "Lydia, how can I help you at this moment?" She began to weep. The story - since her husband left her she and her 3 children lived in one room of a motel. The 'rent' was $200 a week - in 1990 - 65% of her net income. It's one of the ways that greedy people rip the spirit from the hearts of the poor. Her rent was 3 days overdue and she and her children would be put on the street if she didn't pay that day. "Lydia, you are not going to pay. You are just going to leave this up to me. Butyou will move after work today." I left my paid job for the day to find her a 3-bedroom apartment for $650 a month in a magnificent building close to her office owned by a friend of mine. I bought a Christmas tree and decorations for the apartment and gave her an envelope of money for a ToysRUs trip. I also gave her advice as she asked for it. I do love private charities; sometimes you get a very personal picture. And sometimes a Lydia will search you out much later on and say "You will never know how greatly you changed my life." One gets a 'bag' for changing a life. That makes a 6-bagger now.

Walter Williams worked at the same client company, a security guard firm. Walter, normally a security guard himself, was earning $6.50 an hour as the scheduler for 1,400 security guards. One day I noticed an incredible mental feat that Walter performed. "Walter, what are you doing in this building. You are supposed to be at Stanford instead of being in a place like this." Walter was born on a Mississippi farm, graduated high school in South Central Los Angeles, eventually came out of the Army as a sergeant. Walter had bought a piano, taught himself to play really fine jazz, became interested in classical music and is one of the most learned people I have ever met in the field of classical music history, composers and performers. Walter was 25 and was writing a novel and a symphony. Neither one was very good, but most of us never try such things. I encouraged him to learn programming which, in a matter of months, he self-taught. I pleaded with a client to give him a contracting job. Now at 34, a wife and 2 beautiful children as his family, Walter supports them with a 6 figure income. Another life changed - another bag. I'm up to 7.

A few years ago I met and became greatly enamoured of a lady who asked me to read her my poems and song lyrics. I did - and after the one and only night of loving we had together I left a note for her for I feared or felt that this might be our one, our only night. "Casey - In my time I wrote lots of songs for one-night ladies; Lord I'd hate to think, you were just another song." I can write prose or poems and some of them touch the hearts or sensitivities of other people. I get a 'bag' for that, too. Yes, I do.

I had my 68th birthday last month. That same month I received invitations to contract with 3 different firms for my data processing consulting services. The people who wanted to hire me are all in their 30's and 40's. Many people with whom I work are in their 20's. When I finished my last contract 12 people in the department hosted a 'farewell' party for me. Most people my age seem to be retired and I suppose I also should be laying out somewhere. But clients like me and like my work as do the young people who work with me and for me. I do get a 9th bag for still being vibrant and acute - and for enjoying these efforts.

Well, that's my 9-bagger. It's not a stock. It's just me.

I hope you haven't read this far wondering only about my share holdings. The fact is that I have only a few; nothing that will make me rich in the next couple of years. Money? Well, I truly don't have but very little of that either. I know financial assets are important and should have meant more to me than they did - or maybe even do mean now. Yeah, they should have. But I have to move on. There is still at least one more 'bag' ahead on this path I follow. I do want to become a 10-bagger. I think that's what's important.



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