Seeking the Company of Good Men

Big Red Car here.  Well it will be a good day here in the ATX — 90F and the pattern leading to summer is upon us.  But, hey, we love a bit of sunshine and warm weather now don’t we?

Because we can put the top down and run like a scalded dog out and about.  Haha, Big Red Car, you are a hoot.  To yourself anyway, Big Red Car.

So The Boss loves to have coffee with a CEO client, an old pal or an interesting person.  It is said that the lights did not go out during the Dark Ages because the intelligentsia gathered in coffee shops [no, they were not SBUX corporate coffee shops, Old Sport] to speak with and learn from each other.

The Boss is known to haunt some local coffee shops like Medici on West Lynn and Mozart’s (right on the lake next to downtown ATX) and Austin Java on Windsor.  Doing his bit to put a spur to the local coffee economy and to have a nice chat.

Seek out the company of people you admire

The Boss has been blessed to have met a lot of people — interesting people and folks who he admires.  It would not be unfair to say that he collects interesting people.

Recently he noted that if had to count them up on his allotted number of fingers and toes that the ones he REALLY admires would still have a spare finger or toe left available.  Nonetheless, they are an interesting group.

For whatever reason in the past week he has had the great “bon chance” to have met with several folks with whom he has not spoken with in some considerable time.  But men who he has always admired.  In every instance, the conversations were enervating, interesting and stimulating which is why I, the Big Red Car, am writing this post.

Seek out and maintain friendships with folks you admire and respect.  They are in short supply.  Invest energy in those relationships.

The Boss notes that these folks are all genuine, authentic and full of the qualities of life that make them so engaging.  Makes life so interesting.  Makes The Boss laugh at life and with them.


The conversations always entail a bit of catching up and rekindling the place from which they met.  One chap wanted The Boss to believe that they had not visited in fifteen years.  The Boss was not buying it but it was probably correct.

In the interim, this fellow had become a world class photographer — he was already a great photographer a quarter of a century ago.  But The Boss had been reading his blog for some time and felt like they had just met last week.  Such is the power of the Internet and blogging.  But it is not a substitute for a cherry empanade and a great latte at Sweetish Hill on 6th Street.

Another fellow reminded The Boss that they had met in a CEO forum some decade ago and the bonding experience had taken.  This fellow is whip smart and on the cutting edge of technology and angel investing.  As always, The Boss left the conversation thinking — hmmm, wonder where I send the tuition check?

Another fellow had just had a world class liquidity event and the authenticity and humility with which he embraced that bit of “triumph and disaster” was a thing of beauty.  It was hard not to like him even more seeing the genuineness and gratitude of that once in a lifetime happenstance.

Heart breakers

In the same breath, The Boss recently had to take the measure of some folks he had admired once upon a time — some former work peers and colleagues.  The circumstances were such that certain of these folks emerged from a messy wicket with their honor and integrity a bit more lustrous and others — well, others revealed a base cravenness in their souls that was truly disappointing.  Like naked fingernails on a blackboard — something that you cannot do with a whiteboard, eh?

In these things was not only disappointment but also a bit of dismay as The Boss had held such folks in high esteem.  It is a very sad thing to see one’s lesser angels rope and hog tie one’s character.  Sad indeed.

Such is life and it should serve as a lesson to operate at the highest level of integrity — there are no gradations of integrity, you either have it or you do not.  If you color outside the lines, slap some sense into yourself and get back inside the lines.  You can do it.

So, today the Big Red Car tells you something simple — seek out and maintain relationships with the many wonderful and interesting folks whose paths you cross.  Invest your time and energy in those relationship and go have a cup of coffee.  Keep the light of civilization burning.

But, hey, what the Hell do I know anyway?  I’m just a Big Red Car.


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