Well, I had planned to write a few stories about some of our inebriated guests in the very early days of my career until a friend emailed me this morning reminding me of what this date in history was. On this date in history in 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 22.6% in what became known as Black Monday. I was supposed to be in Nashville with a bunch of college buddies for the Georgia/Vandy game. Since we were opening up on the Sunday prior to Black Monday, I drove to Atlanta, spent the weekend with my friends, took them to the airport on Friday, and drove back home.
Now I know that it is difficult to recall, but 1987 was pre cell phone days. Most of our guests received any communications via our fax machine. I am not certain, but I seem to recall us having to fill our fax machine back up with paper twice that day as brokers were desperately trying to reach their high net worth clients down here to ask them what they wanted them to do. When the jeeps rolled in for lunch, we had a stack of faxes that a show horse couldn’t jump over. We had an equal number that afternoon at 5:00 pm.
Now one of the best management tools that I have ever employed is an old fashioned method called ”eavesdropping”. That’s what us Southerners call it when we listen in on other folks conversations without letting them know that we are listening. I heard one party of six at lunch talking about how much each of their portfolios had fallen that morning. What really got my attention was when one would say he was down two million dollars while the other four men were down between one and five million dollars. But then they looked at old Bob and said, “ Now, old Bob is down some serious money”. It was at that point in time that I recalled the line from the book, The Great Gatsby, that said.” The rich are not like you and I”.
I was 38 years old at the time, and the thought of my measly $50,000 loss that day was making me nauseated, and I was very reluctant to go home and face my school teacher wife that night. The only thing that got me over the hump was wondering what old Bob’s “real money” amounted to ! I never sold anything, and did not have any money to buy the bargains on the quick bounce back, but it did teach me to always keep some powder dry for buying opportunities, and I believe that though is equally valid today.
Now the powder that you really want to burn is gunpowder. We are off to a great start in our first week with great hunting and beautiful fall weather. Next week’s forecast looks even better. The only new rule here this year is a bag search as we have had two folks try to sneak one of our little English Cockers out in their duffel bags. Just kidding, but everyone is certainly enjoying them in the field. I invite you to come see it for yourself.