This book traces the real life experiences and adventures of the author, who was raised in several small communities in West Texas. His family came from Germany to America in 1710, some 66 years before the American Revolution and 22 years before George Washington was born. They settled in the Hudson Bay area of New York, migrated to what is now Berks County, Pennsylvania (1723), the St. Louis area of Missouri (1852), the Black Hills of South Dakota (1878) and finally to Texas (1909). His great-grandfather was killed by the Indians on a cattle drive (1880) from Fort Reno, Wyoming to the ranch that he and his two brothers owned on the Belle Fourche River north of Deadwood, and is buried on Johnís Avenue in Moriah Cemetery in Deadwood near the grave sites of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane.
A product of this strong pioneer background, the author recounts his own experiences and lessons learned from life and his colorful multiple careers, including:
- From birth in Winters, Texas (pop. 1000), being raised in Snyder, Texas (pop. 3000) to retirement in Houston, Texas, the nation´s fourth largest city.
- From early negotiations, during depression years at six years of age, of a deal with a rancher to sheer his pet goat and buy its wool for $1 per cutting to becoming a partner and president of a multiple-dealership retail automotive chain selling, for example, more Honda automobiles in Houston, Texas, than any other competitor, and subsequently negotiating the sale of its Houston dealerships to Roger Penske of United Auto Group.
- From naming his pet goat for his local Methodist minister in Winters to multiple audiences with Pope John Paul II in Rome and at his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, receiving a treasured papal rosary and later a papal appointment as a Knight of The Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, the only religious order under the protection of the Holy See, and membership therein considered one of the highest papal awards conferred upon clergy and laity alike.
- From the rank of Bobcat in the Cub Scouts to the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
- From salutatorian of the Class of 1948 at Snyder High School to Doctor of Jurisprudence, summa cum laude of the Class of 1958 at the University of Texas School of Law, with a pit-stop at the University of Texas School of Business, graduating in the Class of 1952 with a BBA degree majoring in public accounting.
- From beginning his legal career as an associate with his law firm in 1958 to obtaining partnership status within three years and then becoming a senior partner--included in the firm´s name--with membership on its three-person Executive Committee. He was President-Elect of his bar association at the time of his retirement from the active practice of law.
- From buck private in the USMC, entering OCS in 1952 during the Korean Conflict, to a company commander when separated from acive duty in 1954, obtaining the rank of captain.
In addition to sharing the details of the author´s adventures in these activities, the reader also has the opportunity to learn the key reasons and elements for success as the author discloses, based upon his experiences, achievements and leadership roles, HOW-TO-DO-IT philosophies, including:
- How to study law at a major law institution based upon a hands-on and time-tested approach.
- How to avoid costly legal and business mistakes based upon valuable insights on how juries think, illustrated from actual cases tried by the author--he lost only two of approximately 145 jury decisions during his nineteen-years in the active practice of law.
- How to acquire an insight into the art of negotiating business deals--acquisitions, mergers and other buy-sell transactions--as related by the author in the context of actual transactions.
- How to make the most of what comes your way by the author´s detailed account of his involvement in two historic firsts in banking: (1)Trans Texas Bancorporation, the first bank holding company to secure approval of its formation (over protest by the United States Department of Justice) in the Supreme Court of the United States and (2) National Loan Bank, the first junk bank to be formed in the United States, solely to liquidate problem loans, as a result of the merger of Chemical New York Corporation and Texas Commerce Bank.
- How to be a successful leader by following the Ten Commandments of Leadership, developed by the author from his leadership experiences over the years in many diverse roles--providing essential principles that every leader must know in order to lead others in a responsible fashion.
- How to succeed in business by really trying and employing the four essential elements necessary for any successful venture.
- How to achieve a successful marriage with the help of the author´s hard-learned Rx ingredients.
- How to leave an ethical last will and testament to pass on intangible values and lessons learned in life to future generations.
- And most importantly, how to find contentment and happiness with the life-one-is-given to live by making the most of what comes your way during its journey.