Patricia and I met in Morristown, NJ when we were loaned to AT&T by our operating companies to work on divesting the Bell System. We worked in different areas and had been in New Jersey for several weeks already. We got to visit home, New Orleans in my case, and Dayton/Fairborn in Patricia’s case, at least once a month.
On one of my trips home, a colleague, Martha Vinot, told me that her group would be moving to the building where my group worked and that her manager was someone I should meet. That happened the next Monday morning and Martha was right! Patricia was someone I should meet! Our temporary assignments went on for months and eventually turned into permanent jobs with AT&T. Our friendship turned into love and we were married on March 9 at the Madison Hotel in Convent Station, NJ, 26 years ago today.
We have had an interesting walk together over the years. Patricia and I determined from the beginning that we were committed to each other, and the work that we would need to do to keep walking together. I often reflect on something I heard a long time ago. A beautiful pearl is produced when some irritant enters the shell of a pearl and the pearl continuously covers the irritant with something that makes it smooth and less irritating to the oyster resulting in a beautiful pearl. We have been working on a pearl of our own for 26 years. And since no two pearls are alike, any married couple can produce their own.
I owe Martha Vinot a debt of gratitude for introducing me to Patricia. She has no idea how that one generous act has made my life so complete! And to Patricia, thank you for being my wife making a pearl out of me!
Friday was the 20th Anniversary of Dunes Properties. There wasn’t a big fanfare about it- no party, no “drinks all around!”, no commemorative t-shirts. These are tough economic times and everyone, besides being reserved about expenses, are keeping their eyes and minds on the business of selling real estate. Instead, Randy Walker, the president of Dunes Properties, sent a simple email to the staff to acknowledge the occasion. Although the day has passed, the sentiment is important to share as we embark on yet another new year of helping people find their homes on the Charleston Coast. Here are the concise, yet eloquent words of our president:
“On this day, twenty years ago, Betty Poore, John Hassell and I sat down together and told each other that we could do better than what we had done. We had nothing more than an idea; a dream of how people working together should enjoy life and work. And I must say, despite all that has passed, it has become much more than we ever imagined. What a great way to earn a living. Helping people fulfill their life long dreams and making them a reality. Come on…having a place on an island off the coast of Charleston SC or in the middle of one of the greatest cities in the world? The cultural center of the South! Please. Advising on what real wealth is (not imaginary paper wealth…manipulated by some Wall Street pundit) but real wealth, wealth you can touch and feel; happiness, and family sharing life on the Charleston Coast.
Twenty years ago today, January 09, 1989, we embraced an optimism which went beyond the depths of the real estate recession we were in the middle of, with banks shutting down, interest rates in double digits, prices and demand stagnant. Looking back, as bad as it was, it was great. Exciting, challenging, scary, so we worked hard to be the best we knew we could be. Well, if I had to describe what dunes properties really is, yesterday and today, it is people who believe in themselves, who gather their confidence from themselves and those around them.
That is it, in the most simple form; how all great companies start and not just survive, but seize the day. Turning chicken shit to chicken salad. This is dunes properties.
Join me in celebrating our twentieth anniversary.”